PA State Capitol Building, Harrisburg (WHTM) Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to submit a bill that will help low-income families suffering medical debt.
On Monday, Democratic state representatives Arvind Venkat and Nick Pisciottano of Allegheny, Bridget Kosierowski of Lackawant County, and Tarik Khan and Donna Bullock of Philadelphia revealed their proposal to establish the Pennsylvania Medical Debt Repayment Program.
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The legislators claim the scheme would be comparable to one in Pittsburgh, where $1 million was invested in a debt relief programme for constituents in partnership with the non-profit RIP Medical Debt.
The city of Pittsburgh expects to be able to forgive almost $24,000 in medical debt, amounting to $115 million, according to the calculations of the legislators.
There is an estimated $575 million in medical debt in the state of Pennsylvania, and legislators there predict that a $5 million investment in the state budget would erase it.
According to Pisciottano, “it’s hard to imagine of a higher return on investment for taxpayers than this initiative, which may remove nearly $100 in medical debt for every $1 spent on it.”
In addition to expanding access to care, the Pennsylvania Medical Debt Repayment Program would stimulate the economy by increasing household disposable income.
Those in authority have observed that some areas are more severely affected by medical debt than others.
For example, “many ailments that require routine treatments are disproportionately affecting black and brown Pennsylvanians,” Bullock said.
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Assuring that people have financial support available to pay for medical care at the time they need it is a top priority for the Affordable Care Act.
“As a nurse, I’ve witnessed the destruction that high medical costs can wreak,” Khan remarked. People’s health can be negatively affected by medical debt since it prevents them from receiving necessary treatments. I back this bill so that nobody other has to forego lifesaving care because they fear piling up medical bills they can’t pay off.
Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Mark Rozzi has promised to hold up all other legislation until the state legislature passes his bill allowing victims of sexual assault as children to pursue civil lawsuits regardless of the statute of limitations.
Neither the regulations nor the abuse laws have been approved by the House as of yet.
Rozzi has now referred the medical debt programme bill to a committee for further consideration. The House sponsors’ websites do not yet provide a copy of the bill.