Noam Levey
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Noam Levey

Noam Levey

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Lucille Brooks, a retiree who lives in Pittsford, New York, was sued in 2020 for nearly $8,000 by a nursing home that had taken care of her brother. The nursing home dropped the case after she showed she had no control over his money or authority to make decisions for him. Heather Ainsworth for KHN hide caption

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Heather Ainsworth for KHN

Nursing homes are suing friends and family to collect on patients' bills

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Jeni Rae Peters and daughter embrace at their home in Rapid City, S.D. In 2020, Peters was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. After treatment, Peters estimates that her medical bills exceeded $30,000. Dawnee LeBeau for NPR hide caption

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Dawnee LeBeau for NPR

She was already battling cancer. Then she had to fight the bill collectors

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Tens of millions of Americans are making painful sacrifices due to health care debt

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Juweek Adolphe/KHN and NPR

Sick and struggling to pay, 100 million people in the U.S. live with medical debt

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Dr. Mai Pham is an internist and former senior Medicare and Medicaid official with degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities, but she still struggled to find care for her son with autism, Alex Roodman. Alyssa Schukar for KHN hide caption

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Alyssa Schukar for KHN

Kids with autism struggle to adapt to adulthood. One doctor is trying to change that

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Dhaval Bhatt plays Monopoly with his children, Hridaya (left) and Martand, at their home in St. Peters, Missouri. Martand's mother took him to a children's hospital in April after he burned his hand, and the bill for the emergency room visit was more than $1,000 — even though the child was never seen by a doctor. Whitney Curtis for Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Whitney Curtis for Kaiser Health News

The doctor didn't show up, but the hospital ER still billed $1,012

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Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, leads some of the Biden administration's efforts to expand Medicaid access. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag hide caption

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Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag