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Governor Shapiro’s Plan to Wipe Out $4 Million in Medical Debt for Pennsylvania Residents

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro plans to erase $4 million in medical debt for residents, particularly benefiting those living at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. This initiative, targeting individuals and families earning up to $60,240 and $124,800 respectively, seeks to address debts that constitute 5% or more of an individual’s income. The state intends to collaborate with a private vendor to identify and eliminate eligible debts without requiring an application process from the residents.

The strategy aims to leverage a $4 million investment to significantly reduce the medical debt burden, potentially clearing nearly a quarter of all such debts in Pennsylvania. This proposal responds to the state’s alarming statistic that 11% of its population carries medical debt, totaling approximately $1.8 billion, with rural areas facing the most severe impacts.

Support for this plan has been voiced in Harrisburg, with pending legislation in the Senate (House Bill 78) that would allow the state to purchase outstanding medical debts for pennies on the dollar, mirroring the methods of debt collection agencies. Representative Arvind Venkat, an emergency room physician and the bill’s prime sponsor, highlighted the success of a similar program in Pittsburgh that eradicated $115 million in medical debt for over 24,000 residents with a $1 million investment. Venkat emphasizes the significant burden of medical debt on Pennsylvanians and its contribution to escalating healthcare costs, noting its deterrence on individuals seeking necessary medical care due to fear of incurring further debt.

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Patricia M Campbell 1932-2024

Pat graduated from Fannett Township High School in 1950 and received her BA in Education from, known then as, Shippensburg State Teachers College. .

James Patrick McNally III 1947-2024

James was known for his dedication and excellence in his professional career, where he made lasting contributions and built strong relationships with his colleagues.

Brenda Jackson Liu 1945-2024

Upon retirement, Brenda worked as a part-time nurse at the Migrant Health in Gettysburg. During this time she traveled to migrant camps all over Pennsylvania.

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