Betty — Undue Medical Debt
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Betty Holland has lived in Georgia all her life. She incurred the debt that we abolished in 2017, when she was back and forth between working in a plant making gas tanks for cars and seeing her heart specialist for testing. She worked full time and was insured. 

During that time she was grateful to make a livable wage. Although she fared well at the plant, her health was unpredictable. She experienced alarming symptoms and underwent constant testing due to unexplained blood loss, a leakage in her heart, and a 20+ year old tumor in her stomach. That year Betty had to have an ambulance take her to the ER three times. She recalled one occasion during which she thought she was having a heart attack and could not remember who she was. Between the emergency hospital visits and constant testing, the bills piled up fast, and her insurance did not cover all of the costs. She said that although the bills overwhelmed her, she refused to stop seeking treatment.

A year later Betty had the tumor removed, and the following year in 2019 she injured her foot while working. Since then she has been unemployed and continues to live with the pain. Betty says that she has seen four doctors and three specialists regarding her foot, has had it placed in a cast multiple times, and yet has never received a diagnosis. 

Betty shared that she works full-time as a “bus mom”, or school bus attendant, monitoring the kids to ensure that the bus driver can get them to and from school safely. She says that she makes very little money but does not have to be on her feet. 

In Betty’s testimony, she described feelings of guilt and concern for not paying her debts to the hospital because, in her eyes, it meant refusing to give the hospital personnel the money that they were due.


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