Cosponsored by the Asset Funders Network, Economic Opportunity Funders, and Philanthropy New York
It is estimated that approximately half of all Americans have incurred medical debt, totaling nearly $140 billion and affecting approximately one in five households. Medical debt prevents millions of people from achieving financial stability and negatively impacts their health outcomes and emotional wellbeing. Recent reports have found that medical debt is higher and more concentrated in communities of color, due to inequitable policies and practices that reinforce the racial wealth gap. This discussion covered viewpoints on the problem of medical debt, the people most at risk, and potential points of engagement for philanthropy. Speakers included Keith Hearle of RIP Medical Debt, Michael Karpman of Urban Institute, and Andre M. Perry of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.