The case of actress Shannen Doherty or how the US health system can ruin even those who have resources

The actress Shannen Dohertyrecognized for her roles in iconic series such as Bewitched or Feeling of livinghas revealed that she has run out of savings and has been forced to apply for a pension to cover your medical bills. A heartbreaking testimony of how even the celebrities They are not exempt from the cruel economic realities of the American healthcare system.

Doherty, diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and then with metastases, has been clear and direct in her complaints about the financial difficulties in which she finds herself. Despite having had a reasonably successful career and a life of fame, the actress is in a precarious position, without the necessary resources to pay for his treatment. His case highlights how the American health system, where capitalist logic and the privatization of basic services prevail, leads to desperate situations for many.

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To fallback.

According to a study published in February 2019, each year around 530,000 people declare themselves insolvent due to illness-related debts. This analysis reveals that even with the Affordable Care Act, promoted by Barack Obama and implemented with the goal of making healthcare “more affordable,” it has barely reduced the number of bankruptcies caused by medical expenses. Having low coverage health insurance is cited as one of the main reasons for having ended up in ruin.

Doherty’s situation is a paradigmatic example of this problem. Despite having health insurance, the costs associated with her cancer treatment have been exorbitant, and she is not the only one.

A Gallup poll conducted in December 2019 revealed, along the same lines, that 25% of Americans have put off a visit to the doctor for a serious illness due to the high cost, and 33% have done the same for less serious illnesses. In addition, a study by the United States Cancer Society in May 2019 showed that 56% of adults in the country have difficulty paying their medical bills normally.

The data only confirms a broken system that not only impacts low-income people, but also those who, like Doherty, have led a solvent life. The financial insecurity generated by private insurance prices has given rise to what we could define as a public health crisis.

Research conducted in 2009 by Harvard Medical School indicated that 45,000 Americans die each year as a direct result of not having health insurance. While, in 2018, 27.8 million Americans did not have any type of health insurance throughout the year. All of these figures illustrate how Shannen Doherty’s story is nothing more than that of a health system that leaves people helpless in their most vulnerable moments.

 
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