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Will Chapter 7 bankruptcy increase if health bill passes?

Most Connecticut residents are aware that health care has become a primary area of focus for the new administration. In fact, the Senate is considering a revised health bill that has led to a great deal of debate. Some experts believe that if the bill should pass, then 15 million people could lose their Medicaid coverage. They go on to suggest that an increase in Chapter 7 bankruptcy could quickly follow.

Medicaid currently covers nearly 74 million Americans who fall into the low-income bracket. That accounts for nearly a fifth of the population. Those folks already live under heavy financial strain. Losing access to their health care coverage could be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

Many people connect the dots between medical debt and bankruptcy in terms of an unexpected illness or injury. A sudden loss of insurance coverage, however, can be just as disastrous of a situation. For people who require frequent doctor's visits or prescription drugs, losing their coverage could cause their expenses to rise exponentially, and virtually overnight. Most would not be able to absorb those increased expenses, but may also be unable to go without that care. 

That would certainly be enough of a shift to push many low-income Americans over the brink and into personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help eliminate medical debt, which is why some believe that bankruptcy rates could rise if the new health bill is passed. Many people in Connecticut and across the nation are watching closely to see how the matter is resolved.

Source: Time, "The Senate Health Care Bill Could Lead to More Personal Bankruptcies", Jennifer Calfas, June 26, 2017

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