Tag Archives: medical debt

Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Has Abolished $13.5 Million in Medical Debt, Owned by 2,693 People, in 45 States & Puerto Rico

Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Has Abolished $13.5 Million in Medical Debt, Owned by 2,693 People, in 45 States & Puerto Rico

[NEW YORK, NY]  Strike Debt, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, announced this morning that since the launch of the group’s Rolling Jubilee effort one year ago, it has abolished $13.5 million worth of medical debt owed by 2,693 people across 45 states and in Puerto Rico. This is the third announcement by Strike Debt in the last year which to date has abolished over $14.7 million dollars of medical bills through its Rolling Jubilee project.

The Rolling Jubilee campaign relieves debtors (by buying debt for pennies on the dollar) while building a debt resistance movement. This project highlights the injustice of having to go into debt for basic needs that should be publicly provided, like education and healthcare. “We have been honored to facilitate this effort but understand Rolling Jubilee is a spark, not a solution” said Andrew Ross, a fellow Strike Debt organizer. “Being forced into debt for basic social services is a systemic problem that will require a collective response.”“No one should have to go into debt or bankruptcy because they get sick,” said Laura Hanna, an organizer with Strike Debt, noting that 62% of all personal bankruptcies have medical debt as a contributing factor.

“Debt is the tie that binds the 99 percent,” says Strike Debt member Ann Larson. “Whether you are a student who is delinquent on your student loans, a parent struggling to pay healthcare bills, or living in a community that is cutting vital social services because your city is bankrupt, debt affects everyone.”

Strike Debt chapters in New York, the Bay Area, Austin, Portland and elsewhere are planning celebrations and debtors’ assemblies on Nov 15th.

Strike Debt is working towards building a new kind of collective power in order to challenge exploitation by the financial industry. “Debt is the way we cooperate with Wall Street,” said Thomas Gokey an organizer with Strike Debt, “With the Rolling Jubilee, we’ve demonstrated how little your debts are actually worth. Now that you know this, it’s time to use it as leverage. It’s time to fight back. The Rolling Jubilee needs to roll into larger forms of resistance and outright non-cooperation with Wall Street’s unjust debts.” Looking forward, Strike Debt is laying the groundwork for a debtors’ union capable of collective debt refusal.

Strike Debt/Rolling Jubilee organizers are available for interview. To request an interview please contact Andy Stepanian at andy@sparrowmedia.net or 631.291.3010.

For more information on Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee, visit strikedebt.org and rollingjubilee.org

Strike Debt Announces #LifeorDebt Week of Action with Purchase & Abolition of $1.1 Million Dollars of Medical Debt

Strike Debt Announces #LifeorDebt Week of Action with Purchase & Abolition of $1.1 Million Dollars of Medical Debt

[NEW YORK, NY]  Actions in multiple cities are planned to mark the abolition of 1.1 million dollars of medical debt belonging to 1,064 people by the Rolling Jubilee. This is the second of a series of major purchases by the group, which abolished over $100,000 of debt before the holidays.


March 16-23 Week of Action Highlights that our Nation’s Healthcare Emergencies are a Matter of #LifeorDebt

The Rolling Jubilee is a campaign that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. The Rolling Jubilee launched in November 2012 and went viral, raising almost $600,000 and garnering attention in major media news outlets.

Doctors, nurses, patients, and citizens are coming together to declare a medical emergency:

• Our privatized healthcare system buries ordinary people in debt all to enrich the 1%.

• 62% of personal bankruptcies are linked to medical bills. ¾ of people who declare bankruptcy due to medical bills had health insurance when they incurred those bills.

• 86% of doctors begin their professional lives with medical school debt, a financial burden that pushes them away from serving those who need their help most.

• Community hospitals deemed “unprofitable” are being closed left and right because they have fallen too deeply into debt.

Events will take place other cities. See http://strikedebt.org/#get-involved for updates.

A full update on the campaign is available here: http://strikedebt.org/rjupdate-2/

In New York City there will be two events, on March 21st & March 23rd

March 21st:
Meet at Bryant Park at 4pm,
41 West 40th Street

March 23rd:
Education, legal advice, primary care, referrals & more

9:30am – 1:30pm
Legal Advice & Healthcare
Judson Church,
55 Washington Square South

Online: On March 23rd we will have practitioners on call to answer medical questions live on the internet all day! http://strikedebt.org/lifeordebt/

2pm – 5pm
Meet: Washington Square South

Hosts: Strike Debt, Healthcare for 99%, Physicians for a National Health Program, Occupy Town Square, and others.

5:30pm – 7pm
Judson Church

Strike Debt emerged out of Occupy Wall Street and is dedicated to raising public awareness about predatory debt practices, debt resistance and mutual aid. Initiatives include publishing The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual, supporting the Occupy Student Debt Campaign, and The Rolling Jubilee, www.strikedebt.org and www.rollingjubilee.org

To schedule an interview with the StrikeDebt organizers, please contact Andy Stepanian at andy@sparrowmedia.net or 631.291.3010.  To view a roundup of media coverage of Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee visit our case study HERE.