Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=270229
 
 

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Rethinking the Debates over Health Care Financing: Evidence From the Bankruptcy Courts


Melissa B. Jacoby


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

Teresa A. Sullivan


University of Virginia - Office of the President

Elizabeth Warren


Harvard Law School


As published in New York University Law Review, Vol. 76, No. 2

Abstract:     
In 1999, Professors Jacoby, Sullivan, and Warren undertook an empirical study of bankruptcy filings to understand better the circumstances that brought middle-class families to a state of financial collapse. The information gathered in the study, known as Phase III of the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, revealed that an estimated more than half a million middle-class families turned to bankruptcy courts for help after illness or injury that year. The findings of the study illustrate how bankruptcy files document the economic problems families encounter when bills mount and incomes fall in the aftermath of a medical problem. In this Article, Professors Jacoby, Sullivan, and Warren present the data from their study to illustrate that hundreds of thousands of middle-class families in the United States are devastated economically each year under the current health care finance system. Their data indicate that focusing on the presence or absence of health insurance alone would lead to an incomplete solution. Instead, the authors suggest that since bankruptcy effectively serves as part of the health care payment system, bankruptcy policy should be included in any comprehensive review of health care financing policy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

JEL Classification: I18, k39

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Date posted: May 17, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Jacoby, Melissa B. and Sullivan, Teresa A. and Warren, Elizabeth, Rethinking the Debates over Health Care Financing: Evidence From the Bankruptcy Courts. As published in New York University Law Review, Vol. 76, No. 2. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=270229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.270229

Contact Information

Melissa B. Jacoby (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )
Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

Teresa A. Sullivan
University of Virginia (UVA) - Office of the President ( email )
Charlottesville, VA
United States
Elizabeth Warren
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3101 (Phone)
617-496-6118 (Fax)
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