MIL-OSI USA: Press Call by Vice President Harris Announcing New Action on Medical  Debt

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US Senate News:

Source: The White House
Via Teleconference
2:02 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you and greetings to everyone.
Thank you for joining us to address an issue that is critical to the financial health and well-being of millions of Americans and that issue being medical debt.
Today, more than 100 million Americans struggle with medical debt.  Usually, medical debt is the result of a medical emergency — an unplanned, unexpected expense often of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 
And one of the most significant consequences of carrying medical debt is the harm it does to a person’s credit score.  Medical debt makes it more difficult for millions of Americans to be approved for a car loan, a home loan, or a small-business loan, all of which, in turn, makes it more difficult to just get by, much less get ahead.
And that is simply not fair, especially when we know that people with medical debt are no less likely to repay a loan than those without medical debt.  No one should be denied access to economic opportunity simply because they experienced a medical emergency.
So, today, I am proud to announce we will soon make it so that medical debt can no longer be included in your credit score.  We are making it so that medical debt cannot be used against you when you apply for a car loan, a home loan, or a small-business loan or something of that nature.
As a result of this change, millions of Americans will see an increase in their credit score, on average, of 20 points, which will mean every year an estimated 22,000 more American families will be approved for a mortgage and able to buy a home.
I have spent my entire career fighting to protect consumers and lower medical bills for families.  As Attorney General of California, I stopped the merger of hospitals that would have caused increased costs for patients.  As Attorney General, I sued banks for fraudulent and predatory debt collection practices.  And as a United States senator, I continued my work to protect healthcare for millions of Americans with preexisting conditions by defending the Affordable Care Act.
From the start, our administration — President Biden and I and our administration have focused on relieving the burden of medical debt.  We have forgiven over $650 million so far, and we plan to forgive another $7 billion — with a “B” — for millions of Americans across the nation.
And today, I am then issuing a call to states, cities, hospitals across our nation to join us in forgiving medical debt.  President Biden and I will continue to create a future where every person has the opportunity to build wealth and, in turn, build a stronger economy that benefits us all.
I thank everyone for being on the call.  And now I’m going to turn it over to a leader in our fight to ease the burden of medical debt, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Director Chopra.
Thank you.
END                       2:05 P.M. EDT