Re: But the elephant in the room...
That medical bankruptcies stat is a little off. It's more like "x million went bankrupt owing some medical bills" rather than "x million went bankrupt because of medical bills".
Actually, it's closer to the latter, not the former.
CNBC's source is this Nerdwallet article: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/2014/03/26/medical-bankruptcy/
As NerdWallet explains their methodology:
Bankruptcy: We relied on a widely cited Harvard study published in 2009. NerdWallet Health chose to include only bankruptcy explicitly tied to medical bills[emphasis mine], excluding indirect reasons like lost work opportunities. Thus we conservatively estimated medical bankruptcy rates to be 57.1% (versus the authors’ 62.1%) of US bankruptcies. We also used official bankruptcy statistics, released this month through March 2013, from US Courts.