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Professor Gotberg Approved for American Bankruptcy Institute Grant

November 7th, 2016

Brook Gotberg

Professor Brook Gotberg and co-author Professor Michael Sousa of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law were recently approved for a grant from the American Bankruptcy Institute through the Anthony H.N. Schnelling Endowment Fund. The grant will allow the professors to study the effects of the Affordable Care Act on rates of consumer bankruptcy.

“While a few empirical studies have examined medical debt as a causal factor in the consumer bankruptcy system, most have focused on the same statistic, namely, the percentage of consumer bankruptcies attributable to medical debt,” according to Professors Gotberg and Sousa. “While this figure is significant, there is an arguably more important research question: whether expanded health insurance coverage has any effect on the rate of consumer bankruptcy filings.”

The researchers will employ a mixed-method approach, collecting empirical data over two to three years, with the results to be published in the ABI Law Review. They decided to conduct research in Missouri and Colorado, not only because both researchers reside there but also because these two states will provide good test cases and control groups since Colorado expanded its Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act, while Missouri declined to expand coverage.

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