Recent Poll Shows Large Bipartisan Support for Policy, Action Comes After Yearslong Campaign By Community Catalyst and 70+ Cross-Movement Organizations 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Biden-Harris administration announced a proposed rule that will prevent all medical debt from impacting credit scores. The announcement comes on the heels of Community Catalyst and partners joining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for a roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C. on this topic; and comes after a yearslong campaign by Community Catalyst and more than 70 cross-movement local, state and national partners urging for more aggressive action to address the medical debt crisis in America. 

Recent polling from Community Catalyst shows strong bipartisan support for this rule, and demonstrates the urgency and voter support for policymakers to take additional actions. 

Statement from Mona Shah, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy at Community Catalyst

“This is a massive win for people, and we urge swift finalization of the rule. This proposed rule will provide relief to hundreds of thousands of people that have unfairly had their credit impacted simply because they got sick. Nobody, no matter where we live or how much money we have, should be forced to make the impossible choice between getting essential care and going into debt. And they should not have to worry that medical debt could prevent them from buying a house, securing an auto loan or getting a job because of its impact on their credit.

“We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for taking this important step to address the medical debt crisis in America. And we hope they will continue to pursue policies that people desperately want and need like a prohibition on predatory deferred interest credit cards being marketed in health care settings, and new protections and better enforcement against unfair practices at some non-profit hospitals that saddle families with unnecessary medical debt.

“We celebrate today and will get back to work tomorrow to ensure policymakers in Washington and across the country take every action possible to address this crisis.”

Recent polling by HIT Strategies, commissioned by Community Catalyst, showed how widely popular removing medical debt from credit scores is. According to the poll:

  • 75% of voters say they support this proposal, with 57% saying they strongly support it.
  • 66% of voters say they would feel more favorable towards a policymaker that supports these efforts.

Last fall, Community Catalyst brought together dozens of national and state partners, as well as impacted community members, to shine a bright light on the tangible actions (including stopping medical debt from showing up on credit scores) the Biden administration could take to provide relief to people and communities nationwide. They met with members of Congress as well as administration officials from the departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Economic Council.

Additional photos from Community Catalyst’s medical debt day on action can be found on Getty here

Medical debt impacts more than 100 million people in the United States, including those with health insurance. But importantly, it doesn’t impact everyone the same. Because of structural racism, classism and other forms of oppression, people with low-incomes as well as Black and Latinx communities bear the brunt of the health and economic costs. 

While in Washington last year, several of the community storytellers discussed how their outstanding medical bills have impacted their credit score. They are among the thousands that have shared their stories — in the media, through petitions, and at events — to ensure this issue is at the forefront. 

  • Misty, Colorado: At age 23, Grand Junction resident Misty underwent life-saving heart surgery, leaving her with $200,000 in medical bills and unable to divorce her abusive partner. Because medical debt had destroyed her credit score, Misty could not get housing, a car, or a credit card on her own, forcing her to stay in an abusive relationship for 20 years. Misty studied and got her license to be an insurance provider, but she could not get a job because prospective employers checked her credit as part of the hiring process. 
  • Alyssia, Georgia: Alyssia had to pay for a lot of care with credit cards. She struggled to pay it off and had debt in collections — waiting for the collections to come off her credit report has really hurt her finances. 
  • Samuel, Ohio: In 2021, Samuel was diagnosed with kidney stones that required emergency surgery. Samuel’s original medical bill was $25,000, which was an error and was actually meant to be $6,000. No one from the hospital or his insurance discussed any payment assistance options with him. He wasn’t able to keep up with the bills and his debt was transferred to a third-party collections agency. To date, Samuel is still paying off this debt and his credit continues to suffer.

Learn more about the medical debt campaign and proposed solutions. Those that have been impacted by medical debt are encouraged to share their story and utilize the “Know Your Rights” resource to better understand and fight medical bills. 

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About Community Catalyst:

Community Catalyst is a national organization dedicated to building the power of people to create a health system rooted in race equity and health justice, and a society where health is a right for all. We’re an experienced, trusted partner to organizations across the country, a change agent to policymakers at the local, state, and national level, and both an adversary and a collaborator to health systems in our efforts to advance health justice. We partner with local, state and national organizations and leaders to leverage and build power so that people are at the center of important decisions about health and health care, whether they are made by health care executives, in state houses, or on Capitol Hill. Together with partners, we’re building a powerful, united movement with a shared vision of and strategy for a health system accountable to all people. Learn more at