To exclude from consumer credit reports medical debt that has been in collection and has been fully paid or settled, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Medical Debt Responsibility Act of 2012''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) medical debt is unique, and Americans do not choose when accidents happen or when illness strikes; (2) medical debt collection issues affect both insured and uninsured consumers; (3) according to credit evaluators, medical debt collections are more likely to be in dispute, inconsistently reported, and of questionable value in predicting future payment performance because it is atypical and nonpredictive; (4) nevertheless, medical debt that has been completely paid off or settled can significantly damage the credit score of a consumer for years; (5) as a result, consumers may be denied credit or pay higher interest rates when buying a home or obtaining a credit card; (6) healthcare providers are increasingly turning to outside collection agencies to help secure payment from patients, coming at the expense of the consumer, because medical debts are not typically reported unless they become assigned to collections; (7) in fact, medical bills account for more than half of all non-credit related collection actions reported to consumer credit reporting agencies; (8) the issue of medical debt affects millions of consumers; (9) according to the Commonwealth Fund,...