- Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the first 2020 Democrat to directly attack former Vice President Joe Biden following his Thursday announcement that he’s joining the presidential primary.
- “Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies,” Warren said on Thursday of a fight she had with Biden in the mid-2000s over bankruptcy legislation.
Asked by a reporter on Thursday about a 2005 fight the two had over bankruptcy legislation, Warren was clear that she believed Biden took the side opposing American families.
“I got in that fight because [families] just didn’t have anyone and Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies,” Warren said after a rally in Iowa. “It’s all a matter of public record.”
Warren, then a Harvard law professor, publicly sparred with then-Sen. Biden over legislation he supported that made it harder for Americans to file for bankruptcy. Warren, a bankruptcy law expert, contended that the bill would eliminate crucial protections for struggling families, while boosting banks and the credit industry.
Date Written: 2006
In early February 2005, a barrage of media publicity accompanied Health Affairs’ publication of “Illness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy” — just a few weeks before the U.S. Senate was scheduled to take up bankruptcy reform legislation. Headlines like “Medical Bills Blamed in Half of Bankruptcies: and “Medical Bills Cause About Half of Bankruptcies, Study Finds” ran in major newspapers all over the country. For a while, the publicity made bankruptcy policy seem almost glamorous.
The problem with these headlines is that they were false. The study made no finding that medical bills were involved in half of all bankruptcies. Nor did it find that illness or injury, at least as those terms are ordinarily used, were major (or even minor) contributors to half of all bankruptcies. Stripped of its rhetorical excess, the study’s actual findings were far more modest — to the point that the media might not have been interested at all if they had understood it better. This article critiques the study and the publicity surrounding it.