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Color of Health Campaign Update

Written by Greater Cleveland Congregations

Your generosity made our Color of Health Debt Relief Campaign a resounding success!

Back in October, GCC launched a medical debt relief campaign open to member congregations and supporters. 

We partnered with Undue Medical Debt, a nonprofit that works to end medical debt and ensure a future where everyone can access healthcare without fear. 

The campaign and the numbers are in. Thanks to you, we raised $41,824.20, exceeding our goal of $40,000. Your gifts will have a profound impact on the lives of people here in Cleveland and throughout Cuyahoga County. 

Every $10 you give has the potential to erase $1,000 of medical debt. This ultimately means we have eliminated $6,606,628.22 of medical debt for 10,182 families in Cleveland and throughout Cuyahoga County. 

The fight is not over because healthcare debt is still a massive burden on people and families here at home and across the country. 

  • More than 40% of adults in the US report having medical debt

  • Here in Ohio, 35% percent of adults say they are struggling to pay their medical bills 

  • More than 60% of bankruptcies are triggered by medical debt 

This money isn’t just owed to healthcare systems. According to KFF, a policy, research and journalism nonprofit in San Francisco, the debt is also owed to, “Credit cards, collections agencies, family and friends, banks, and other lenders.” Medical debt affects everyone. 

And for people who struggle with health inequities and access to care — Black and Hispanic people, the uninsured and people with lower incomes — the problem is even worse. 

The problem of medical debt and access to care cannot be solved without foundational, systemic change. Together, we will keep working to create that change here at home and across the country. 

Thank you for making Greater Cleveland greater for all of us.