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Two men wipe out $8.5 billion in medical debt

Words by Tess Becker

One of the most daunting things in the United States to deal with is medical debt. It's the leading cause of bankruptcy, after all.

This was something that bailiffs, or debt collectors, Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton wanted to change. They wanted to make a difference and help people escape the crushing weight of medical debt.

Using their insider knowledge of debt systems, they started RIP Medical Debt, a national nonprofit whose purpose is to strengthen communities by abolishing debt. Over 10 years, they’ve helped alleviate $8.5 billion in debt for around 5.5 million families. 

So, how does it work?

They work as debt buyers, people who will take on a certain amount of debt for sometimes pennies on the dollar. What RIP Medical Debt does is utilize those loopholes to buy the medical debt for much cheaper than the face value and then wipe it from existence. 

Their claim is that every $100 donation will clear around $10,000 in medical debt. 

The host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver, brought light to this method for clearing medical debt with a segment a few years ago where his show helped clear $15 million in debt.

“Here in the US, we have a profit making system that we call healthcare,” Ashton says. “Everybody along the way gets a piece of a patient’s action. Let’s stop medical debt at the beginning. Let’s abolish the hell out of it.”

Support their cause and donate to RIP Medical Debt to help them clear more debt across the states.

This article aligns with the UN SDG No Poverty.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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