Lamont: Wipe Out Medical Debt For CT Residents

News release from Governor Lamont:

Governor Ned Lamont today held a news conference in Hartford to announce a proposal he will introduce during the 2023 legislative session that will cancel overdue medical debts for thousands of Connecticut residents who are struggling to pay their bills.

Based on a model that other governments throughout the United States have used recently, the governor’s proposal calls for the state to invest $20 million in federal COVID-19 recovery funding it received from the American Rescue Plan Act and use those dollars to contract with a nonprofit organization that buys medical debt and eliminates it at a fraction of the original cost. The nonprofit will contact local hospitals and hospital systems directly, purchase entire portfolios of debt owed by eligible households, and negotiate with the hospitals to cancel that debt. There is no application process for eligible households to have their debt canceled. In other jurisdictions that have pursued this strategy, the amount of medical debt canceled for households has ranged from $25 to six-figure amounts. Two-thirds of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical debt.

One nonprofit working under this model states that they have been able to generate more than a one-to-100 return on investment of government dollars. This is because hospitals often sell medical debt for pennies on the dollar.

The Lamont administration estimates that this $20 million investment has the potential to eliminate about $2 billion in medical debt for Connecticut residents–an astounding amount of financial relief for a relatively small investment. The investment will be included as a component of Governor Lamont’s fiscal years 2024 and 2025 biennial state budget proposal, which he will present to the General Assembly next week.

“Several state and local governments have seen significant success at canceling medical debt for their residents using this model, and I think this is absolutely the right way to use this COVID-recovery funding,” Governor Lamont said. “This initiative will not only help Connecticut residents who are saddled with debt financially, but it also lifts the significant emotional toll that this type of debt has on individuals who do not have the means to get out, especially for those who are simultaneously experiencing significant medical problems. This debt erasure will put millions of dollars back into the Connecticut economy and provide an economic stimulus to local communities.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 19% of American households carry medical debt, and the median amount owed is $2,000. Medical debt disproportionately impacts Black and Latino families–27.9% of Black families and 21.7% of Latino families have medical debt, compared to only 17.2% of White households. About 31% of households with a member in fair or poor health have medical debt, compared to 14.4% of those with no members in fair or poor health. More than one in four households with at least one member with a disability have medical debt, compared to 14.4% of households with no members of disabilities.

Individuals who have their medical debt canceled under Governor Lamont’s proposal will not experience any financial tax burden associated with this assistance because the IRS does not count medical debt canceled via nonprofits as taxable income.

To reduce the chances of medical debt building up again, Governor Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to take advantage of a number of no-to-low cost insurance options through qualified health plans under Access Health CT and will seek legislative support for a number of transparency and affordability initiatives. The ultimate solution to this problem is to drive down the unsustainably high costs of medical care, ensure universal access to primary and preventative care, and make sure health care coverage is affordable and easy to access. The governor has called on all parties–including insurers, employers, providers, and consumers–to step up and be part of the solution.

Governor Lamont is scheduled to deliver his annual budget address to the General Assembly on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. Documents containing the full details of his state budget proposal will be released at that time.



  1. Seems like a drop in the bucket. 20 million is nothing in terms of government spending or what is spent on health care in general, even if it eliminates 2 billion. A non-profit debt collector. OK 🙂

    “The ultimate solution to this problem is to drive down the unsustainably high costs of medical care, ensure universal access to primary and preventative care, and make sure healthcare coverage is affordable and easy to access.”

    Universal access to primary and preventative care? What does that really even mean people?

    I have access to buy a home with 8 bathroom home but how affordable is going to be when easily access my bank account? How many bathrooms is G2’s 1.3 million dollar home have? 😂

  2. When I access my functional neurons and look back at the G2’s governor run, just after his comeback win off the heel of a federal political corruption bid. I have to ask who’s feeding him, and on what level. I mean ambition-wise, sure, but even G2 isn’t that politically retarded to say Ok, Danny R, Mario T, set the fundraisers, and we are off to a 19-room residence that sits on 4 acres, 15,000 square feet mansion with nine fireplaces, nine bathrooms, a pool, and a pergola.
    Billboards, Port, Billboards. 😂

  3. That being said, cost and access are very different issues. Connecticut is a D state, for the most part, though with a heavy presence of a healthcare insurance industry. You would think in every state, and the federal government, particularly on state and local levels would establish a universal health care plan and pension for every state, and local municipality (government) employee, considering its already taxpayer money. The cities, want to increase the benefits to their employees with their tax base and elected officials, outside the baseline given, It should be done in the private market and 401 K, not on the backs of taxpayers’ other tax bases.

    A universal health and pension state base standard should be applied to every state (government) employee

    Every employer should have to provide insurance for every employee, with or without a government taxpayer subsidy (rich tax base) for that baseline That baseline insurance should extend 6 months to anyone who loses their job while “trying” 🙂 while finding another. Similar ti unemployment insurance.

    Then/where another option may be applicable. I can attest. It’s not always as SIMPLE as it sounds, level-wise, I guess.

    Either way, it seems counterintuitive to call for universal healthcare coverage based on taxation, (the rich) Yet pay private healthcare companies to insure government employees for a profit with (taxpayers)’ money, making them rich. 🙂

    If companies want to provide more than the required baseline to their employees, through whatever means, private, or able to ACCESS through the one they (government) sets up for governmental employees for that baseline, with or without subsidies, whatever.

    It is not about socialism making sure everybody has health insurance. Access doesn’t count. SMH

    But make no mistake about it, every government employee ACCESS universal/socialist health care” 🙂 pay by the taxpayers.

    This is where that Dirty word comes into play, Capitalist. 🙂

    Just my opinion. Peace out.


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