House passes VanderSloot-backed bill to limit medical debt collectors, 49-20, after long debate

IDAHO PRESS — After an extensive debate that stretched through and beyond the noon hour – and included lengthy debate against the bill by Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, an attorney who’s in the medical debt collection business and who said he has a conflict of interest on the issue but still planned to debate and vote – the House has passed HB 515, the Idaho Patient Act, which limits billing time frames and attorney fees in medical debt collection cases. The vote was 49-20 in favor of the bill that’s been pushed by eastern Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot, after the firm for which Zollinger works sued VanderSloot’s company in a dispute over a VanderSloot employee’s small medical debt that had swelled into the thousands.

VanderSloot and his wife, Belinda, then set up a $1 million legal defense fund with their own money to defend hundreds of eastern Idaho residents against ballooning charges from the medical debt collection firm.

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