- Today, when you buy health insurance, you're making a bet that doesn't pay off. And it's not just a bet with money, it's a bet with your life. 62% of personal bankruptcies are linked to medical bills. ¾ of people who declare bankruptcy due to medical bills, actually had health insurance when they incurred those bills.
- Doctors have become as powerless as patients, and it's the lending agencies that are playing God. 86% of doctors begin their professional lives with medical school debt. This debt limits medical school to the upper classes and forces even socially-minded young doctors to choose lucrative specialties. The restrictive cost of nursing school further reduces the availability and quality of primary care.
- Our healthcare system doesn’t make us well; it prolongs our illnesses in the name of profit. Community hospitals deemed “unprofitable” are being closed left and right because they have fallen too deeply into debt.
When a reporter recently asked Strike Debt Organizer, Ann Larson, "How can you stay out of medical debt?" the answer was pretty sad:
- Cross your fingers and pray.
- Become independently wealthy.
- Don't get sick.
Why go into default, by default? Rather than giving your money to these swindlers, you might find it preferable to join with others, and "strike debt".
Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee initiative will make a big announcement in March. We have bought and abolished a large amount of medical debt. Though this will provide real relief to thousands of people who need it, it is only crumbs in light of the 70 million who still owe money on medical bills.
We want to use the attention this "buy" will generate, to highlight the profound inhumanity and inequality of our medical payment system and to create a vision of a world where healthcare is truly treated as a right. We demand the cancellation of all medical debts. We demand a radically transformed healthcare system based on everybody’s need for wellness and not the 1%’s desire for wealth.
Strike Debt is calling for a week of education and organizing culminating in a day of action in New York City on March 23. Declare a Healthcare Emergency: It’s a Matter of “Life or Debt”.
If in New York, Save These Dates
Thursday, March 21, 4pm
- Where: Bryant Park
- What: A day of action against private healthcare insurance
Saturday, March 23, 9:30 am, Throughout the Day
- Where: Judson Church/Washington Square Park
- What: Health fair, music, and tour of closed hospitals
If Elsewhere, Join Us in Bringing This Action Everywhere!
Already, actions are planned in California, Maryland, Colorado, Vermont and Minnesota. Wherever you are,
- Protest a closed community hospital
- Support a struggling community hospital
- Protest a private insurance company
- Protest a pharmaceutical company
- Do a creative direct action!
- Organize a healthcare or debt speak out
- Organize a free health screening or health fair
- Organize free legal advice and debt/financial guidance
- Provide free education about debt and/or healthcare
Some helpful slogans and messages:
- Healthcare: a Matter of Life or Debt
- Debt on Arrival
- End Medical Debt
- Strike Medical Debt
- Healthcare is a Human Right
- Medical Knowledge Put Me into Debt
- Single-Payer Now
- Medicare for All
- Isn’t Being Sick Bad Enough?
- Cause of Debt: [Heart Attack, Diabetes, Private Hospital]