Millions of Americans crowdfunding to cover medical expenses

“It comes down to a profit-making motive that is baked into a system—a system that puts profits over patients.”


 According to a recent survey, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), 8 million Americans had started a campaign for themselves or someone in their household and more than 12 million Americans had started a campaign for someone else. These campaigns were created solely to pay for medical bills or treatments. 

Crowdfunding is when a person raises funds for a specific purpose in hopes others will contribute. Websites like GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and GiveForward are among the many crowdfunding websites used. 

“As annual out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, more Americans are struggling to pay their medical bills, and millions are turning to their social networks and crowdfunding sites to fund medical treatments and pay medical bills. Although about a quarter of Americans report having sponsored or donated to a campaign, this share is likely to increase in the face of rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs,” says Mollie Hertel, a senior research scientist at NORC

While pledging money to help pay someone’s medical bills or treatments is admirable and really shows what citizens can accomplish together, the depressing reality is millions of Americans cannot afford proper healthcare. 

Medical bills continue to be a major reason U.S. citizens have to file for bankruptcy, according to a 2019 City University of New York-Harvard study.

Bernie Sanders tweeted a response to the survey saying: “Enough is enough. No one should have to beg for money to get the health care they need in the richest country on Earth. Medicare for All now.”

“It comes down to a profit-making motive that is baked into a system—a system that puts profits over patients,” says Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who had introduced the House version of the Medicare for All Act. 


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