In partnership with the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Georgia Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, the newly formed Abrams Legal Project aims to wipe out the medical debt of individuals and their families. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, medical debt remains one of the top three causes of personal bankruptcy in the United States and has been estimated to cost the country $200 billion annually in unpaid debt and $10 billion in lost consumer spending. In Georgia, over two million residents are struggling with a cumulative balance of over $800 million.
“Medicaid has been a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Georgians across this state,” said Stacey Abrams, in a press release. “However, Republicans have used the program to fill the revenue hole created by the loss of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a women’s health program supported by nearly 70% of Georgians.”
“GAMLEO Action is excited to announce our largest contribution ever: a gift of over $1 million from Stacey Abrams and her new Legal Project,” said Gideon G. Gwinn, GAMLEO’s Board Chair. “Our long-standing partnership with Gamleo allows us to help communities in need, and I know that the Abrams Legal Project will truly make a difference in the lives of Georgia families in need.”
As part of the new project, the Abrams Legal Project will begin providing pro bono counseling and case assistance to current and former Medicaid recipients and other high-impact, uninsured individuals. The funding from Abrams and GAMLEO will supplement and supplement existing pro bono efforts by private attorneys and community partners in their communities. A zero-sum exercise, medical debt removal is a critical solution, but there are simply not enough public resources to be granted to these individuals. Given the scope of Georgia’s problem and the inadequate resources to address the problems, GAMLEO Action plans to aid as many of the most deserving cases as possible.
The annual donation from Abrams and Gamleo will be used for the Project’s design, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach, and legal services to individuals and families with health conditions.