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Radio/TV • Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock
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2024-07-08 -- Ernest Hancock interviews Jerry Ashton (Undue Medical Debt) MP3&4

Jerry Ashton, co-founder in 2014 of the highly respected Undue Medical Debt on his quest to end medical debt for veterans ( (in addition to millions of Americans it has helped out so far)
Media Type: Audio • Time: 76 Minutes and 05 Secs
Guests: Jerry Ashton, ,
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Hour 1 - 3 Video

Hour 1 - 3

Media Type: Audio • Time: 76 Minutes and 05 Secs
Guests: Jerry Ashton, ,
Watch Video
Hour 1 - 3 Video


Front page of Freedom's Phoenix (player only active when we are live, and it's located under Roberts & Roberts Banner ad)


1 -  Jerry Ashton, co-founder in 2014 of the highly respected Undue Medical Debt on his quest to end medical debt for veterans ( (in addition to millions of Americans it has helped out so far). (See Go Fund Me for Sergeant Michael Thorin)

Previous interviews with 'End Medical Debt' authors click HERE



Jerry Ashton, co-founder in 2014 of the highly respected Undue Medical Debt which has to date abolished $12B in medical debt for nearly eight million Americans, has a new charitable interest – our veterans.

Jerry is a Navy veteran, having served from 1955-1959 and currently a member of Military Veterans in Journalism, and has been a long-time veteran advocate.

He is putting both talents to work, this time through a 501(c)(3) private charitable foundation called End Veteran Debt whose mission is twofold – abolish veteran debt and reduce veteran suicide.

End Veteran Debt, is reframing history's famed June 6, 1944, " D-Day" as 2024's "Operation Debt-Day" campaign to abolish $80,000,000 in veteran financial burdens. Symbolically, this represents one million dollars raised per each of the 80 years since the original landing at the Normandy beaches.

The purpose of D-Day in 1944 was to liberate Europe from fascism.

The purpose of Operation Debt-Day in 2024 is to liberate veterans from debt.



End Medical Debt: Curing America's $1 Trillion Unpayable Healthcare Debt

Available on AMAZON now (paperback and hardcover) - click here

In our urgent public debates about our broken healthcare system, we have overlooked the devastating personal and social impact of America's medical debt crisis. Millions of Americans face $1 trillion in unpayable medical debt!

The three authors of End Medical Debt in 2014 began RIP Medical Debt, a tax-exempt charity that locates, buys and forgives medical debt. RIP first came to America's attention in 2016 when HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" used the charity to abolish $15 million in medical debt. In response to public support since then, by the end of 1018, RIP had abolished a half billion dollars in medical debt for 250,000 Americans in communities across the country.

From their distinct viewpoints as debt collections and healthcare administration insiders, the three authors take a realistic look at our healthcare system, revealing how and why we got into this mess of skyrocketing costs, shrinking insurance coverage, rising deductibles, and mounting medical debt. They view debt forgiveness as a necessary interim solution until we agree on a better financial structure for our unhealthy healthcare system.

End Medical Debt delves into the most popular proposed solutions -- repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, insurance reform, drug price controls, adding a Medicare Option to the ACA fo9r those over age 50 or 55, and Medicare-for-All (single-payer universal healthcare). The book concludes with the call for an American Medical Debt Commission that reports to Congress annually about the national medical debt crisis.

The book further presents practical tips for those burdened by personal medical debt.

The authors are industry insiders:
Jerry Ashton -- 40 years in the credit and collections industry.
Robert Goff -- 40 years in healthcare administration management.
Craig Antico -- 30 years in collections, debt buying and consulting.

Robert Goff and Jerry Ashton are the co-authors of The Patient, The Doctor and The Bill Collector: A Medical Debt Survival Guide, published in 2016 by Hoku House.

The authors are donating 100 percent of their royalties to forgiving medical debt.

- - - -

2. D-Day Anniversary Sparks Mission to Erase $80 Million in Veteran Debt - Operation Debt-Day

3. Help Veteran Sergeant Michael Thorin Get Out of Debt

Main fundraiser photo

My Life is a Drain on My Family.

Our floor is gone in the bathroom, the back deck is falling in, there is a hole in the kitchen floor, the toilet in the basement is broken, the house needs an overhaul, there are broken windows, the garage needs repair, the yard is terrible…

…and here I am, the man of the house at an age where I should be able to help, yet unable to do so.

