The financial burden of disability

Treating chronic disease consumes more than 75 percent of U.S. health-care dollars, and is expensive for patients and their families. But when the condition morphs into disability, it can be devastating.

According to a Spanish study, the cost of moderate disability is about 40 percent of household income. That rises to 70 percent of income when the disability is severe. About 90 percent of those with a serious disability is in a state of moderate poverty, and more than half is in a state of extreme poverty.

Those with severe disability and no insurance virtually sentenced to a pauper existence.

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