SPOTLIGHT: House to consider patient debt legislation

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to debate a bill this week that would prevent credit rating agencies from considering past medical debts as part of a consumer's overall credit score, the HealthWatch blog reports.

"People shouldn't have their credit worthiness suffer because they got sick or injured," said Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio, last year when she originally introduced the Medical Debt Relief Act of 2009. "It is outrageous that bills for as little as a one-dollar dispute with insurance companies are driving up the mortgages of my constituents," she said.

More than 40 percent of Americans owed medical debt in 2007, according to the Commonwealth Fund. A similar bill in the Senate remains stalled in committee hearings. Article