'Welcome to socialism': Thousands of Connecticut residents will soon see medical debt 'magically' disappear

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Hospital room by is licensed under Canva
HARTFORD, CT - During an appearance on "Good Morning America," Governor Ned Lamont explained that under a new initiative, thousands of residents in the state of Connecticut will have their medical debt erased. 

According to ABC News, the state plans to erase nearly $1 billion in medical debt during 2024 alone by leveraging $6.5 million in American Rescue Pan Act (ARPA) funds. The state said that it is contracting with a nonprofit organization that buys the medical debt and then eliminates it at a reduced cost.

FOX 4 reported that the new initiative intends to help lift people from an often tremendous financial burden, which Lamont lamented in a statement on GMA, saying, "This is not something they did where they were spending too much money. This is because they got hit with a medical emergency and they should not have to suffer twice: first for the illness, then with the debt."

According to the state of Connecticut, residents whose household income is up to 400% of the federal poverty line (i.e., for a family of four, that would be $124,800 annually) or whose medical debt equates to five percent or more of their annual income, will be eligible under the new program. 

With the initial $6.5 million investment, nearly 250,000 Connecticut residents will see their medical debt erased. Lamont said in a statement, "I think it's really important that people have a sense that they can start building wealth of their own. We're making that easier for people to do and the best way to start is eliminate the debt you've got."

Eligible residents will not have to actually apply for the program because the state will be working directly with the contracted agency to eliminate the medical debts. The relief should go into effect by June 2024. 

According to the state of Connecticut, those who do have their medical debt cleared will also not have any associated tax burden; the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not count medical debt canceled via nonprofits as taxable income. Exactly one year ago, on February 2, 2023, Lamont initially announced the proposal, tying the relief to COVID-19 related funds.

During that announcement, he said, "Several state and local governments have seen significant success at canceling medical debt for their residents using this model, and I think this is absolutely the right way to use this COVID-recovery funding. This initiative will not only help Connecticut residents who are saddled with debt financially, but it also lifts the significant emotional toll that this type of debt has on individuals who do not have the means to get out, especially for those who are simultaneously experiencing significant medical problems."

The Democrat governor believes that by erasing this debt, millions of dollars will be put back into the state's economy, thereby providing an "economic stimulus to local communities." Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that nearly one in five households across the country have at least some type of medical debt, with the median amount owned standing at $2,000. 

This is the same argument Republicans use regarding keeping taxes low, saying that lower taxes means more money in the pocket of American families, which means more economic stimulus. Democrats, however, generally believe that taxing those with a higher income will lead to more assistance for those with lower income.

As reported by ABC News, cities and counties nationwide are using ARPA funds to provide medical debt relief, with data from the White House indicating that $16 million in those stimulus funds are being used to purchase and wipe out nearly $1.5 billion in medical debt in communities nationwide. Some of the cities implementing similar plans as the state of Connecticut are New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Toledo, and Chicago. 

New York City recently announced its plan to invest $18 million to erase $2 billion in medical debt for up tp 500,000 eligible New York residents over the span of the next three years. It's unclear whether "eligible" means only legal residents or if illegal immigrants will be included in this erasure of debt.
 
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elaine

See how fast their medical needs are denied because of costs.. If you are very rich and can afford private insurance get it because with Socialized medicine they will deny you life saving teats and treatments because of the costs.. you pay nothing you get nothing back. They decide who lives and dies it all comes down to money. Enjoy your punishment with Socialized medicine

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