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TMJ4's @ TheTable: Key vote to help Milwaukee County residents erase $154M in medical debt

Charles Benson and Shannon Sims interview key people in our community during TMJ4's @TheTable segment every weeknight at 10 p.m.
medical debt
Posted at 9:43 PM, Jan 18, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Medical bills can quickly add up, putting anyone on the brink of bankruptcy. But a new effort could help tens of thousands of Milwaukee County residents erase that medical debt.

@ TheTable Wednesday night was Milwaukee County Supervisor Shawn Rolland to talk about a potential partnership with a nonprofit called RIP Medical Debt.

"What they try to do is acquire old medical debt," said Supervisor Rolland. "They work with counties, cities, nonprofits, and what they do is they take funds to purchase old medical debt and forgive it."

The Milwaukee County Board is being asked to approve $1.6 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA money, to help erase $153 million in medical debt.

Supervisor Rolland says the ARPA money would help RIP Medical Debt cover the cost of medical bills for about 67,000 county residents.

RELATED: This non-profit is helping to pay off patient’s medical debt

"The American Rescue Plan Act provided $183.6 million to Milwaukee County, and we've used that for public safety, and also set aside some of that money to help people bounce back from the health impacts and the economic impacts of the pandemic," Rolland said @ TheTable.

A committee vote on the proposal to partner with RIP Medical Debt is Thursday morning, If approved, it moves to the full County Board.

"I think a lot of people have had that GoFundMe request from somebody, a loved one or a friend saying: 'Oh, my gosh, all of a sudden, I have this medical debt. Can you please help me?' So, I think there's a lot of empathy for people that have this crushing medical debt in their lives," said Rolland.

For more interviews with key community leaders on important issues watch Shannon Sims and Charles Benson on TMJ4 at 10 p.m.

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