Luke MessacSep 17, 2023
Your Money Or Your Life
Debt Collection in American Medicine
Oxford University Press 2023
A riveting exposé of medical debt collection in America -- and the profound financial and physical costs eroding patient trust in medicine For the crime of falling sick without wealth, Americans today face lawsuits, wage garnishment, home foreclosure, and even jail time. Yet who really profits from aggressive medical debt collection? And how does this predatory system affect patients and doctors responsible for their care?
Your Money Or Your Life: Debt Collection in American Medicine (Oxford UP, 2023) reveals how medical debt collection became a multibillion-dollar industry and how everyday Americans are made to pay the price. Emergency physician and historian Luke Messac weaves patient stories into a history of law, finance, and medicine to show how debt and debt collection are destroying the foundational trust between doctors and patients at the heart of American healthcare. The fight to stop aggressive collection tactics has brought together people from all corners of the political spectrum. But if we want to better protect the sick from financial ruin, we have to understand how we got here. With wit and clarity, Your Money or Your Life asks us all to rethink the purpose of our modern healthcare system and consider whom it truly serves.
Stephen Pimpare is a Senior Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.