Your Health Matters


Biden Administration seeks to ease Americans' health care debt

There are four steps
Medical Debt (FILE)
Posted at 10:36 AM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 13:36:33-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KERO) — The Biden Administration is announcing steps to lessen the burden of health care debt on Americans.

It's the latest effort to help people deal with increased medical costs amid skyrocketing inflation

Vice-President Kamala Harris spoke about it from the White House on Monday.

"Our administration is also taking action against the bad actors, the folks who violate consumers' rights to force people to pay medical debt. Some debt collection companies harass consumers with dozens of phone calls a week. Remember what we are talking about folks who are in the process of attempting to recover from an illness for example, debt collectors that try to collect on debt that has already been paid. Some who pose as law enforcement officials are threatened consumers with jail time. That sort of harassment and intimidation is unethical. And often it is illegal. And that is why the CFPB has made it a priority to hold debt collectors accountable."

There are four steps the administration is taking to reduce the burden of medical debt.

First, having the Department of Health and Human Services evaluate providers' billing practices.

Second, having the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigate credit reporting companies and debt collectors that violate patients' and families' rights.

Third, providing guidance for federal agencies to eliminate medical debt as an underwriting factor in credit programs.

And finally, making it easier for lower-income veterans to get their VA medical debt forgiven.