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What We're Reading: Valeant Rebrands; Medical Debt and Credit Ratings; Protecting MinnesotaCare

AJMC Staff
In an attempt to distance itself from the controversy it faced over steep drug price increases, Valeant Pharmaceuticals will change its name to Bausch Health Companies; medical bills are dragging down some people's credit scores; Minnesota governor warns Republican state lawmakers against trying to block expansion of MinnesotaCare.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Will Be Renamed

In an attempt to distance itself from the controversy it faced over steep drug price increases, Valeant Pharmaceuticals will change its name to Bausch Health Companies. According to The New York Times, the new name highlights the company’s more respected subsidiary: eye care company Bausch + Lomb. The company’s CEO, who took over in 2016, has been trying to turn around the company, which has faced congressional and regulatory inquiries and has $30 billion of debt to deal with.

 

Medical Debt Drags Down Credit Scores

Medical bills are not only causing personal bankruptcy in the United States, but they are also impacting people’s credit scores. Kaiser Health News highlighted the result of medical debt impacting credit score, such as difficulty financing mortgages, taking out student loans, or even purchasing cars. Unpaid medical bills go to collection agencies, and that collection can affect a person’s credit score for as long as 7 years. The average unpaid medical collection is about $580 and almost 20% of credit reports in a 2014 analysis had at least 1 medical collection account.

 

Minnesota’s Governor Warns Against Blocking MinnesotaCare

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton warned state lawmakers against passing a spending bill that would limit the expansion of MinnesotaCare, a state-run health insurance program for low-income individuals. The Star Tribune reported that Republicans claims expanding the program would cost the state and healthcare providers too much, but that Dayton said he will veto any bill on his desk that blocks the program. Dayton has proposed allowing higher-income people who aren’t receiving subsidies to buy into MinnesotaCare.

 
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