You’ll never guess who’s buying up and forgiving medical debt for veterans

Matt Saintsing
January 10, 2019 - 2:56 pm

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For service members, veterans and their families saddled with crippling medical-debt, relief is here from (checking notes)… print journalism?

In a partnership with RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit that buys up and forgives medical debt, The McClatchy Company, which owns 29 daily newspapers across 14 states, is raising money to erase millions of dollars in medical debt held by military families. 

"Our military servicemembers give selflessly everyday to defend the values and freedoms of this country," said Jerry Ashton, former U.S. Navy journalist and RIP's co-founder. 

"We're proud to join with our communities across the country to tap into the collective force of our compassion to support our veterans and their families -- beyond our profound gratitude -- in this meaningful way," added Craig Forman, CEO of McClatchy. ""We're confident that our viewers and readers across the country will be motivated to contribute to this effort, inspired by the extraordinary work our journalists produce in honor of Veterans Day and beyond."

This effort is also connected to a 10-part documentary series, The War Within, which launched last Nov. and can be viewed by clicking here. The series follows three Afghanistan war veterans on a mission to help their brothers and sisters in arms as they juggle everything from post-traumatic stress, to transitioning back to civilian life. 

RIP Medical Debt is sole mission is to make as big of a dent in our nation’s collective medical debt crisis, but this effort is reserved for those who have a connection with military service, even if the medical debt they own is service-connected. 

How is this possible?

The nonprofit is run by folks who used to work debt collections, and they know all the tricks of the trade, like buying up large portfolios of debt at an incredible discount, only instead of trying to collect on the debt for profit, they forgive it. 

There are limits to what exactly they can do. For one, the organization is unable to target specific people’s debt, but they can cast a wide net around medical liability and make it go away. 

Is this legit? You bet. There’s been some solid reporting on how RIP Medical Debt works. You can check two recent stories out by clicking here and here

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