Trump Aide Bankrupted by a Single Illness

The Daily Beast runs a profile of White House aide Dan Scavino, who had to declare bankruptcy in 2015 due to medical debts resulting from his wife’s chronic Lyme disease.

In 2014 and 2015, Dan quit working to care for her, and the only income the family was earning was from Jennifer’s disability benefits, plus Social Security payments for the children. They racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credit-card debt and medical bills. Even with a $48,000 loan from her parents, the financial stress of the house, cars, and raising their sons was too much. On July 31, 2015, the Scavinos filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Scavinos owed about $48,000 in outstanding medical bills at the time of their bankruptcy filing. Dan has noted, via Twitter, that the condition has cost his family $300,000 over the years.

Now he’s in the White House.

Despite Dan’s extraordinary position, the Scavinos are, in their financial problems, typical. They endured something that happens to thousands of families a year. Insurmountable medical bills cause more bankruptcies in the U.S. than anything else. As the Senate moves to gut the law designed to make it easier for people to afford health care, it seems particularly poignant that one of the president’s closest and most devoted employees is a living example of how easily things can go sideways, how even a billionaire’s confidant business owner who lives in a half-million-dollar home can come close to losing everything over something beyond his control.