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Coronavirus tally: Medical debt fell 18% between 2020 and 2022 due to COVID relief funds, expanded Obamacare

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The number of Americans with medical debt on their credit reports fell by 8.2 million, or about 18%, between 2020 and 2022, according to a report Tuesday from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Associated Press reported. White House officials said separately the drop likely stems from coronavirus relief funds and the expansion of an Obama-era law that added 4.2 million people with some form of health insurance. Communities such as Chicago, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Toledo, Ohio, are using $16 million in funds from the 2021 coronavirus relief to buy medical debt and forgive it. So far, the spending plans are eliminating $1.5 billion in medical debt, a ratio of about 100-to-1 for the expenditures by the local governments.
The news comes as the seven-day average of new U.S. COVID cases continues to fall and stood at 39,199 on Tuesday, according to a New York Times tracker. That’s down 13% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations was down 11% at 28,522. The average for deaths was 428, down 13% from two weeks ago. The global tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 673.2 million on Wednesday, while the death toll rose above 6.85 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with 102.9 million cases and 1,115,018 fatalities


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