Although we’ve spoken twice with Dawn Xiana Moon of Raks Geek about immigration reform, she and the troupe are taking on another cause at their upcoming December 13th performance at the Newport Theater in Lakeview. Some of the proceeds from Raks Geek’s December 13 performance will be used to forgive medical debt through RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that relieves such debt for many people in Chicago and throughout the country.
You may wonder “geeky” belly dance, fire-spinning, and other acts pertain to medical debt. It’s not the first time the subject of medical debt was made entertaining: John Oliver focused on debt collection (and medical debt) on a past episode of his HBO show (and received a testimonial on Mashable):
Although it is tempting to dismiss John Oliver and Raks Geek’s efforts as mere entertainment, many Americans experience dire consequences as a result of medical debt. According to statistics provided by RIP Medical Debt, 66% of all bankruptcies and 25% of all credit card debt are a result of unpaid medical expenses. More than half of all Americans with medical debt have no other debts on their credit report. As health care costs rise as a result of medical debt, nearly one in three Americans are avoiding medical care (such as medication and primary care visits) due to concerns around cost. With medical debt collectors going to extreme lengths to collect (including arresting people and LinkedIn connections), efforts to alleviate medical debt can be complicated for many people to handle alone.
Having partnered with churches (as well as John Oliver) in the past, RIP Medical Debt purchases such debt for pennies on the dollar. Working Forgiving debt without adverse consequences to a person’s credit history, RIP Medical Debt has improved many people’s credit status and provided forward financial movement. Since “Debt never dies” in cofounder Craig Antico’s words, RIP Medical Debt provides a sorely needed service to alleviate these issues for many Americans. Raks Geek’s December 12th performance fundraiser at the Newport Theater is bringing greater attention and awareness to the issue in a way denied to certain presidential candidates.
Health care reform is a complicated issue that one blog post or one performance will not solve, but Raks Geek is taking a critical step and inclusive stance towards the issue. Through December 13 show (subtitled “A Xenomorph Holiday Special”) at the Newport Theater in Lakeview, Raks Geek will be making a small but significant step in bringing awareness and attention to a complicated issue…and will entertain you while doing so.
In fact, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive Bellydancing Wookie.
Hope to see you there!