Bankrate did a survey on outcomes from lending to family or friends, cosigning for them or giving them your credit card. 4 out of 10 lenders to family and friends report they didn’t get paid back. Someone comes to the bank of family or friend because they can’t get the money elsewhere, so that borrower is ultra-high risk. There are times we’ll give out of obligation or love. Clark’s 2 part rule for lending to family or friends: One time only IF you can afford it. And, look at it as a gift, not a loan.
Clark’s been tilting at windmills lately consulting with the hospital industry about billing problems. The industry filed suit against the government ruling to disclose prices up front. Kaiser Health News (KHN) reports on a case of hospital billing that illustrates the problem. The big problem in American healthcare is rapidly escalating hospital prices, and the industry fights so hard against price disclosure in advance. This must be fixed to get costs under control. We need to force hospitals to do the right thing.
The American Cancer Society reports there's a decline in cancer death rates over one generation and over the past couple of years for specific cancers. In one generation, deaths from lung cancer, which is the deadliest form, declined precipitously. The main reason is a decline in smoking, down to 13%, clearly cause and effect. In addition, there's been great improvement in survivability of lung cancer due to early detection. Smokers are encouraged to be checked out as lung cancer is symptomless in initial stages. Colon cancer deaths are way down due to colonoscopy early detection. The fatality rate is 50% higher in men because men are less likely to see doctors. The survival rates are much higher for women due to early detection. Survival rates are much improved with both breast and prostate cancer. USA Today reports melanoma survival rates are much improved. This good news all starts with each of us getting appropriate checkups and screenings. If you can't remember the last time you saw a medical professional, maybe that's something you need to change.
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