Stacey Abram’s PAC donates $ 1.34 million to write off medical debt for 108,000 people • EBONY

Stacey Abrams’ political organization, Fair struggle political action committee donated $ 1.34 million to eliminate the medical debt of 108,000 people, NPR reported.

The financial donation was bequeathed to the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt and will impact residents of Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“I know first-hand how medical bills and a failing health care system add to family debt,” Abrams said in a statement. “Across the solar belt and into the South, this problem is exacerbated in states like Georgia, where failing leaders have ruthlessly refused to expand Medicaid, even during a pandemic. “

Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of allied group Fair Fight Action and senior advisor to PAC, noted that medical debt repayment is another aspect of the group’s progressive advocacy to expand Medicaid coverage in the 12 states that refused to extend health insurance to all the poorest adults.

“What’s so important about this is the connection between the expansion of Medicaid and the crushing of medical debt,” Groh-Wargo said.

Fair Fight said letters will be sent to those whose debts have been paid. According to the report, the donation will write off the debt of nearly 69,000 people in Georgia, more than 27,000 people in Arizona, more than 8,000 people in Louisiana and about 2,000 people in Mississippi and Alabama.

Allison Sesso, executive director of RIP Medical Debt, explains that massive medical debt drives people into bankruptcy, can prevent people from seeking needed medical care, and can lead to garnishment of wages or liens filed on property. of those who cannot pay.

“I wouldn’t underestimate the mental angst people have over medical debt,” Sesso said. “We are not the permanent solution. There has to be a larger solution around what we are doing about medical debt.”

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Groh-Wargo added that the donation was given by donors for political action, but said the money is “only a small percentage” of what Fair Fight has raised for its program.

“I see this as a political tithe to help the community we defend and with which we defend,” he said.

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John A. Bogar

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