Americans Are Being Thrown In Jail Over Medical Debts

47 680
Published on 15 Feb 2020, 21:00
Our healthcare system is so broken in this country that it is now helping to feed our prison industrial complex. Counties across America are starting to throw people in jail for unpaid medical debts, effectively bringing debtors prisons back to this country. This practice is likely illegal, but many areas have found a way around thanks to numerous legal loopholes. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains what’s happening.
Link –

Become a member today!:

Support us by becoming a monthly patron on Patreon, and help keep progressive media alive!:

Find our merchandise at Teespring:

Spread the word! LIKE and SHARE this video or leave a comment to help direct attention to the stories that matter. And SUBSCRIBE to stay connected with Ring of Fire's video content!

Support Ring of Fire by subscribing to our YouTube channel:

Be sociable! Follow us on:

Follow more of our stories at

Subscribe to our podcast:

*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Over the weekend, CBS news aired a special, basically focusing on one tiny County in the city, state of Kansas, excuse me, that was jailing people over their unpaid medical debt. They talked to some folks who had been through this. There's a horrifying experience, terrifying for these people to have to go through this, sometimes over just a couple of hundred dollars. But here's the thing that CBS did not do a very good job reporting, and this is something that we here at Ring of Fire have actually been talking about for years. So it is a little shocking that the corporate media just now finally decided to talk about that, and a little bit infuriating. But this is happening in Counties, cities and States all over this country.
People are going to jail because they can't pay their medical bills. Now, here's the thing, technically, yes, a hospital, a doctor's office does not have the ability to file an arrest warrant if you do not pay those bills, they don't even have the time to do that. So instead, here's how this little scam works. They turn your debt over to a collection agency. The collection agency tries several times to get you to pay these bills and if you pay the collection agency instead of paying the hospital, it does show up on your credit report. However, in most instances, if you just have regular medical debt owed to a hospital or a doctor's office, that folks, does not actually show up on a credit report. So that's a little something to keep in your back pocket there. But if you pay the debt collectors, then it does show up on your credit report and it further hurts your ability to get credit in the future.
So anyway, they send it to the debt collector. Debt collector tries a couple times and then if you don't pay it, they send you a legal summons saying, you got to come to court and tell us why you can't pay. Now here's the problem. These notices, these legal notices, these court summons are disguised as just another letter from the collection agency. They look no different. The outside of the envelope note looks no different. If you're somebody like me who's gone through this and you get those letters, you know, at least at one point in your life quite frequently. I finally have stopped getting them. You tear them up because you know what it is. I have the original hospital bills and when I get the money I call them, even if they've turned it over to collections and I let them know I'm going to pay you or I'm not going to pay at all. And they'll pull the account back from the debt collector and let you pay them directly.
Anyway, people are ignoring these summons because they think it's just another letter from the debt collector. They tear it up, not long after, after they missed their court date, cops show up at their door and they take them to jail. That's how this little scam works. So then not only are these people on the hook for the debt they already had, they now have to pay court fees. They have to pay legal fees if they want to hire a lawyer and try to fight this and make it go away, or at least have a slightly better outcome. It's straining the legal system across this country and also helping to support our prison industrial complex. So if you're in an area with a private prison, guess what? Now they get to profit off of you not being able to pay your healthcare bill.

#rof #trofire #theringoffire #progressivenews