Unpaid medical debt will no longer appear in New York residents' credit reports, and that is not sitting well with longtime New Yorker Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center.
"I am horrified by this idea," he responds. "The economy is like a balloon, and if you squeeze it somewhere, it's going to put pressure elsewhere. Before we pass a rule like this, we need to understand where that pressure [will] be. Who will it hurt? Well, in this case, it's going to hurt hospitals, medical providers, and the very patients that we're trying to help by limiting their availability of who they can go to."
The new law prohibits credit agencies from collecting information about medical debt or reporting on it, and it places that same ban on hospitals and other healthcare businesses in the state; none of them can report debt to the agencies.
According to Newsmax, this is meant to help low-income earners, who will basically be receiving free medical care.
While that may sound good, Stier says the problem is "the legislation doesn't solve the very real problem of medical expenses. It just shifts the burdens in the direction that will reduce incentives for personal responsibility."
He advises everyone, including those living on a low income, to think very carefully about how they spend their discretionary money and to recognize that there may be unexpected medical expenses at some point in their lives. Debt, he says, including from unforeseen medical expenses, is part of a consumer's responsibilities.
Now, with this law in place, lenders will be assuming everyone in New York has not paid their debt.
"That hurts everybody," Stier warns, "and that's why I'm so concerned that if the Biden administration succeeds in moving forward on nationalizing this bad idea, it'll wreak havoc for everyone."
With Governor Kathy Hochul's (D) signature on the bill, New York follows Colorado in passing this type of law.
Stier says it is another step toward socialism.