A $0 browser extension that erases $1000 in medical debt
 

“It feels like they are erasing my family" 

The stories of Debt

 
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Denise Zencka

 is a mother of three who couldn’t afford to repay her bills for treatment for thyroid cancer. When a debt collector sought to collect payment and she missed hearings while recovering at her parents’ house, without her knowing, three warrants were issued for her arrest. She was arrested in front of her children while still recovering from cancer treatment. Read her full story.

 

 

Rex Iverson

 Rex Iverson racked up a $2,376.92 bill from an ambulance ride in 2013. He never paid the bill and ignored repeated court orders to do so. The delinquency led to a warrant being issued for his arrest. Iverson, 45, was arrested Jan. 23 and taken to a Box Elder County Jail cell in Brigham City, Utah. He died within hours alone in a cell there.

 

 

 

Anonymous

“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.”

Who is the average debtor? 

Statistically, women and people of color are more likely to be unable to pay their medical bills, even if they are insured. When controlling for income or debt amount, people of color are more likely to be relentlessly targeted by debt collectors. This leads to threats and harassment, wages being garnished while interest builds, lawsuits led, liens placed on homes, arrests, and thousands of incarcerations. With outcomes so dire, 1 in 4 people end up skipping needed medical procedures to avoid cost. While this happens, debt collectors gather $44.9 Billion from us a year.

 
 

We are beginning to lead instead

 

We can relieve each other's debt for cents on the dollar.RIPMedicalDebt is already doing this, and have been responsible for countless of stories like this one.

If our leaders are responsible for the stories of Denise Zencka, Rex Iverson, and countless others, we can be responsible for stories like that of Paola Gonzalez:

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And yet our leaders do nothing

 

The GOP bill passed in December is predicted to force healthcare costs and health insurance deductibles to increase to such a degree, that by 2020, 95% of Americans who enter a hospital will leave in debt. Five years after, the money meant to go to healthcare subsidies will instead give 83% of tax cuts to the top 1%. Five years after that, the average American household's medical expenses will be higher than the average American house income. 

 
 
 

By allowing us to unionize our data, Data Fights Debt allows anybody, regardless of income, to ensure Paola's story is not rare, but typical. We can use our communal resources, resources we currently horde or give away for free to large corporations, to do the job our leaders are unable to do and fight for our own and our neighbor's bodies.