Many low-income workers can't afford health insurance but aren't poor enough for Medicaid. And even with Obamacare, about 30 million Americans remain uninsured, in part because some states haven't expanded Medicaid to cover more of the poor.
Further, the uninsured often are charged full price for hospital care, since they're ineligible for the deep discounts negotiated by insurers.
Meanwhile, hospitals in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Alabama routinely sue their patients who can't pay.
And most states allow creditors to take a quarter of after-tax wages — an amount that government surveys show is unaffordable for lower-income families.
And that leaves many people in long-term debt, ProPublica and NPR report as part of an ongoing investigation of debt in America.