Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, December 1

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

The Mechanics
« Isn't It More Important To Appeal To Liberals In A Blue State? Solidarity Report: HCR & Low Wages, Restaurant Workers, & More »

Health Care Tue Dec 22 2009

Chicago Reporter: Medical Bills Spurring More Bankruptcies

The Chicago Reporter's Amalia Oulahan details how medical bills continue to trigger more and more bankruptcies:

An examination of 2,314 personal bankruptcy cases found that medical expenses caused an estimated 62 percent of the bankruptcies filed nationwide in 2007, according to an August study published in the American Journal of Medicine. In the same year, more than 40,000 nonbusiness bankruptcy cases were filed in Illinois, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

The study's result, compared with findings from a similar 2001 study, shows that the share of bankruptcies caused by illness and medical bills increased by almost 50 percent between 2001 and 2007.

Of the medical bankruptcies studied in 2007, three quarters of the filers had health insurance when they became sick. "For most people, the issue is that they have insurance but it's nearly worthless," said Dr. David Himmelstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and one of the study's authors. "You have this insurance card, but it still leaves you with bills."

Consider this a shout out to my "personal responsibility" friends out there who think the working class is in so much credit trouble because they're buying Dodo egg-yolk fueled ski-doos and genital-massage equipped flatscreens.

In retrospect, I should've continued my COBRA coverage.

GB store

conor / December 22, 2009 9:40 PM

wait a second, they have genital-massage equipped flat screens?

also - this is a good example of why we do need reform, but it doesn't mean we need THIS reform. (I'm referring to that which the democrats are currently pelvic thrusting through the legislative process)

GB store


Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project
GB store

About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Mike Ewing,
Mechanics staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15