Medical Debt Bill Heads to House

POST REGISTER — A bill to put some limits on medical debt collection in Idaho is headed to the House floor.

After almost five hours of often passionate, occasionally angry testimony both from people in the medical and debt collection industries and from people from eastern Idaho with personal stories about how they had been forced to pay bills many times more than their original medical bills, the House Business Committee voted to send the bill to the House floor with a “do pass” recommendation. Reps. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, and Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton, cast the only “No” votes.

“I feel like I could have sat in front of you as any one of these folks who have been challenged by medical bills,” said Rep. Gayann DeMourdant, R-Eagle. “If you’ve grown up in a home without insurance, if you’ve raised a family at any point without insurance. … If you’ve ever had to testify in front of a judge about medical debt, then you will know how much this needs to be done.”

Rep. Brooke Green, D-Boise, said she had a similar experience when she didn’t receive a medical bill sent to her shortly after she moved out of her family home.

“I was that 19-year-old girl who sat on the receiving end of an attorney demanding that my $89 bill was now going to cost $400,” she said.

Read the full story on the Post Register.