NJ for Health Care Coalition Applauds Governor Murphy for Introducing Strong Medical Debt Bills Package

Feb. 23, 2024: TRENTON, N.J. — The NJ for Health Care coalition, along with state and national partners that have been working together on the issue of medical debt, commend Governor Phil Murphy for introducing bills, S2806/A3861: Medical Debt Credit Reporting Ban and S2795/A3860: Medical Billing Transparency and Plain Language. The proposed legislation package will include groundbreaking measures to protect consumers and promote transparency in medical billing, which is much needed for all New Jerseyans.

Convener of NJ for Health Care Coalition, Laura Waddell, emphasized the significance of this package and addressed the multifaceted challenges posed by medical debt. "This package brings much needed transparency and strong protections to reduce the financial harm caused by medical debt. We look forward to working with the Governor and bill sponsors to bring these meaningful reforms to New Jersey patients and their families,” Waddell stated.  

"It will take a comprehensive approach to address the issue of medical debt in New Jersey. We should continue to look at the issue in terms of prevention through affordability, alleviation of current debt burdens, and systemic changes, like these, that bring strong consumer protections to ensure patients are not financially ruined by this type of debt," she added. 

Executive Director at NJ Appleseed, Renee Steinhagen said, “NJ Appleseed, which has been working to make quality health care services available for all New Jersey residents, applauds Governor Murphy’s efforts to help medical consumers who are the direct victims of excessive costs of treatment, whether due to high deductibles, co-pays or cost sharing, or lack of financial assistance or insurance. We look forward to working with his office to shape the most effective legislation to alleviate some of their burden resulting from such medical debt.” 

“Patients are hungry for change when it comes to medical debt – literally and figuratively,” said President and CEO of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, E. Anders Kolb, M.D. “From skipping doctors’ appointments to being forced to change the type of food they buy, millions are making daily sacrifices as they go deeper into medical debt. People from all political backgrounds are calling for a better system.”   

"Medical debt is a public health issue.  The inability to pay for medical treatment often leads to delayed care, sicker patients and increased costs. Costly medical treatment, rising out-of-pocket expenses and premiums, and aggressive billing practices have pushed far too many into a cycle of debt. These bills will go far to protect patients from debt collection practices that can cause irreparable harm," said President of Health Professionals & Allied Employees, Debbie White, RN. 


NJ for Health Care is a coalition dedicated to common sense, consumer friendly solutions to ensure every New Jerseyan can get the health care they need, when they need it, and at a price they can afford.