Stacey Abrams group helping erase medical debt in five states

Stacey Abrams group helping erase medical debt in five states
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Fair Fight, a voting rights organization led by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, announced on Wednesday it would work to eliminate millions in medical debt for people across the country. 

The organization's $1.34 million donation will go to 108,000 people in Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in order to pay out more than $210 million of medical debt, the release said.

Specifically, the money will go through the nonprofit group RIP Medical Debt, the third-largest donation in the nonprofit's history. 

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"I know firsthand how medical costs and a broken healthcare system put families further and further in debt," Abrams said in the press release from Fair Fight.

"Across the Sunbelt and in the South, this problem is exacerbated in states like Georgia where failed leaders have callously refused to expand Medicaid, even during a pandemic," she added. "For people of color, the working poor and middle-class families facing crushing costs, we hope to relieve the strain on desperate Americans and on hospitals struggling to remain open."

Fair Fight's funding will go to more than 68,000 people in Georgia, over 27,000 people in Arizona and upwards of 8,000 people in Louisiana, in addition to about 2,000 people in both Alabama and Mississippi.

The donation comes amid Fair Fight's larger push for full Medicaid expansion. The group's release noted that since 2014, medical debt has declined by more than 30 percent in states that have expanded Medicaid.

Of the states where people will receive funding from the organization, both Arizona and Louisiana have expanded Medicaid.