Emergency Medicine

Medical Debt in Milwaukee County

Approximately 67,000 residents living in Milwaukee County could have their medical debts forgiven. Milwaukee County partnered with New York-based national nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to cover the cost of $153 million in medical debt. First, county officials need to approve the designation of $1.6 million in federal ARPA funds.

Dr. Ben Weston notes inequality is a broader, underlying issue at the local level. He states medical debt can lead to other types of debt, like credit card debt, bank loans, etc. “Medical debt exacerbates systemic inequalities that exist in society today.” Dr. Weston says that we should be working on finding the root causes of medical debts, as a one-time fix does not solve the issue. He hopes for more long-term discussions to solving the problem.

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