Toledo City Council approves medical debt relief legislation
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo City Council approved legislation to relieve medical debt for eligible residents on Wednesday.
In a 7-5 vote, council members approved legislation to create a partnership between the city and a nonprofit group called RIP Medical Debt to relieve debt for eligible Toledo residents. Council approved $800,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the move. Lucas County Commissioners recently announced it would spend an additional $800,000, which would eliminate $160-$200 million in medical debt for Toledo residents and Lucas County residents.
Council woman Michele Grim, who spearheaded the measure, said it would use less than 1% of the city’s ARPA funds.
RIP Medical Debt would work with hospitals to purchase debt in bundles at a discounted rate, eliminating medical debt for many people. The longer debt goes unpaid, the cheaper it is for RIP Medical Debt to purchase. Grim said that could wipe out decades of debt.
“It’s not anyone’s fault that they get sick. It’s not anyone’s fault that they get injured. It’s not anyone’s fault that maybe their anesthesiologist for their surgery is out of network,” Grim previously told 13abc. “Everybody has the potential to have medical debt.”
There is still uncertainty surrounding the specifics of the move. It’s unclear which exact debt will be forgiven or exactly which people would be eligible for the forgiveness. RIP Medical Debt also has not signed a contract with any local healthcare providers at this point.
Those concerns are just some of the considerations made by the two council members who voted no on the measure. Council woman Vanice Williams and councilman George Sarantou held a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s council meeting to raise their concerns. You can watch that press conference in full below.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.
Copyright 2022 WTVG. All rights reserved.