From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Bankruptcy bill passes Senate

March 11, 2005 10:59 AM

Andrew Molenda sent me an email about the bankruptcy bill that just passed the Senate. The bill makes it harder for individuals to file, and will have a cruel effect on cancer survivors and others dealing with major medical crises.

But what grabbed me was the tagline on his blog: "Part of being a cancer survivor is finding a meaning for why you were allowed to survive."

Amen to that.

More from the archive in Health.

Bankruptcy bill passes Senate (03.11.2005)

Next Entry: Name for new company (03.15.2005)
Previous Entry: Bill O'Reilly is "unacceptable content" (03.11.2005)

Read the 16 comments.


Just hit your site off a link from Moores, some cool stuff. I'll be checking out OutFoxed when I get the chance. It seems Michael has spawnd some worthy "garde".

I'm a canadian can't go bankrupt here either because of medical bills...because we don't have medical bills per say, which is to say our taxes pay our medical bills.

I'm curious, I know studies have been conducted contrasting the medical systems of canada and the states, most ...if memory serves; suggest canada's
system is cheeper and more effective. I wonder if Cancer treatment specifically has ever been analyzed. Bet they're a few suprizes there.

Fri Mar 11 2005 6:49 PM


"I know studies have been conducted contrasting the medical systems of canada and the states, most ...if memory serves; suggest canada's system is cheeper and more effective."

I've been researching this for a bit of time since I read your post, and while you are correct that the system is 'cheaper' in Canada (Canda spends 10% GDP on healthcare, USA around 13%), I don't feel it can be made as a straight comparison.

It's kinda like the prescription drug argument. Drugs are vastly cheaper in Canada. Canada has demanded cheaper drugs and the drug companies, based in America, will get whatever they can for their drugs up there. But here in the US, these companies have budgets in the BILLIONS of dollars for R&D of new drugs. If American government artificially lowered the price of drugs (either directly or by buying them through Canadian companies, its the same thing) there would simply be a sharp downturn in new drugs hitting the market. In the end, the quality of drugs worldwide would decrease because there would not be new drugs hitting the market like they are now...

I'm really not much very firm one way or the other about perscription drugs in America, though I lean instictivly towards Gov't-Hands-Off...

Sat Mar 12 2005 8:28 AM

Jim Gilliam:

I think Wal-Mart should manufacture prescription drugs in Mexico (or China) and sell them here really cheap.

Sat Mar 12 2005 9:29 AM

Tom from Madison:

There are 2 huge inefficiencies built into the U.S. system:
1) Insurance companies are making huge profits while not adding value to the proposition. Insurance companies don't contribute to better delivery of health services but it costs American consumers big bucks to give them a piece of the action.
2) Employers engage in huge duplication of effort in the US when each one administers its own health benefit plan separately. Removing the health-care accounting burden from US companies would lower the cost of doing business for every US company. In aggregate this would help all US companies compete abroad. It would also give less incentive for US companies to outsource to foreign countries.

Sun Mar 13 2005 11:05 AM


Good points, Tom. It also bugs me that health "insurance" in the U.S. is nothing of the sort. If you are self-insured, as soon as you have any health problems, your insurance company drops you. What's the point of insurance which only works for healthy people?

Of course, if your insurance is provided by your employer, you're safe. Except that when you get really really sick, they'll lay you off or fire you. You'll still have Cobra benefits for a year, and then you are out of luck. Get ready to spend your life savings in the following 6 months, and then you'll end up on welfare when all is said and done. Then, despite your having worked your entire life, Republicans will deride you for being a drag on the economy. Might as well kill yourself. Make way for the next generation. Survival of the fittest.

Now, if you're born rich, it's another story altogether....

Mon Mar 14 2005 2:08 AM

Sponge Bob:

The Family Medical Leave Act restricts an employer's ability to fire one for missing work due to personal or family illness. If one lose's their job COBRA extends coverage at the group's rate for 18 months.

As for inefficiencies, I don't see how profit driven competive businesses are less efficient then a huge government bureaucracy. Exhibit A, social security, the administration of the disbursement of SS benefits takes up many times the administration of any private benefits plan.

