When John Oliver Made a Gift of $16 Million to 9,000 People By Forgiving Their Medical Debts

Even though this didn’t happen during the Christmas period and I sorta watched the episode on YouTube, it didn’t dawn on me of the significance of this action until a person I respect blogged about it. Now I think the world, my city, or at least my tens of followers should know as well.

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Oliver broadcast this show in mid-2016. It remains one of the most amazing, most generous gestures I have ever seen.

Oliver, as you may know, mixes up great information and in-depth reporting with funny graphics and unexpected jokes. He keeps viewers entertained as he educates them.

In this segment, he explains debt collection agencies, how they buy debt of all kinds for pennies on the dollar, try to collect, and if they don’t succeed, sell it to another debt collector. The hapless consumer can expect to be harassed with increasingly unscrupulous and aggressive tactics.

Oliver’s team goes to debt collection industry meetings, where the industry leaders talk about consumers as dumb clucks. He films an Arkansas legislator pushing a bill to reduce consumer rights and misrepresents its purpose. It passes easily.

Finally, he does something utterly remarkable.

He creates and incorporates a new debt collection agency Of his…

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