The White House has announced a plan by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to exclude medical debt from credit reports, impacting millions in the U.S. with unpaid medical bills. Experts support this move but suggest additional steps to reduce medical debt, including ending extreme collection actions, guaranteeing not-for-profit hospitals offer financial aid, prohibiting medical credit cards, banning care refusal due to debt, and eradicating medical debt. There are calls for more extensive public subsidies to make insurance premiums affordable and more robust policies to prevent underinsurance or high deductibles. Anti-debt advocates highlight medical debt is not an indicator of financial mismanagement but results from unexpected expenses such as a serious health diagnosis or accident.
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[Source: STAT, September 22nd, 2023]