Pritzker touts proposal to purchase $1 billion in medical debt – NBC Chicago

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is touting a proposal in his fiscal year 2025 budget to buy back $1 billion in medical debt from hospitals and collection agencies, which would benefit hundreds of thousands of state residents.

The proposal would dedicate approximately $10 million in funding to pay down medical debt for up to 300,000 Illinoisans and was included in the governor’s proposed budget earlier this year.

“When I became governor, I promised to put Springfield back on the side of working families,” the governor said on social media. “With my budget, Illinois will pay off up to $1 billion in medical debt for more than 300,000 Illinoisans. That’s what you should do.”

Various government entities have implemented similar programs in recent years, buying debts for pennies on the dollar from collection agencies and other groups. In Washington, D.C., officials bought $90 million in medical debt last year for $900,000.

Other nonprofits have purchased billions of dollars in debt, including a group called RIP Medical Debt, which erased more than $6.7 billion in debt.

The vote on the governor’s budget will take place later this spring.

NBC Chicago

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