One-Third of GoFundMe Donations Go Toward US Medical Bills

It’s no secret that, even with the Affordable Care Act, many still find themselves coming up short for medical treatment. Sadly, an enormous number of people have increasingly turned to online crowdfunding campaigns to bridge this gap.

Originally intended to offer a novel new way to fund independent projects — such as films or music — GoFundMe has become a major platform for desperate Americans, since opening in 2010. According to CEO Rob Solomon, one-third of all donations made through GoFundMe end up going toward funding a variety of health-related expenses.

“We weren’t ever set up to be a health care company and we still are not,” Solomon explained to CBS Moneywatch. Though not GoFundMe’s original intent, this shift has been undeniable. An average of 250,000 different funding campaigns are created every year, collectively bringing in $650 million annually.

The number of Americans with health care coverage has been plummeting recently. According to a recent Gallup poll, uninsured numbers are at a four-year high, growing by 7 million people since 2016.

Why is this? Despite Republican efforts, the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansions have largely endured. However, that hasn’t prevented a variety of state-level measures from hamstringing enrollment efforts, such as shortened open enrollment periods and reduced public awareness campaigns about enrollment. A number of private insurers have also bowed out of Medicaid participation, unwilling to provide reasonably priced coverage.

While many of these campaigns seek to aid Americans without health care coverage, some are supporting people whose insurance has been unable to cover their needs. Often, an insured individual is simply unable to cover their deductible — the amount of money that must be paid out-of-pocket before insurance covers the rest.

Given that 40 percent of Americans today are a single paycheck away from poverty, the ability to pay an often steep deductible on short notice is out of reach for millions. As such, is it truly any wonder many thousands of desperate Americans are turning to online crowdfunding to beg for help with paying their medical bills?

Take Action!

The Affordable Care Act, though it has successfully given health care to millions of Americans who would otherwise lack it, is proving to be a half measure. The fact that so many Americans have become uninsured again should be a wake-up call.

This is precisely why a federal single-payer health care option is long overdue. Such an institution would guarantee medical access for all Americans, regardless of financial status. This policy would also leave those with greater means the choice to pursue private treatment — but now with the guarantee that these options must be reasonably priced if they wish to remain competitive.

Add your name to this Care2 petition and call on our lawmakers to finally create a single-payer option so all Americans can pursue health and happiness!

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!

 

Photo Credit: Ernesto De Quesada/Flickr

30 comments

Chad A
Chad Anderson2 months ago

Thank you.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill2 months ago

shameful

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer2 months ago

Hmmmmm.

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Leo C
Leo Custer2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine Andersen2 months ago

When I married my late husband I moved to the US from Canada. I have since heard horror stories about medical bills, and heard of people who would rather die then inflict those bills on their families. I can't believe the people of the US haven't stood up and asked for better health care. Its fine if you are a politician, the government will pay all your medical bills...meaning you get to pay them from your taxes, or if you are rich enough that a 300K bill doesn't bother you. Most people don't have either of those options so have to deal with bankruptcy, for themselves and their families, or die. Nobody in this day and age should have to make that choice, but I just talked to a fellow whos uncle did that very things. He starved himself to death rather than try all the cancer treatments his dr wanted him to do. He did not want his family left with huge medical bills. How horrible.

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Debbi W
Debbi W2 months ago

That is incredible. It's depressing to think that so many people may be driven to bankruptcy with medical bills.

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Ruth R
Ruth R2 months ago

Trump has just announced in his state of the union speech that "America will never be a socialist country", which I interpret as trumpspeak for "No universal health care." The problem is going to be around for a long while, it seems.

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Loredana V
Loredana V2 months ago

Petition signed, thank you!

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Alea C
Alea C2 months ago

I think the rest of the people with high medical bills go bankrupt because it's not like there are other options available. You know. like universal or single payer healthcare.

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Anne M
Anne Moran2 months ago

Hopefully,, the new government will give the people universal healthcare,, so they don't have to beg for money,, in order to pay their bills.. - What a sad state of affairs that is.. - Disgraceful indeed... - Wake up !! - later for billions of dollars spent on NASA, and war games/planes/artillery/ect. - People first !!

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