Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it was beginning the rulemaking process to remove medical debt from consumers’ credit reports. There is still a long way to go in this process and a lot could change between now and when — or even if — a final rule is issued, but in the meantime, here are some comments from participants on both sides of the debate.
It is unfortunate that the CFPB and the White House are not considering the hosts of consequences that will result if medical providers are singled out in their billing compared to other professions or industries. Sadly, today’s rhetoric is in line with the refusal of the CFPB over the past two years to fully consider the real-world impact of its actions and seek input from impacted stakeholders.Scott Purcell, CEO, ACA International
Vice President Harris is leading the fight to lower costs for hardworking Americans by addressing the burden of medical debt. No one should have their credit ruined because of a medical emergency. By proposing to erase medical debt from credit reports, the CFPB is doing what the consumer agency does best: saving Americans money.Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.]
We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for taking important steps to address the medical debt crisis in America, This is an important milestone in our collective efforts and will provide immediate relief to people that have unfairly had their credit impacted simply because they got sick. Nobody, no matter where we live or how much money we have, should be forced to make the impossible choice between getting essential care and going into debt.Emily Stewart, Executive Director, Community Catalyst
As the leader of an organization committed to erasing burdensome medical debts, I’m thrilled to see this action taken by the CFPB. This proposal ensures no one’s credit worthiness hinges on their necessary healthcare. And while this is a great stride, we need the federal government to also identify, absent credit reporting data, how we can continue to track the scale of this enormous crisis. Medical debts are often obscured from reporting when patients pay with credit cards or borrow money from friends/family.Allison Sesso, CEO and President, RIP Medical Debt
We look forward to working with the CFPB to protect consumers’ information, enable economic activity, and minimize friction for financial transactions. We have concerns that some of the proposals may push the limits of the Bureau’s authority under federal law.Dan Smith, president and CEO, Consumer Data Industry Association