Occupy’s New Offshoot Set to Cancel Millions in Medical Debts
Saturday, 17 November 2012 09:20
By Fabien Tepper, Yes! Magazine
Medical debt is the cause of 62 percent of bankruptcies, say organizers of Strike Debt, which threw last night’s offbeat fundraiser for their new “Rolling Jubilee.” Ordinary people donated enough money to collectively buy an estimated $5.9 million in bad debt in order to cancel it.
On the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street’s eviction from Zuccotti Park, celebrity and local performers donated their time for a “post-modern variety show” last night at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rouge nightclub. They were there to raise money for what may be the most far-reaching project to grow out of the Occupy movement so far: a “bailout for the 99 percent” called Rolling Jubilee. Launched by Strike Debt, an offshoot of OWS, the Jubilee has begun erasing people’s medical debt by infiltrating the debt-collection industry.
The tactic is to buy private debt the same way collection companies do—on the debt market, at tiny fractions of its original worth—and then cancel it in hopes of freeing debtors from their piled-up medical bills. It is hoped that the action will bring debt servitude to the forefront of our national conversation.