Medical Debt Inequities

Black Americans shoulder a disproportionate part of the nation’s $140 billion medical debt: 28% of Black households have medical debt, compared with 17% of white households.

The debt and disparities are worse in areas like the South, where many states haven’t expanded Medicaid eligibility.

Patient advocates are pushing lawmakers to reexamine the impact of billing and harsh collections tactics—like garnishing wages and high interest rates—on communities of color.

The Quote: “I’ve witnessed how White people are spoken to and how things are explained to them as opposed to how I’ve been spoken to and how things have been explained to me,” said Tango Walker, whose family carries $28,000 in medical debt.


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