John Oliver is not just a brilliant comedian. Through his humor and segments, he often makes compelling points about our society – and in this case – medical privacy. Consumerist has a piece on how Oliver easily created his own medical debt collection firm, and thereby came into possession of many people’s medical information:
For a $50 fee, Oliver and his team registered their new debt-acquisition firm, Central Asset Recovery Professionals — CARP, named after the bottom-feeding fish — in Mississippi, complete with a website that was nothing more than the logo you see here.
“With little more to go on than that website,” says Oliver, “we were soon offered a portfolio of nearly $15 million of out-of-statute medical debt from Texas.”
The asking price was less than $60,000 for $14,922,261.76 in this zombie debt — or around $.004 for every dollar of debt owed. Purchasing the debt would give CARP the names, current addresses, Social Security numbers, and amount owed (or previously owed, as the statute of limitations had expired) for nearly 9,000 individuals.
What Oliver did next is an amazing act of kindness to people, but let’s not forget what he has demonstrated about the risks we face.
Watch the whole segment here: