America is no stranger to medical debt. This fact has become all the more apparent as countless citizen across the nation continue to grapple with surmounting bills they cannot pay. Mississippi remains one of the states that has struggled with medical debt the most. What can residents learn about current policies, and how might Americans finally tackle this prevalent issue?
Stat News is quick to point out in an article on medical debt that this financial stress is one of the driving reasons for consumer debt in the country. After all, roughly 20 percent of Americans live with at least one medical debt collection item that has collected dust on a credit report. While the Affordable Care Act came to the rescue for many, Stat reports that Trump's recent efforts to dismantle the ACA has ultimately led to an increasing number of Americans who struggle with medical bills. The fact that the U.S. is the costliest country in the world when it comes to medical expenses is no secret, either; as a result, the National Consumer Law Center has proposed reforms at the state level to address the ongoing issue.
The extreme struggle with medical debt in America has led to quite a bleak outlook on health care for many. The Atlantic provides an insightful scope into the problem, noting that thousands are refusing medical treatment simply because they cannot pay the cost. Those with low incomes and the uninsured have an especially difficult time making ends meet. While one study from the J.P. Morgan Chase Institute shows an increase in medical bills alongside an uptick in average family income, The Atlantic reveals a darker side to this statistic by stating that it reflects a general hesitancy to seek medical care in the first place. Medical debt remains the number one reason why consumers file bankruptcy. Americans continue to struggle, the country continues to grapple with the repercussions and the problem remains clear: consumers are not getting the care they need simply because of financial hardship.