Ilene Proctor’s Great Mind Series #93: End Medical Debt feat. Jerry Ashton — August 23, 2019

The 93rd Great Minds Salon features Jerry Ashton, co-author of End Medical Debt and the Co-Founder and Director/Education & Outreach of RIP Medical Debt, the national charity that’s forgiven almost $1 billion in unpayable medical debt across America.

Great Mind Series #93: End Medical Debt feat. Jerry Ashton

Friday, August 23, 2019 @ 7PM in Santa Monica, CA

Moderator: KPFK’s Cary Harrison

Entertainment provided by singer/Songwriter Jill Michaels

Hosted by Jan Goodman and Jerry Manpearl

Tickets: $25 incl. drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Location supplied upon RSVP.

To reserve tickets email Ilene Proctor.

By the end of 2019, the amazing startup charity RIP Medical Debt, founded in 2014 and funded solely by donations, will have purchased and forgiven $1 Billion worth of unpaid and unpayable medical bills. For context, RIP estimates that the total amount of reported and unreported unpaid medical debt in America over the past ten years is at least $1 Trillion.

RIP’s three founders (two former bill collectors and a medical administrator) have now gone public with what they know, clearly and realistically examining the causes and major proposed cures for our broken U.S. healthcare system. Their book, End Medical Debt, equips the reader with the education and tools needed to end medical debt once and for all — for good.

“America spends more on medical care than any other country, and the resulting medical debt is our nation’s top reason for bankruptcy and financial ruin. I’ve seen the impact. End Medical Debt offers clear answers on what people can do for themselves and society to end this scourge.”
— Ed Asner, Actor, Activist

Acting on their words, the authors donate all royalties from End Medical Debt to abolish medical debt for individuals and families nationwide. Since RIP buys debt on the secondary market, this means each book sold eliminates about $500 in medical debt, such as for veterans. Medical debt is an epidemic, a national emergency, touching us all, so we recommend buying enough copies for all those you know who are suffering hardship from medical debt.

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.The 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.”

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 last year through Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

About 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 recently nominated for the Edward R. Murrow Award.

Ilene Proctor
Founder, Great Mind Series | Website

The Great Mind Series aims to share the best ideas from the greatest minds. It was founded in 2010 by publicist and activist Ilene Proctor. The first event took place at Teddi Winograd’s home in Beverly Hills, CA. Since then, a grand total of 91 Great Mind Series salons have entertained and stimulated audiences of open-minded progressives.

Past even have featured Reza Aslan, Gore Vidal, Gabe Sherman, Mikey Weinstein, Gloria Allred with Lisa Bloom, Robert Baer, Ralph Nader, Larry Beinert, Max Blumenthal, Sidney Blumenthal, Jane Goodall, John Dean, Robert Dreyfuss, Robert Scheer, Oliver Stone, Amy Goodman, Professor Peter Drier, Reese Elrich, Elliot Gould, Former Rep. Alan Grayson, Libee HaLevy, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Dahr Jamail, David Cay Johnston, Dennis Kucinich, Esai Morales, Harold Myerson, Ralph Nader, John Nichols, Greg Palast, Michael Parenti, Nomi Prins, Danny Schechter, Gabe Sherman, Robert Sheer, Lance Simmens, David Swanson, Harvey Wasserman, Marianne Williamson, Ambassador Joe Wilson, and Vincent Bugliosi, among others.

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