A television station in Tampa, Fla., has raised money to wipe out $1.6 million in medical debts for individuals in its viewing area, thanks to a partnership with RIP Medical Debt.
The station donated $12,500 to RIP Medical Debt, which used the money to purchase a portfolio of unpaid debts that it will forgive.
RIP Medical Debt has teamed up with a number of different television stations across the country to purchase and forgive unpaid medical debts. Stations in Utah, Seattle, Memphis, Indianapolis, and St. Louis have made similar donations.
RIP Medical Debt first made the news back in June 2016 when it helped HBO’s John Oliver purchase and forgive $15 million of unpaid medical debt. The organization has also worked with nurses in Minnesota and a start-up healthcare company in California to purchase and forgive unpaid medical debts. RIP Medical Debt is seeking to abolish $1 billion of unpaid healthcare bills in 2018, according to the organization’s co-founders, Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico.
Talking about medical debt, Dr. Jay Wolfson, a public health professor at the University of South Florida, said: “It’s a terrible mess. It’s probably the single force following the illness and treatment that causes families to lose their homes.”