Beliefnet
Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s the latest dispatch from the crossroads of faith and media:

Tuesday May 21. That’s the date the group RIP Medical Debt (co-founded by US Navy veteran Jerry Ashton and financial expert Craig Antico)  has designated as the next step forward in the campaign to end medical debt as a scourge of American society. Much of that debt is on the backs of US military veterans.  With the help of churches, the group reports that it has abolished over $690 million that was crushing people who did nothing more than commit the crime of getting sick in America.

The May 21 event billed as A Call to End Medical Debt will take place in Washington DC before an audience of lawmakers. The intention is to spotlight the economic ravages of medical debt and to educate federal policymakers and legislators about as both the causes  of and solutions to the nation’s medical debt emergency.

The evening will include data research and testimonials about the devastating impact of medical debt which causes millions of Americans to go bankrupt every year and others to exhaust their life savings. Each member of the house and senate is being given a copy of End Medical Debt – Curing America’s $1 Trillion Unpayable Healthcare Debt prior to this event.

RIP’s mission, something of a religious calling, is to serve the country by charitably removing medical debt from the backs of afflicted Americans and to offer a unique, evidence-based informational resource for lawmakers to assist them in their efforts to understand this problem. The event will also provide an opportunity for healthcare advocates to share their views and bring attention to the importance of their work. This one-time event is  particularly timely in that this new Congress, the 116th Session, will have to act to reauthorize hundreds of healthcare programs that have or will soon expire.

Along with legislators, policy makers and people from government agencies, attendees will include healthcare professionals and innovators who wish to galvanize positive action by this congress. Several major media organizations are planning to attend to report on people who, by way of a “rolling mic” and interviews, will tell their individual stories and outline solutions as they see them. There is no charge for the event, but it is by invitation only.

RIP’s work has been featured in the media, including on NET TV’s Currents News (a program I work on) and on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. To me it seems a topic worthy of 60 Minutes or CBS Sunday Morning. You can watch the NET TV and HBO segments below.