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Freeing the debtors

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Imagine ...

You live in the US and you have an accident. Yes you do recover but because of the horrendous medical bills you end up with a $200,000 plus bill and no way of paying it. The banks are on your case.

Finally you get a letter from the "Debt Collector". The bank has decided it doesn't want to keep chasing you and sold your $200,000 debt to a Third Party.

You open the letter, in terror, and read that the "Debt Collector" has forgiven your $200,000 debt. You can now continue living without the threat of bankruptcy or spending thousands of dollars trying to defend yourself.

Total fantasy isn't it ? Could never happen in a million years ? Not the way our capitalist system works ?

Why not ?

What do you think?
 

tech/a

No Ordinary Duck
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Who pays the debt?
The hospital needs to operate.
The debt collector needs to redeem his debt?
 
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Imagine ...

You live in the US and you have an accident. Yes you do recover but because of the horrendous medical bills you end up with a $200,000 plus bill and no way of paying it. The banks are on your case.

Finally you get a letter from the "Debt Collector". The bank has decided it doesn't want to keep chasing you and sold your $200,000 debt to a Third Party.

You open the letter, in terror, and read that the "Debt Collector" has forgiven your $200,000 debt. You can now continue living without the threat of bankruptcy or spending thousands of dollars trying to defend yourself.

Total fantasy isn't it ? Could never happen in a million years ? Not the way our capitalist system works ?

Why not ?

What do you think?

Accruing debt and having no responsibility? How could you think this would ever work?

The real and underlying problem is that the US health system is geared towards making things easy for the insanely greedy medical profession and health insurance companies. The UK and Australian systems are much more fair as they provide for everyone regardless of wealth.
 
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So whats more insane ? A medical system that effectively destroys people financially while "saving " them, a financial system that uses the accrued debt to finish off a person life (and keep debt collectors, bailiffs, and the legal system in clover ) or a "mythical" angel who forgives the debt and lets people get on with their lives ?

Or is this simply the way the world works and we have to get used to it ?
 
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Mythical debt negotiating angels aside ... The problem with socialism is that you soon run out of "other" peoples money. This is the society we live in ... capitalism requires money to be exchanged for goods or services. To write debt off would make the money worthless.

To not pay our doctors to treat us is as equally insane as the system in place that requires huge amounts of capital to run. Administration is the culprit.

Moreover, doctors’ net take-home pay amounts to only about 10 percent of overall healthcare spending. Which if cut by 10 percent would save about $24 billion – a considerably modest savings when compared to the $360 billion spent annually for administrative costs as estimated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the fact that 85 percent of excess administrative overhead can be attributed to the insurance system. Administrative costs for physicians are in the range of 25-30 percent of practice revenues and insurance-related costs are 15 percent of revenues, according to a National Academy of Social Insurance report for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/04/03/whos-to-blame-for-our-rising-healthcare-costs/
 
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So whats more insane ? A medical system that effectively destroys people financially while "saving " them, a financial system that uses the accrued debt to finish off a person life (and keep debt collectors, bailiffs, and the legal system in clover ) or a "mythical" angel who forgives the debt and lets people get on with their lives ?

Or is this simply the way the world works and we have to get used to it ?

You've put up three options and the last one isn't real. Such a mythical angel doesn't exit.

The world operates through greed and fear, largely. One of the jobs of a government is to legislate to keep both forces in check, especially for those who can't keep themselves in check. The medical profession and many other 'status' professions are out of control in the US.

I've said it many times on here that the happiest and healthiest communities on the planet have let slide the old fashioned ways of greed and fear.
 
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I wasn't posing a totally mythical question.

Debts are freed everywhere. When corporations fall over with millions/billions in debts they are written off. Ditto for countries.

But what happens to personal debts? In the current system (bless its capitalist heart) a bank sells old debts for cents in the dollar to commercial debt collectors. So example a $1000 debt may cost only $50. The debt collector then goes chasing the hapless person for the full $1000 plus costs . On a good day hey might offer to reduce the debt to say $600 for full payment. Or whatever.

