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New York City to eradicate $2bn in medical debt for 5,000 residents

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New York City, in a groundbreaking move, has unveiled a plan to eliminate over $2 billion in medical debt for approximately 500,000 residents, marking a significant effort to address a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Mayor Eric Adams disclosed this ambitious initiative on Monday, emphasizing the city’s commitment to alleviating the financial burden on its residents due to medical expenses.

Partnering with RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit organization specializing in acquiring medical debt at reduced rates from hospitals and debt collectors, the city aims to target individuals with low incomes or those facing financial hardships. RIP Medical Debt then forgives the acquired debt, providing substantial relief to the affected individuals. The program, requiring an investment of $18 million over a three-year period, underscores the city’s dedication to addressing the financial challenges faced by its middle- and working-class populace.

Mayor Adams, during the announcement, acknowledged the crippling impact of medical bills on working-class New Yorkers. He highlighted the unfortunate choices faced by families in prioritizing medical payments over essential needs for daily living. Citing medical debt as the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, the mayor stressed the disproportionate burden on low-income households and those with inadequate insurance coverage. He positioned this debt relief program as the largest municipal initiative of its kind in the country, showcasing New York City’s commitment to tackling this pervasive issue.

Allison Sesso, President and CEO of RIP Medical Debt, assured that the program would not involve a traditional application process. Instead, recipients of debt relief will be notified that a third party has purchased and forgiven their medical debt. Mayor Adams, cognizant of the city’s financial challenges, deemed the $18 million commitment over three years as a strategic investment. He argued that the benefits of saving $2 billion in debt would directly impact households, preventing them from falling into safety nets or homeless systems.

In conclusion, New York City’s comprehensive approach to addressing medical debt is poised to bring substantial relief to a significant number of residents, reflecting a commitment to both financial responsibility and the well-being of its citizens.

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