Tlaib Re-Introduces Bill to Remove Medically Necessary Debt from Credit Reports
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) introduced the Consumer Protection for Medical Debt Collections Act, which would prohibit the collection of medical debt for two years and prohibit debt from “medically necessary” procedures from being included on a consumer credit report. This legislation will provide much needed relief for Americans struggling with medical debt. Last year, the bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and included in the Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act, but the legislation was not considered by the U.S. Senate.
“Nearly one in five adults have one or more medical debt collections listed on their credit report,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “That means one in five Americans may be denied housing, transportation, or other necessities because of a sudden health crisis or visit to the emergency room. That hits particularly hard in communities like mine, where residents already face challenges with access to credit. This bill will help increase opportunities for residents and is a major step in fixing our broken credit system.”
The Consumer Protection for Medical Debt Collections Act would provide protections and safeguards for people who, at no fault of their own, got sick and could not afford medical care due to our broken health care system. Collectively, Americans owe more than $195 billion in medical debt. Pandemic-related medical debt has only exacerbated this burden for millions of Americans.
“Treating medical debt the same as other debt is not right and leads to irreparable harm to residents who simply just needed health and medical care. Medical debt is a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in our country and the pandemic has only made the medical debt crisis worse. No one chooses to get sick. Undergoing a medically necessary procedure should never haunt someone financially. It has no place on a credit report. This is commonsense legislation and we must get it signed into law,” Congresswoman Tlaib concluded.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.