Next month, Arizonans will consider Proposition 209, a ballot initiative intended to alleviate a supposed “crisis” in medical debt.
A look at the facts reveals there is no such crisis. If this ballot initiative passes, ordinary Arizonans could face higher interest rates on all kinds of debt, have fewer lenders to choose from and pay higher prices for goods and services.
The initiative has two parts. The first caps the interest rate for medical expenses at 3%. The second imposes sweeping new limits on how lenders can recover all types of unpaid debt.
The rhetoric put forth by Proposition 209 supporters focuses almost exclusively on the first part – medical debt, which they say is forcing people into bankruptcy. More than 100 million Americans carry some form of medical debt, according to a recent investigation from Kaiser Health News and National Public Radio.