Judith Jones and Carolyn Kenyon are strong supporters of the New York Health Act, which would provide universal health care statewide, but they didn’t want to wait around until it passes. So they decided to take matters into their own hands. Instead, Jones, 80, and Kenyon, 70, raised money and used it to help wipe out $1.5-million worth of medical debt for a bunch of people they didn’t know.
The women got friends and neighbors to pitch in and they collected $12,500 for the nonprofit R.I.P. Medical Debt, which buys people’s old medical bills and forgives them. So their $12,500 paid off medical debts for 1,284 New Yorkers in need and Jones and Kenyon tried to educate others about the importance of universal health care as well.
“We tried to get people interested in the seriousness of medical debt,” Jones explains, “and lead them to understand that when the New York Health Act passes, that will be the end of medical debt because everyone will be covered.”