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SDBA Raises Enough to Eliminate $1,000,000+ in Medical Debt for East Bay Residents
by JP Massar (strike.debt.bay.area [at] gmail.com)
Friday May 31st, 2019 11:02 AM
By buying up medical debt at a penny or less on the dollar, SDBA and RIP are in the process of turning millions of dollars of impossibly burdensome East Bay medical debt into… nothing!
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Strike Debt Bay Area (SDBA), an organization devoted to fighting against unjust debt, in conjunction with national non-profit RIP Medical Debt (ripmedicaldebt.org), has reached a milestone in its campaign to lift millions of dollars of medical debt from the backs of East Bay residents - with over $10,000 raised between the SDBA campaign and local partner Harvey Bilik, the activists can now eradicate some $1,000,000 in medical debt.

Every $10 donated means another $1000 in medical debt up in smoke. Donate here.

By buying up medical debt at a penny or less on the dollar, SDBA and RIP are in the process of turning millions of dollars of impossibly burdensome East Bay medical debt into… nothing. TV host John Oliver explained how this works on Last Week Tonight in 2017 (tinyurl.com/yy833k95).

Greg Jan, one of SDBA’s organizers, and a member of the Alameda County Green Party, an organization that has endorsed this effort, said:

"Donating to abolish a neighbor's medical debt is particularly satisfying - knowing the relief from stress that a small amount, leveraged 100-fold, will bring to someone, while at the same time rubbing our hands because some debt collector somewhere has been denied their pound of flesh."

Debtors will get a letter informing them that their obligation to pay has been terminated; they will no longer be receiving nasty letters and harassing phone calls from debt collectors; and they can concentrate on getting, or staying, healthy without the stress of unpayable debt.

Kate Harrison, City of Berkeley Councilmember, who has sponsored a resolution coming before the Berkeley City Council on June 11th endorsing this effort and allowing individual councilmembers to donate to the campaign from their discretionary funds, noted:

“Companies are raising insulin prices to the point where people are selling off their possessions, going into massive debt… or dying for lack of funds. This campaign is an excellent way to call attention to the absurdity of our medical services payment system, while helping out those seriously in need. Just a $10 donation will unburden someone - who has to choose between paying medical debts and paying for life’s necessities - of $1000 of debt.”

In similar campaigns, Michigan nurses erased $1 million in medical debt locally, high school students in Pensacola, Florida eradicated some $2.5 million, and the NY Times reported how two women abolished $1.5M for hundreds of strangers.

When SDBA’s raises an additional $5,000, RIP Medical Debt will be ready to start buying up East Bay debt and informing those whose debt is gone.

Donations can be made at the campaign websites (here and here) and a FAQ – with more information on the history of such campaigns and how this is all possible – is also available.

We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

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