As for the bankruptcy reform, the credit card companies should take it in the shorts for extending unsecured credit to deadbeats. One of my employees takes out bankruptcy every three - five years and there's always some bank or "second chance" loan company willing to give him credit within 6 months of completing bankruptcy. I wouldn't loan the guy $20, anybody willing to give him thousands in credit should lose it.

Mon Mar 14 2005 7:41 AM

Andrew Molenda:

Thanks for posting about my blog and helping me bring spread the word about how this is going to impact cancer survivors in the US.

I just feel like the credit card companies are at least half to blame for the bankruptcy problems. This bill misses that point and does nothing to reform the credit industry.

Mon Mar 14 2005 8:21 AM


Click my name for the link.

"On average, less than 0.6 cents of every dollar paid out in Social Security benefits goes to pay administrative costs. By comparison, systems with individual accounts, like the ones in England or Chile, waste 15 cents of every dollar paid out in benefits on administrative fees. President Bush's Social Security commission estimated that under their system of individual accounts 5 cents of every dollar would go to pay administrative costs."

Mon Mar 14 2005 9:52 AM

Sponge Bob:

I agree with Andrew, the credit industry is half responsible for their own mess and should police themselves better. They know the rules of the game when they hand a college student a $10,000 credit card.

Bankruptcy due to medical bills has been built into the system's billing practice for years. My insurance coverage is paying for half bill of the next guy who can't pay. The current laws were completely adequate, the judges administering the bankruptcy cases were lacking.

Mon Mar 14 2005 10:02 AM

Tom from Madison:

My point on inefficiencies is simple. In a single-payer, universal coverage country, there is one agency allocating care to every single citizen. In the U.S. each employer is doing this itself with various HMOs, insurance companies, and government programs also contributing. The situation is extremely complex and inefficient due to the thousands of different employer-based plans and compensation schemes going on.

The bottom line is we have thousands of organizations and entire industries devoted to allocating and accounting for health care. It's a huge waste. Even an inefficiently run government system would be better.

And yes, credit card delinquency can't help but be related when there are 45 million uninsured Americans. The reality is its easier to for many uninsured people to get credit than to get health insurance. There are a lot of working poor people who have no health insurance but face life-threatening medical conditions. The solution to this part of the problem is to insure the uninsured, not tighten the bankruptcy laws.

Mon Mar 14 2005 8:05 PM


The biggest rally in favor of freedom ever in the history of the world happened yesterday.

Liberals? Not a peep.

Tue Mar 15 2005 3:48 PM

Tom from Madison:

Why didn't you or any other Neo-cons join in the rally personally? It seems you guys are really missing out!

Fri Mar 18 2005 8:12 PM


If it werent for the neo-cons, there wouldnt have been a rally in the first place. You liberals find yourselves yet again on the wrong side of history.

Sat Mar 19 2005 7:50 AM


It's funny how social security got in here...not to mention the neo talk'n freedom.

Mr. Gilliam whats the point? sarcasim! that cheap drugs are made in 3rd world countries not america (though the US might do the R&D) sold by a company that has been convicted of violating child labour laws and may "willfully" employ illegal immigrants.

For all of Canadas' "social welfare" we have no big problem with social security. In one province the interest actually generates a profit.

As far as "Gov't-Hands-Off" go I would rather my gov't busied it self administering to my needs then legislating against my rights.

Thu Mar 24 2005 8:30 PM

Tom from Madison:

No Name:

you're wrong again. Iran has had elections and huge rallies since 1997. Yet there were no proclamations from Neo-cons. Aren't THEY following our current path? You know, maximizing their military power, basing their foreign policy on theocratic teachings, etc.

A larger point: Rallies don't mean anything. True democracy would be an incredible accomplishment in Iraq, Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. But remember, history teaches that democracy doesn't happen by invasion from a foreign country.

Iraq won't be a sovereign and free country if there is going to be a permanent US occupation there. That type of state is more aptly referred to as a "colony" rather than a democracy.

Fri Mar 25 2005 10:26 AM

Andrew Molenda:

A good article about the recent Bankrupcty Law was in a recent newsweek. I wish everyone would read this article and think about the impacts the recent bill will have on cancer survivors.

Here's the link:

Wed May 4 2005 11:35 AM

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