Medical salvation from an unlikely place

A church helps relieve medical debt for those in need.
5:32 | 12/21/20

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Transcript for Medical salvation from an unlikely place
Well today we're tackling an issue at the intersection of the economic crisis and the health care crisis caused by coping. Medical debt. New Labor Department numbers show more than twenty million workers were collecting unemployment benefits at the end of November and with many people losing health insurance. It's more likely that one major medical event. Could put their financial future in jeopardy already in this country more than one in four adults report either struggling to pay medical bills. Or they are living with someone who has. But for some of them salvation is coming from an unlikely place. ABC's Terry Moran shows us how churches and former debt collectors. Are stepping up to fill the void. Annapolis pastor Kenny c'mon Joey has long believed our nation's health care system is broken years ago on the heels of a costly cancer scare and his family his infant daughter fell off the changing table. Drove around the hospital. For a few hours. Just in a circle. Watching her he says the fear of more object kept him from going into the hospital that feeling and. Invisible hands incapable. Well taken care of my family. Has stuck with me that's not how our lives in this country should be. Says to not be able to take care of ourselves out of fear of what it's gonna cost and whether we can afford long term. Consequence. And so I think I think about that often it's stuck with me. As an experience with the broken this of all of this. Donna dees of Atlanta knows that crushing feeling a medical debt to if you have something like an icu bill Bennett's. You know crazy money diabetes related issues landed her in the icu twice it was a tough time her sister died her father died. She lost her job health is. Missed out. Dad's gone my sister's gun here Mac and gone. And the medical bills were one more burden in the richest. You know just. He Aegon huge and paid when you could you paid Ali don't just prayed that it didn't. You know thank you they're extremely negatively Millen that it did it in to some extent. But then out of the blue she got a letter informing her that debt was forgiven we edit it through language. Yeah theft scam preying. Central Bank is but it was real Donna's debt was paid off through a group called RIP medical. How specifically do you. Select the people who will receive the assistance that the idiot it for us is that it's it's blind. Thompson there's no judgment parent are part Allison says it was the group's executive director of she says RP has forgiven more than three billion dollars worth of medical debt you have to be 200% of poverty or below so helping people who are well off we're helping people who really need help the most. On the debt collection market does debts owed by low income people are the least valuable because they are the least likely ever to be paid off. Two former debt collectors Creag and Tico and Jerry Ashton had the idea to have five those debts in bulk for a fraction of their value. And then forgive them every dollar actually absolves a hundred dollars worth of medical debt for people. It was just being. His blessing that just appeared in the mailbox and no way and it just took care. It's a miracle. Of sorts. What does it tell you about. About people. That this happened. Why didn't it didn't really tell me anything it is confirmed. Acts. I don't I'm know that getting people out there. Aren't these donors have included so all you ready to do vick's. TV host John Oliver. And more than 400 church congregations large and small around the country. When you find this in the Bible medical debt. I think giving people a taste of freedom and forgiveness. Is the mission. Of the church. Pastor Jenny could not just as his congregation has wiped out our I d.'s debt portfolio for fourteen counties in Maryland. They're now partnering with other churches to raise enough money to wipe out the debt for the entire state born out of particularly wealthy congregation optically large congregation but. We're committed I think as a as a group to trying to. Help our neighbors. It's empowering people at a moment where it feels so stunted. As an as an it as a nation and a lot of ways while Allison says the says she's grateful for churches she wishes government leaders could also see the moral obligation here I mean look I think in the end of the day I I am really an inspired by what REP does every single day but at the same time I'm up call that we passed in excess. It's great work. Well why did do you yet that's our question answer. I want it to be different. My prayer is still. That something will change. I'll until the high cost to survive in this country is addressed pastor Kenny is making sure those in need don't have to carry that cross alone. For the breakdown I'm Terry Moran.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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