4 July 2012

Debt and defiance in
bankrupt Stockton, California

Mark Mardell

North American Editor

BBC News


“She says the city will rise again, [Stockton,
CA] but Joanie Anderson is less sure.

Anderson is a former police
dispatcher, and her husband used to be a policeman. They are both retired, but
as they are well under 65, they rely on the city for their health insurance.

It is hugely important to them, but
now their programme has been cut from the city budget.

“Our 18-year-old daughter has
had four open heart surgeries since birth,” she said. “Her last one
was this February.”

“So she has on going health
needs that have to be put to the forefront in our family. If she has an
emergency that involves her heart, it costs tens of thousands of dollars in the

But it would cost them $34,000
(£22,000) to replace their healthcare, if indeed any insurance company would
take them on. They simply cannot afford it and have no idea what to do.”

Private health insurance may appear to be a good idea, especially from those who have secure jobs

and work for a corporation of government agency that honors their benefit promises.

How many American’s have health insurance
policies that will fail them when they either cannot afford the payments or
their employer welches on benefit agreements?