About End Medical Debt

In our fervent public debates about the broken U.S. healthcare system, we have overlooked the devastating impact of an ongoing and urgent medical debt crisis — Medical Debt. The book makes the case that we need to bring unpaid and unpayable medical bills into the center of our national conversation about healthcare. End Medical Debt, written by industry insiders Jerry Ashton, Craig Antico and Robert Goff, is the first book to bypass political posturing to look honestly and practically at the actual causes and possible cures for more than $1 Trillion in healthcare bills, including “zombie” debt that's no longer legally collectable but keeps rising from the grave. Unless paid off or abolished by an act of charity, medical debt never really goes away. End Medical Debt lays bare the inner workings of a healthcare system that produces medical bills people will never be able to pay. Re book shows how charity hospitals turned into healthcare conglomerates (to Wall Street’s delight) and how mutual benevolent societies morphed into for-profit insurance empires. The authors dissect the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) to show where theory and reality part company. They expose how our veterans are the financial roadkill of a VA that delays and denies healthcare payments, effectively saying, “No Thank You for Your Service." End Medical Debt Curing America’s $1 Trillion Unpayable Healthcare Debt Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff, Craig Antico Hoku House, 2019 Hardcover ISBN: 978-0989224109 Softcover ISBN: 978-0989224123

About Jerry Ashton

Jerry Ashton has more than 40 years of experience in the credit and collections industry, but he was never your usual “bill collector.” Discouraged and often angered by the way debtors were mistreated by a business model that used every legal (and sometimes not so legal) method to extract payments, he decided to apply common sense and humanity to his work. His teams, using that philosophy, serviced a half-billion dollars annually for Fortune 500 companies. When Occupy Wall Street arose at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan on September 17, 2011, Jerry resonated with their message decrying America’s business practices. He spent months participating in working groups such as Alt Banking and Student Debt to better understand the origins and impact of debt. Inspired by his Occupy experience, he decided to apply his industry skills to remedying a particularly perverse form of economic burden – medical debt. On July 25, 2014, Jerry and his former collections industry colleague, Craig Antico launched the 501(c)(3) charity, RIP Medical Debt. Craig’s connections in the debt buying industry and his operational talents combined well with Jerry’s “Let’s take that hill” enthusiasm. They attracted the support of healthcare industry expert and then Director of the NYU Physicians Association, Robert Goff, RIP's founding board member. Jerry Ashton and Robert Goff co-wrote a book, The Patient the Doctor and The Bill Collector (Hoku House, 2016), which led to RIP gaining national attention that year through Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

About Moderator Cary Harrison

KPFK Public Radio's Cary Harrison is known for his humor and roguish wit. He looks at the media sphere, cultural icons, and relevant social topics that impact a global audience. Listen for his upcoming investigative pieces, “Secrets and Shadows.” Awards include 1st place honors for “Best Commentary” from the Associated Press and the LA Press Club for News Coverage. Cary was just nominated for the Edward R. Murrow Award.

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