Arizona campaign targets predatory medical debt practices

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The Predatory Debt Collection Act, which would cap interest rates for medical debt, has garnered more than 500,000 signatures in its quest to reach the ballot.

Health care on the rise in Arizonawith the support of Equity Projectcleared a significant hurdle in the pursuit of putting in place a measure on the November ballot to curb harmful medical debt collection practices in the state.

The Predatory Debt Collection Act garnered 500,000 signatures, easily exceeding the 237,645 signature requirement needed to qualify for election, giving the campaign serious legs in its aim to protect patients and oppose creditors abusive.

Predatory Debt Collection Act signatures must now be validated by Arizona’s secretary of state and county recorders to reach the ballot.

In addition to capping interest rates for medical debt, the proposed measure would protect individuals’ assets from creditors.

The Equity Project and its partners have previously led successful initiatives to combat predatory lending, with successful election campaigns in Nebraska in 2020 and Colorado in 2018. In addition to Healthcare Rising Arizona, the Equity Project has is also working to pass a measure in Michigan this year.

“No one should have to declare bankruptcy, be harassed by debt collectors, or lose their home because

they sought treatment for an illness or injury. It’s a matter of fundamental economic justice,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project. said in a press release. “If passed, this ballot measure will provide direct relief to Arizona families whose lives are upended by medical debt. we are still in a pandemic.

“The Equity Project has a record of supporting successful ballot measures in several states to protect borrowers from predatory lending, increase people’s access to health care, and put more money in people’s pockets – and Arizona is next.”

Medical debt is a problem that affects patients across the country. According to a study by Kaiser Family Foundationfour out of 10 adults currently have some kind of medical debt. Of these, one in eight (12%) say they owe at least $10,000.

Jay Asser is associate editor for HealthLeaders.

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