Biden Administration Proposes Cutting Medical Debt From Credit Reports

The Biden Administration announced a proposal to cut medical debt from credit reports. The office also calls on states and local leaders to take further actions to reduce medical debt. News On 6 got reaction on the proposal from a state lawmaker, financial expert and a nonprofit helping those in need.

Wednesday, June 12th 2024, 7:26 pm



-

The Biden Administration announced a proposal to cut medical debt from credit reports.

The office also calls on states and local leaders to take further actions to reduce medical debt.

News On 6 got reaction on the proposal from a state lawmaker, financial expert and a nonprofit helping those in need.

The latest numbers show about one in every four Oklahomans has some kind of medical debt.

Brian Bost with the John 3:16 Mission in Tulsa said the nonprofit is seeing more families coming for help with bills and food.

"We've talked to some who had surgeries, unexpected medical issues that come up,” said Bost. “Anytime that happens, of course, that is a strain on the finances, and that trickles down to everything that the family's doing."

He and others News On 6 talked to said they agree with the Biden Administration's proposal to remove medical debt from credit reports of more than 15 million Americans, raising their credit scores by an average of 20 points.

State representative Suzanne Schreiber from Tulsa, a Democrat, said she believes it is about time Oklahoma catches up with other states.

She said she has been working on a bill with similar goals.

"I think we can get a lot of support for it, and that's why I'm going to run the bill because of the conversations that I've had with my constituents,” said Schreiber.

Paul Hood, a financial expert and CEO of Hood and Associates, said right now, if the medical debt is under $500, it does not get reported.

He also said most medical institutions do not report debt to credit agencies unless that debt is turned over to collection agencies.

"The top three reporting agencies, they typically delay reporting because debt for 12 months because they know it's an anomaly, but it does have a potential negative effect when you go buy a car, when you try to interest rates on credit cards, when you're trying to buy a house,” said Hood.

Hood said dropping medical debt from credit scores would impact mainly the middle class and could have a small ripple effect on the economy and some negative effects on the healthcare system.

"So it could be that medical professionals charge a higher co-pay, it could be the collection agencies may not accept a lot of debt and so then that puts pressure on the hospitals and medical,” said Hood.

News On 6 reached out to all three major healthcare systems in the Tulsa area for their reaction.

Hillcrest said it is working on a statement.

Saint Francis said it is unable to comment, and Ascension Saint John said no comment.

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News on 6 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

June 12th, 2024

June 28th, 2024

June 27th, 2024

June 27th, 2024

Top Headlines

July 21st, 2024

July 21st, 2024

July 21st, 2024

July 21st, 2024