Rising healthcare costs, unemployment a double whammy

It’s hard enough on people that unemployment rates are at record levels across the country. They also have to deal with rising health-care costs.

The Los Angeles Times today ran a story that pointed out what’s painfully obvious to most of us: Medical bills are pushing more families toward financial ruin.

The Times story cites a Harvard University study that says that medical bills played a significant role in 62 percent of all the bankruptcies filed in the United States in 2007. That’s a big increase from 2001. The same researchers then found that medical bills contributed to 55 percent of all bankruptcies filed.

Pres. Barack Obama has made health-care reform a priority. And the public is certainly in need. The problem is, can we trust the government and the health-insurance industry to work together to come up with comprehensive health-care legislation that actually helps the public?

I don’t know. Government tends to make problems worse, when it isn’t attending to them long after it’s too late.

We’ll find out, though. Obama has asked Congress to provide him comprehensive health-care legislation by October. So some changes are undoubtedly on the way.