White House Targeting Medical Debt And How It Impacts Americans

(RepublicanInformer.com)- The Biden administration is aiming to help Americans with one aspect of health that’s often overlooked — medical debt.
In early April, the White House proposed a few measures that would alleviate the stress and pressures Americans are facing with mounting debt caused by the rising cost of health care.
The proposals issued by President Joe Biden would diminish the role medical debt would play in future determinations of whether people have access to credit they need. In essence, those who are strapped with medical debt may find it easier to obtain loans for a home or their business.
In addition, the Biden administration is hoping to help the roughly 500,000 veterans considered to be low-income have all of their medical debt wiped away.
The proposals in question would ensure that all consumers are informed of the rights they have, and would also hold both debt collectors and medical providers accountable for any harmful practices that they take.
In March, the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracker reported that one-third of all American adults has at least some medical debt. It further stated that medical debt was the leading reason why Americans filed for personal bankruptcy.
The ironic part of the situation is that nearly 90% of the entire population in the U.S. has some type of health insurance. Many have health insurance plans that come with copayments for things such as preventative care and/or extremely high deductibles.
And what’s more, there are still 26 million people in the U.S. who don’t have any health insurance at all.
In total, the 2019 Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the total medical debt in the country held by Americans was at least $195 billion.
Researchers from Stanford, UCLA and Stanford conducted a survey in 2021 in which they analyzed a decade worth of medical bills that ended up being referred to a collection agency. What they found is that people who live in low-income regions are commonly strapped with medical debt.
It’s also very common in the southern part of the country, as well as states that decided not to expand coverage under Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act was passed.
In those states that did expand Medicaid, medical debt was at levels that were half of that compared to other states.
It’s not just people who are underinsured or uninsured, or who are classified as being a part of low-income households, who are straddled with medical debt, though.
Many middle-class families have health insurance plans with high deductibles and high co-payments. When an unexpected illness or injury happens, sometimes it costs them a lot of money out of pocket. And in many other cases, the insurance plans don’t cover the medical care at all.
Inflation isn’t helping matters any, of course, and the cost of medical care is only expected to increase even more in the near future.