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Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the Affordable Care Act

It is difficult to turn on the television or open a newspaper without being bombarded with opinions surrounding the repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act. A great deal of effort is being put toward finding a health care approach that will provide the greatest good to the greatest number of Americans. For many in Tennessee, medical debt is a serious financial problem, one that is exacerbated by a lack of quality health insurance coverage. Recent research suggests that the Affordable Care Act not only provides health care to millions of Americans, but also has helped many people avoid Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

According to statistics, personal bankruptcy filings fell by nearly half in the years between 2010 and 2016. Of course, that decline has a number of different causal factors, including overall economic improvement and changes to bankruptcy law that made it more expensive and challenging to file. However, economic experts agree that the expanded access to health coverage provided by the ACA is also behind declining bankruptcy numbers.

Medical debt is a serious problem that affects millions of American families. When an individual becomes injured or ill and does not have adequate medical coverage, financial turmoil is almost guaranteed. For many, the only path back toward financial stability is through personal bankruptcy. While experts may disagree on statistics, virtually all agree that medical debt is a significant factor in consumer bankruptcy.

For those in Tennessee who are concerned about medical debt, it may be time to consult with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. Current legislative efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare may result in a better health care system in the years to come. That outcome, however, is far from guaranteed. For families across the nation, addressing medical debt remains a serious source of concern.

Source: latimes.com, "Another little-mentioned benefit of Obamacare: It has reduced medical bankruptcies", Michael Hiltzik, May 9, 2017

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