County in rural Kansas is jailing people over unpaid medical debt

[…]

Tres Biggs was working two jobs but they fell behind on their medical bills, then the unthinkable happened.

“You wouldn’t think you’d go to jail over medical bills,” Tres Biggs said.

Tres Biggs went to jail for failing to appear in court for unpaid medical bills. He described it as “scary.”

“I was scared to death,” Tres Biggs said. “I’m a country kid — I had to strip down, get hosed and put a jumpsuit on.”

Bail was $500. He said they had “maybe $50 to $100” at the time.

In rural Coffeyville, Kansas, where the poverty rate is twice the national average, attorneys like Michael Hassenplug have built successful law practices representing medical providers to collect debt owed by their neighbors.

“I’m just doing my job,” Hassenplug said. “They want the money collected, and I’m trying to do my job as best I can by following the law.”

Article URL : https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coffeyville-kansas-medical-debt-county-in-rural-kansas-is-jailing-people-over-unpaid-medical-debt/?ftag=CNM-00-10aac3a

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