RIP Medical Debt (RIPmedicaldebt.org) first gained public attention in 2016 when John Oliver on HBO made television history by announcing forgiveness of $15 million in medical debt by RIP. This news event blossomed into a tremendous outpouring of support for the charity. In the May 2018 issue of Town and Country magazine, RIP Medical Debt was listed as #38 among the top philanthropists in America. RIP Medical Debt most recently announced a single campaign abolishing a quarter-billion dollars ($250 million) of medical debt in all 50 states, including $50 million for abolishing veterans’ medical debt. Overall, by the end of 2018, RIP will have forgiven more than a half-billion dollars of unpayable medical debt since the charity was founded four years ago.
END MEDICAL DEBT by the founders of the charity, RIP Medial Debt, is the first book exposing the widely overlooked reality that Americans struggle with $1 trillion in unpayable medical debt. We hear a lot of talk about healthcare gaps and medical costs, but the media have largely been ignoring how medical debt imposes a devastating burden on people’s lives!
End Medical Debt’ confronts an important, sad truth: no one asks to be sick. It’s hard enough being poor; it’s hard enough being sick. But being poor and sick becomes a death sentence for some, and a life sentence to indentured servitude for others.
The authors — Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff, and Craig Antico — are debt industry insiders who lay bare the inner workings of our healthcare system, how it produces medical bills that people cannot ever pay, including insured middle-class people who think they are covered. Voicing decades of experience in debt collections, debt buying and healthcare management, the authors offer pragmatic yet differing views on such solutions as cost controls, insurance reform and “Medicare-for all.” All three agree on the interim solution of buying and forgiving medical debt.
On Veterans Day, RIP announced the forgiveness of $50 million in unpaid and unpayable medical debt as a part of a major donation by a single donor couple. We compute that this amount of medical debt for veterans will impact close to 29,000 individuals and families.
It may be hard to believe, but veteran medical debt really exists. It is almost a common understanding that medical costs for our armed forces and their families, both during and after enlistment, are paid by the government in return for their service to our country.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. One visit to the emergency room or treatment for a serious illness outside (and even inside) the VA can devastate a vet’s savings and credit ratings.