Medical Debt Bill Receives Signature
Last Thursday, Senator Kevin Dahle’s (DFL-Northfield) bill regarding medical debt received a ceremonial signature from Governor Dayton. While surrounded by supporters of the legislation, the Governor reiterated the importance of Senator Dahle’s bill as it has entered into law.
The bill (S.F. 1741), passed last session in a unanimous vote by the Senate, would give consumers the right to go to court to stop a collection action on medical debt that violates federal IRS rules. Consumers were previously barred from using this tool, putting them on an uneven playing field as they struggled to pay their debts and ensure the process is fair.
Sen. Dahle commented, “Medical debt is well recognized as the top cause of personal bankruptcy in America, and accounts for more collections than credit cards. The system surrounding medical debt may be complex, but the steps this bill takes are common sense.” In an attempt to reverse Minnesotans’ growing debt, the bill provides a patient or consumer the right of action to get a court injunction to keep collectors from withholding medical care, garnishing wages, causing arrest or taking other “Extraordinary Collection Actions” that collection agents often employ against consumers.
Sen. Dahle continued, “I’m happy to have received such strong bipartisan support, and I hope other legislators will join me in authoring legislation that works to address medical debt in other ways as well.”
For more information, contact Bryan Wells at 651-296-5561.