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Medical bills crippling families

Apr 11, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

The financial burden placed on American families due to outstanding medical bills is on the rise, affecting consumer credit reports. This is a major issue, as a publication noted that one in three Americans belong to a family that received bills due to medical care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey conducted between January and June 2011 proving that a large number of American families are swimming in medical bills, causing great amounts of debt. The report showed that one in five people were in a family having trouble paying medical bills and one in ten citizens are members of a family that cannot pay an outstanding bill at all. The survey was given to people with public insurance, private insurance and without insurance at all. The survey went on to break down the medical burden by age, showing that 24 percent of children under 17 were in families struggling with medical bills. The least affected age bracket belonged to adults over 75, just 7 percent of whom had trouble paying the bills. Peter Cunningham, a researcher for an independent health policy group, told The Associated Press that the issue of struggling with medical bills has been a vicious circle since the recession, saying that "as the number of uninsured increased, and there was higher unemployment, you'd expect that more people would report having problems paying medical bills."