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Economists have found that Medicaid expansion under the ACA reduced unpaid bills and debt-collection balances. (Photo: iStock)

A recent article in Consumer Reports said that the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has helped reduce personal bankruptcies, which have fallen by about half since 2009. The article also cites a bankruptcy lawyer who reported a dramatic decline in the number of clients who turn to the courts because they’re unable to pay their medical bills.

It’s important to take conclusions like this with a grain of salt. There were other factors that probably had a lot to do with the fall in personal bankruptcy. Chief among these was the recovery from the Great Recession. Economists who study personal bankruptcy tend to find that recessions are one of the biggest drivers.

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