Is Bernie Sanders right about medical bankruptcies?

Better yet, who cares?

Bernie Sanders.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, rashpil/iStock)

How many bankruptcies are caused by America's dysfunctional health-care system? Bernie Sanders has been at the center of a days-long controversy over this question. He said 500,000 people are bankrupted annually by medical debt, citing an American Journal of Public Health study which actually found 530,000 bankruptcies every year caused in some way by medical bills (or about 65 percent of the total). Washington Post fact-checker Salvador Rizzo attacked, awarding him 3 out of 4 "Pinnochios" for failing to cite a completely different study — though in what is becoming a sadly typical pattern for the genre, Rizzo himself made a serious factual error in the process, describing the AJPH paper as not peer-reviewed when in fact it was.

As funny as it is to watch so-called fact checkers beclown themselves in their palpable eagerness to expose the radical commie candidate, the specifics of this debate shouldn't lead us to miss the bleeding obvious. Whatever the accurate number is, we can be sure beyond question that medical debt is causing a great ocean of pointless misery — and Medicare-for-All would help a lot.

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