In Iraq, the Serviceman's Group Life Insurance was $250,000. If I could have died in Iraq, my family could have received $250,000. Bills paid, no sick husband to take care of, no insane medical expenses, no bankruptcy, no ruined credit. They would have been taken care of. They would never have to deal with my failure, which was surviving.

Don't get me wrong, I am an insanely blessed man. I was able to return in 2006 to my family and return to work as a firefighter/paramedic and tactical medic for the fire and police departments I worked with. My wife was a nurse and between us, we made $130,000 a year. We had purchased a newly built house (the first new construction house my family or I had ever lived in), when the girls turned 16 we got them cars, we had great credit, and life was moving forward.

Unfortunately, I brought back a bit of Iraq with me. I had developed a cough and chronic nausea. Shortly after I returned to work, I began having trouble breathing. I began to have problems passing out when performing strenuous work. I had to quit running and limit my working out.

Finally, on April 1 of 2014, I passed out at work. I was sent for several tests and it was found that I had developed several medical issues and would have to start more testing. I was told within 2 weeks that I would never work again and that my lungs were failing.

My wife had to quit work to take care of me and our income went from $130,000 a year to $28,000 a year within a month. We filed for disability, and the wait began.

Within a year of waiting we had the house foreclosed on us, lost our vehicles, had our credit ruined, lost the house, and had to file bankruptcy.

I actually died in Iraq and didn't know it. The blessing of being able to spend more time with my family turned into a curse as they had to witness me lying in the floor struggling to breathe in a pool of my own spit and vomit. Witnessing me being hauled off too many times to mention in an ambulance, knowing that we didn't know where we were going to sleep or if we would have food. It was too much, and it was a nightmare.

But there was a little light at the end of the tunnel. We found that I had been awarded my Social Security and VA Disability about 2 years into this fight. We received back pay, and were ecstatic. Much of the back pay went to paying attorney's and the rest to trying to catch up with a few bills.

Our credit was still ruined and we were a liability when it came to loans. We had gotten insanely high credit cards and loans to try to survive, and now the reality is sinking in…

…we will never recover from this.

My wife owes over $30,000 for her medicine for Alpha One Inotropin Deficiency. It is an expensive IV medication taken through a medical port in her chest that she has been on for several years. When I was working, my insurance would cover the medicine. However, when I lost my job, I had to begin using the VA exclusively, so my wife had to buy whatever insurance we could afford. The insurance we could afford did not cover the expensive medicine, so the company allowed us to continue to get the medicine and just pay what we could monthly.

We have over $25,000 in debt from insanely high interest rates, over $25,000 in repairs we need to make to this house, and monthly bills that eat up most of our pay.

If we did not have the debt and the destroyed credit caused by a foreclosure, bankruptcy, and medical bills, we would have no problems making our payments. With over $3,000 going out on debt and an additional $2,000 going out for other medical expenses not covered by insurance, the rest of our money goes to paying for the house, insurance, utilities, and other living expenses.

If we could simply get rid of some of our debt, then our problems would be over, but we cannot continue to try to pay the high interest loans and medical bills and live simultaneously. If we could just pay off the debt we incurred while waiting for the disability then we would finally be able to breathe.

It's not happening though. We have depended on the kindness of strangers for almost 10 years now, and I have become a leach. I have become a sponge, and my family has to suffer for my inability to provide.

I essentially died in 2006, but my body didn't know it.

My family was cheated out of a decent life because I failed to die in Iraq, and now they are paying for it. I cannot work harder to get us out of this, and there are no charities to help those like myself.

I have life insurance and then there are other benefits my wife and kids can receive on my passing. Mortgage payoff insurance and other benefits would allow my wife and kids to recover from the financial hardship my return has brought them.

If you want to know why the veteran suicide rate is 44 per day, I will tell you.

When you make a man feel like he is worth more dead than alive, and then he has to see his family suffer because he continues to breathe, then he eventually has to make a hard decision.

The most selfish thing I have ever done is survive Iraq. The second most selfish thing I have done is continue to live while my family suffers.


Letters of Marque Paperback


Letters of Marque Paperback – September 25, 2018

by Marque dePlume (Author)

"The Crown calls it 'piracy' to explore frontiers beyond its grasp. So the time has come to define the conduct among pirates." Captain Marque

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