Art Collective MSCHF based in New York has unveiled a new project called “Medical Bill Art” in which three medical bills from Americans in debt were hand-painted on large canvases and sold for the same price of the bills. The earnings were given to the owners of the medical bills to cover the expenses of their healthcare. Three people were chosen based on the nature of their bills, and they all were involved in either an injury or accident that was nonviolent and not based on negligence. The money raised for these individuals came up to $73,360.36 total. The cost of healthcare is an ongoing crisis for over 170 million Americans, and what’s worse is the majority of the people who reached out to participate in this project were high school or college aged. Even our youngest and healthiest population is struggling with healthcare debt.

Some might argue that the premium cost of our healthcare is because of our high quality, but the care offered here is rather subpar. For the price of American healthcare, the outcomes to be expected are absolutely shameful. Our treatment outcomes, preventable mortality rate, disease burden, etc. are all so far behind the rest of the world’s wealthy countries. There is no question at all that the cost and quality of our healthcare is a serious issue for the majority of Americans. The “Medical Bill Art” project highlights a common problem for so many Americans today. It is a prime example of conceptual art that offers a satirical solution to a seemingly endless problem, as well as providing much needed exposure and a call to action. All it takes is one accident or injury, and it might not even be your fault, to become tens of thousands of dollars in debt. We shouldn’t be living in a world where we rely on going viral on social media or have to sell an artwork to pay for healthcare expenses, especially for such mediocre treatment. America is filled with citizens that are forced to find creative methods to pay for their health expenses because affordability is so rare and inaccessible to the public.

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Esther Nguyen

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