However there is another way that has already proven very successful for thousands of people in the US.




Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15m of Americans' personal debt
Rolling Jubilee spent $400,000 to purchase debt cheaply from banks before 'abolishing' it, freeing individuals from their bill


A group of Occupy Wall Street activists has bought almost $15m of Americans' personal debt over the last year as part of the Rolling Jubilee project to help people pay off their outstanding credit.

Rolling Jubilee, set up by Occupy's Strike Debt group following the street protests that swept the world in 2011, launched on 15 November 2012. The group purchases personal debt cheaply from banks before "abolishing" it, freeing individuals from their bills.

By purchasing the debt at knockdown prices the group has managed to free $14,734,569.87 of personal debt, mainly medical debt, spending only $400,000.

....The Rolling Jubilee project was mostly conceived as a "public education project", Ross said.

"We're under no illusions that $15m is just a tiny drop in the secondary debt market. It doesn't make a dent in the amount of debt.

"Our purpose in doing this, aside from helping some people along the way – there's certainly many, many people who are very thankful that their debts are abolished – our primary purpose was to spread information about the workings of this secondary debt market."

The group has focussed on buying medical debt, and has acquired the $14.7m in three separate purchases, most recently spending $13.5m on medical debt owed by 2,693 people across 45 states and Puerto Rico, Rolling Jubilee said in a press release.

“No one should have to go into debt or bankruptcy because they get sick,” said Laura Hanna, an organiser with the group. Hanna said 62% of all personal bankruptcies have medical debt as a contributing factor.

...Ross, whose book, Creditocracy and the case for debt refusal, outlines the problems of the debt industry and calls for a “debtors’ movement” to resist credit, said the group had received letters from people whose debt they had lifted thanking them for the service. But the real victory was in spreading knowledge of the nature of the debt industry, he said.

"Very few people know how cheaply their debts have been bought by collectors. It changes the psychology of the debtor, knowing this.

“So when you get called up by the debt collector, and you're being asked to pay the full amount of your debt, you now know that the debt collector has bought your debt very, very cheaply. As cheaply as we bought it. And that gives you moral ammunition to have a different conversation with the debt collector."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/12/occupy-wall-street-activists-15m-personal-debt
 
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All together now ..... Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya ... How altruistic of them. Also means the debt has been written off for tax purposes a a carried forward loss to the medical company helping to reduce their tax liabilities. :banghead:
 
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So whats more insane ? A medical system that effectively destroys people financially while "saving " them, a financial system that uses the accrued debt to finish off a person life (and keep debt collectors, bailiffs, and the legal system in clover ) or a "mythical" angel who forgives the debt and lets people get on with their lives ?

Or is this simply the way the world works and we have to get used to it ?

The American system is perverse. Healthcare costs are high because preventative health is virtually non-existant for the poor and lower middle class. For instance, it is relatively inexpensive to manage someone with type 2 diabetes, but it costs a fortune when that person slips into a diabetic coma and is intensive care for a few weeks. The really scary thing about the US health system is how losing your job can mean losing your health insurance permanently. If you drop out of your employe scheme then any ailments you have at the time of losing your job can be considered pre-existing conditions which make your premiums incredibly high or you become uninsurable.

60% of bankruptcies in the US are for unpaid medical bills.
 
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All together now ..... Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya ... How altruistic of them. Also means the debt has been written off for tax purposes a a carried forward loss to the medical company helping to reduce their tax liabilities. :banghead:

Nah. Don't be so cynical mate. If the medical company had sold the debt than they already had the tax loss.
This elegant little deal just means the poor buggers who were never going to be able to get out of their hole had a leg up.

A really clever option would have been for the Occupy group to ask for the 5% cost from the recipients to enable them to refinance another load of debts. It would also help them appreciate the help they have been given.
 
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