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When high school student Samir Boussarhane watched Last Week Tonight as John Oliver triumphantly donate a $15 million medical debt portfolio to RIP Medical Debt, so the debt could be forgiven, Samir knew he had to do something locally to make that kind of impact.

Written By At first I was taken aback. The tweet coming from @KarolGajda announced to his following: “In honor of the @GOP and @SpeakerRyan’s wish to put Americans in medical debt, I gave $100 to @RIPMedicalDebt today. Introducing Spitefulness Altruism (and How We Are Giving Away $3,000).” What? First, I assure you that RIP Medical Debt — the 501(c)(3) charity I co-founded — was grateful for the donation. Every penny counts in our efforts. We buy and forgive medical debt for pennies on the dollar (on average at 1 to 100). Now we had 1,000 more pennies to use for abolishing about $10,000 […]

Written By Billions of unpaid and unpayable medical debt are owed by American citizens.  What if we could take it all and deposit it in a very deep grave, putting to rest forever the debt and its killing credit reports? That grave is being prepared, thanks to an alliance between industry leader Global Debt Registry (GDR) and the charity, RIP Medical Debt. “We at RIP have been at the forefront of searching for solutions to eliminate what the collections industry calls ‘Zombie Debt” – debt which goes from collection agency to collection agency for years until the unfortunate debtor […]

Written By Just in time for Veteran’s Day. I was having dinner in NYC earlier this month with my friend, Larry Rivkin, when I brought up the work that RIP Medical Debt, is doing to address a crisis that few people even know exists — that millions of dollars in unpaid and unpayable personal medical debt are being run up by both current and former military members. That’s correct, and Larry as a WWII veteran, couldn’t believe it either. Like most Americans, he is under the impression that our country takes care of its veterans when they return […]

Written By I am chronicling the role of companies, organizations and individuals out of the public eye who are devoting their energy to tackling and remedying the damage done by the existence and pursuit of unpaid and unpayable personal medical debt. I approach this project both as a journalists/blogger well known as a patient advocate and as co-founder of a nonprofit, RIP Medical Debt, that has a singular mission – to locate, buy and then forgive personal medical debt. A billion dollars’ worth of this debt, to be exact. RIP notably came to the public’s attention […]

Written By Houston Health AdvocacyBonnie Sheeren, Independent Patient Advocate Please visit the book’s website. You can order a copy from Amazon or buy directly from the publisher, Hoku House. HOUSTON — As an independent patient advocate, I field phone calls and emails from upset, frustrated people who don’t understand their high medical bills that include incomprehensible explanations for the care they received. I deal mainly with people here in the Houston area and I network with my patient advocate colleagues around the country—and all of us have been grappling with a dysfunctional system that doesn’t seem to work […]

Written By The Last Week Tonight with John Oliver show on debt-buying brought laughs and needed attention to a major U.S. social issue: The seemingly never-ending cycle of medical debt collections and its effects on our people. Oliver and his staff located and purchased the debt and then donated it to us, so we could forgive it. Our charity, RIP MedicalDebt, was brought into existence specifically to do just that, forgive medical debt, and provide relief to the poor or ill that are in hardship. Our donors stand with us to send the message to […]

The 20-minute “Debt Buying” segment originated June 5, 2016, on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. NEW YORK — A June 5 segment of the HBO hit comedy series, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, featured the RIP Medical Debt charity forgiving nearly $15 million worth of donated medical debt for around 9,000 people — a new giveaway record for American television. John Oliver brought attention to debt industry abuses and the specific issue of unpaid medical debt. John Oliver reported that American households collectively owe more than $12 trillion in debt, with $436 billion at least 90 days overdue. He presented LWT’s investigation of the debt buying industry, airing video from […]

The Miracle of Medical Debt Forgiveness on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Written By HBO 20-minute “Debt Buyers” segment on Last Week Tonight, originating June 5, 2016. Medical debt pursuit, or more precisely, the endless harassment of patients unable to pay their bills (as opposed to unwilling), has gained increasing prominence as a major social issue. Among the more egregious practices in the collections industry is the sale of old medical debt – for pennies on the dollar – to bill collectors who will then aggressively pursue this debt at full face value for an additional two to 10 more destructive years. This happens regardless of the personal circumstances of people […]

Written By Memorial Day Needs to be Every Day Where Veteran Medical Debt is Concerned. This blog post appears on that usual, anticipated and important point on the calendar where Americans are expected to pause, reflect on our liberties and show gratitude to the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedoms. I would like to say that Memorial Day should take place every day, but it does not. Memorial Day was officially set aside by Congress in 1968 as the last Monday in May. There is even a specific hour, 3 […]

Written By When Robert E. Goff and I decided to co-author a book employing our collective knowledge of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the medical and debt collections industries to expose their inequities and shortfalls, we had no idea of the amount of work — I mean teamwork — that would be required. At the start we only shared the quality other would-be authors have in abundance: Passion. Robert and could only guess at the public reception to a book dealing with the pain inflicted on fellow Americans by the medical, pharma, insurance, and collections industries. Would the […]

Written By Youri PinardCredit Professionals Recruiter How the collection industry finishes off the poor American citizen who survived his hospital stay but is crumbling under debt. How can you liberate this same citizen of thousands of dollars of debt with a $100 donation to the RIP Medical Debt charity. July 7, 2015. During an interview with Jerry Ashton in a small cafe in Union Square, Manhattan, I ask him about his underlying motives. Why he, a veteran of the collection industry, has jumped over the fence? “How about doing Good?”, he says with a grin.The […]

Written By Our Veterans, who’ve served our nation and are serving it now, should be freed from the burden of their unpaid – and unpayable – medical debt. Here on Veteran’s Day, we urgently need a national campaign to abolish veterans’ medical debt. May people are surprised to learn that veteran medical debt even exists. We have been led to believe, or perhaps improperly assumed, that all of the medical costs for our armed forces and their families, both during and after enlistment, are paid by the government in return for veterans’ unselfish service to our country. Not exactly. Quite frankly, […]

NEW YORK — RIP Co-Founder Jerry Ashton and Board member Robert Goff have co-authored a medical debt survival guide, a timely critique that only “insiders with an edge” could have put together. Is the book needed? Almost 43 million Americans have unpaid debt today. Medical debt is cited in more than 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies. One in 10 of the 12.5 million non-elderly veterans report having neither health insurance nor Veterans Affairs’ health care. The Patient, The Doctor and the Bill Collector. A Medical Debt Survival Guide (PDBC) cuts cleanly through the Gordian Knot of industry rules and shortcomings, laying […]