A bill that would require medical debts to be removed no longer than 45 days after the account is paid off has been gaining supporters over the past two weeks in the U.S. House of Representatives. Most of the new co-sponsors sit on the committee to which the bill was assigned.

The Medical Debt Responsibility Act of 2013 (HR 1767) was introduced in April as a House companion measure to Senate Bill 160, carrying the same title. But the House version has now picked up more support, counting 15 co-sponsors. Five of those supporters have come on board since last Tuesday.

If passed, the bills would require credit bureaus to delete reports of any delinquent medical debt not exceeding $2,500 within 45 days after it is resolved.

The House bill is now before the Financial Services Committee. A majority of the bill’s Democratic supporters are on that committee.

Medical debt reporting has popped up as a major legislative concern lately. Late last month, a bill was introduced in the House that would give patients behind on medical bills up to 120 days to work with debt collectors before the debt shows up on the consumer’s credit report.

The two bills would work together, with HR 1767 addressing credit reporting concerns after the debt is settled and the more recent bill focusing on the beginning of the debt cycle.


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