March 16 – March 23
In the U.S., healthcare is a bankrupt system run on debt:
- 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. This debt limits medical school to the upper classes and forces even socially-minded young doctors to choose lucrative specialties. The restrictive cost of nursing school further reduces the availability and quality of primary care.
- Community hospitals deemed “unprofitable” are being closed left and right because they have fallen too deeply into debt.
These debts are literally killing patients, students, providers and communities. They deepen the already entrenched inequalities that divide races, classes, and genders. Our healthcare system doesn’t make us well; it prolongs our illnesses in the name of profit.
In reaction to this system, Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee initiative will make a big announcement in March. We have bought and abolished a large amount of medical debt. Though this will provide real relief to thousands of people who need it, it is only crumbs in light of the 70 million who still owe money on medical bills.
We want to use the attention this buy will generate to highlight the profound inhumanity and inequality of our medical payment system and to create a vision of a world where healthcare is truly treated as a right. We demand the cancellation of all medical debts and a radically transformed healthcare system based on everybody’s need for wellness and not the 1%’s desire for wealth.
Strike Debt is calling for a week of education and organizing culminating in a day of action in New York City on March 23.
If you’ll be in New York, save the date. Stay tuned for updates.
If you won’t be in New York, join us in bringing this action everywhere! Wherever you are,
- Protest a closed community hospital
- Support a struggling community hospital
- Protest a private insurance company
- Protest a pharmaceutical company
- Do a creative direct action!
- Organize a healthcare or debt speak out
- Organize a free health screening or health fair
- Organize free legal advice and debt/financial guidance
- Provide free education about debt and/or healthcare
Some helpful slogans and messages:
- Healthcare: a Matter of Life or Debt
- Debt on Arrival
- End Medical Debt
- Strike Medical Debt
- Healthcare is a Human Right
- Medical Knowledge Put Me into Debt
- Single-Payer Now
- Medicare for All
- Isn’t Being Sick Bad Enough?
- Cause of Debt: [Heart Attack, Diabetes, Private Hospital]
Hashtags for the action: #lifeordebt #M23 #strikedebt