After research for an investigative piece, KIRO 7 – a CBS-affiliated TV station learned about the astounding debt that locals had accumulated. Most of these debts were ready to be sold off to a collection agency which is when KIRO-TV decided to take action.
Like debt-collectors, KIRO-TV followed the procedures in purchasing the debt from the hospital for pennies on the dollar. For $12,000, the TV station was able to purchase $1M worth of medical debt – a debt that was currently burdening over 1,000 people in the area.
This movement was initiated by the station’s reporter Jesse Jones after learning that a local woman was in a never ending cycle of treatment and screenings for cancer. The woman went on to explain that at times she felt like stopping the treatment knowing that this was only way to stop accruing debt, but that she knew her children and loved ones still needed her around. The interview touched the investigative reporter, Jesse Jones to learn more and researched on the best way to help out more people in similar situations.
Jesse Jones began his career in 1989 as a teleprompter operator and was later promoted to Sports, News, and later Special Project Reporting and Producing. His career spread throughout Baltimore, Cincinnati, and the Pacific Northwest where he has stayed since 2005.
Since the beginning of his movement, Jesse intends to continue this cycle in hopes of helping out people like the woman who inspired him to start it all. He now has a donation page online called “RIP Medical Debt” and you too can be a part of this movement by clicking here.