$1.1 Million in Medical Debt Abolished, Actions in NY and Other Cities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2012
CONTACT: OWS PR Team, 347-292-1444
Laura Hanna, laura@hiddendriver.com, 917 821 8092
Ann Larson, annlarsonny@gmail.com, 917 292 5401
Chris Casuccio, christophercasuccio@gmail.com, 631 942 0762
Strike Debt to purchase $1 million in medical debt, cancel it to benefit the public
HEALTH CARE EMERGENCY DELCARED WITH ACTIONS IN NYC & ELSEWHERE:  Matter of #LifeOrDebt
New York–Actions in New York and other cities are planned to mark the purchase and abolition of $1.1 million of medical debt, and to spotlight the sickening reality of healthcare and medical debt in the US.

Access to health care is in danger of becoming a luxury for the rich and those with top dollar insurance, or those lucky enough to simply not get sick. If you don’t fall within those lines, you are at risk of falling into debt just to stay alive and healthy. In the US, millions are struggling with outrageously inflated medical bills and as a result, 62% of bankruptcies are linked to medical debt.

Two events in NYC (http://strikedebt.org/#get-involved for other cities) with Strike Debt, Healthcare for 99%, Physicians for a National Health Program, Occupy Town Square:

•    March 21: Rally & Protest Against Private Insurance Companies
4pm,  Bryant Park at 41st St. at Sixth Ave.

•    March 23: Free Health Fair & March to Highlight Hospital Closings
9:30am-1:30pm, Health Fair, Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South
2-5pm, March begins (2pm assemble) at Washington Square South
5:30-7pm, Health Fair with Art and Music at Judson Church
* Online: Practitioners on call answering medical questions! strikedebt.org/lifeordebt

The facts about medical debt (life or debt?):
•   Our private, for profit health care system buries the 99% in debt, all to enrich the 1%.
•   Of those who are driven to bankruptcy by medical bills, over 75% had health insurance when they incurred those bills.
•   Nearly all doctors, 86%, start their careers with medical school debt; that debt burden makes it harder to serve those who need their help most.
•   Hospitals are being closed because of the high debt loads, leaving many without access to healthcare.

This is the second in a series of major purchases by the Rolling Jubilee (RJ), which has already abolished over $100,000 of debt in late 2011.   Rolling Jubilee is a campaign of Occupy Wall Street offshoot Strike Debt. Since its Nov 2012 launch, Rolling Jubilee has received almost $600k in contributions from people who want to not only see debt cancelled but spread awareness of how debt is controlling the lives of average people while the 1% gets richer. The effort has garnered attention in major media outlets.

Occupy Wall Street PR Team | @occupywallstpr | press@occupywallst.org
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