As healthcare is largely dependent on one’s employer in the United States, the coronavirus pandemic has screwed many Americans from both ends: As millions lost their jobs for pandemic-related reasons, they also lost their health insurance. While COVID-19 related expenses are leaving people in debt, over 130 million Americans had medical debt even before the pandemic.
MSCHF, the group responsible for stunts like Finger on the App and MasterWiki, is bringing attention to the failures of the American healthcare system with Medical Bill Art. Three real medical bills were rendered into oil paintings and sold for the amount of money owed via the art market. The work is aptly called 3 Medical Bills.
MSCHF sourced the bills from a magazine ad, and has never met nor has any affiliation with the billholders. According to Medical Bill Art’s website, the proceeds from the art sale were used to pay off the original bills. 3 Medical Bills was bought by Otis, an app that allows people to invest in art and collectables.
While a promotional video displays a phone number, MSCHF’s head of strategy Daniel Greenberg told Mashable that the number is fake and just a parody of late-night lawyer ads on TV — so don’t get your hopes up that MSCHF will do this with your debt, too. According to Greenberg, the company doesn’t plan on doing this again but pointed out, “You never know with MSCHF.”
In total, $73,360.36 of medical debt was paid off. You can buy shares of 3 Medical Bills by downloading the Otis app — if you’re not currently bogged down by debt yourself, that is.