The Stories We Hear.
The Need We Uncover.
One of the most difficult things we do daily at RIP is open the email. We want to share a few examples that make clear the need for abolishing medical debt.
“I am sending this email on behalf of my sister who lives below the poverty level and owes at least $200,000 to a multitude of medical sources. She has been totally disabled, due to a spinal stroke, since around 2008….”
“My son [with MS] was released [from the hospital] to the tune of $30,000+ in medical bills.… He now has no credit, can have no property in his name, has been hounded and pursued by creditors for over three years, and still makes only $12.00 per hour. This has been a nightmare for all of us, but for a grown man with pride, impossible.”
“In 1988, I was involved in a hit and run accident on my motorcycle. I broke most of my bones on the left side of my body, but the most severe damage was on my left elbow and upper arm. I also had major head injuries and lost my radial nerve on that same arm… I tried many times to work out this matter ($159,714 after insurance) with the physician and their collection agency, but can’t seem to get anywhere. I am receiving endless calls which have me so stressed that I have problems sleeping… I will appreciate if RIP Medical Debt can negotiate a reasonable amount that I will be able to pay, so I can get my life back together.”
“The illness is progressive and needs maintenance care to prevent life threatening events, such as heart attacks and strokes. At this time, the surgeon’s bill is in collections, so I cannot go for follow-up tests. There are also bills from two emergency rooms, a seven-day hospital stay, various doctors, and radiology. My income is in the $20,000 to $24,000 range, depending on my health. I wish to remain healthy and be able to meet my obligations. These debts are making it impossible. I am considering bankruptcy for these reasons.”
“I’m separated from my abusive husband and having a hard enough time making ends meet from month to month without additional lingering bills weighing on me. Normally, I’m the one giving to others and volunteering my time, but now I must swallow my pride to ask for help myself. On top of it, I must repair my car, so I can continue to have a way to get to/from my jobs and the volunteering that I do. This medical debt is having a significant effect on my credit, which is preventing me from being able to finance a new(er) car, so that I do not have the expense of constantly repairing my current vehicle.”
“Since my mom’s two strokes, we have been piled up with bill after bill. My dad… is the only one paying bills, and we lost our house because we weren’t able to pay mortgage. We now live in an apartment, which is also difficult for him to pay rent. I’m not writing for myself, but I am asking to see if you could possibly help us out, especially [help] my dad to pay at least something from my mom’s medical bills.”
“I saw a news report [about RIP] on my local news and was moved to tears at the generosity and kindness you two gentleman have shown. I am in need of help. Please! The day [my husband] Bob died, I lost his pension. What life insurance he had covered his funeral expense, his headstone and some outstanding financial obligations. I am struggling daily and working two jobs, sometimes 14 hours per day, just to make my mortgage payment, utilities and payments on a 12 year-old vehicle.”
Stepping up. Helping out.
If you are one of the 42.9 million Americans with unpaid medical debt, to one degree or another, you are no stranger to these stories, and you might wish to get help. If you are among the fortunate few who have not (yet) been hit by illness or injury and inundated by the medical bills that follow, you may be touched enough by these stories to step up to help make a difference in someone’s life by donating to RIP Medical Debt.
Don’t you believe that others would do the same for you, if they could?