Mercer initiative aims to retire medical debt for the poor

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MACON, Ga. (AP) — A new initiative at the Mercer University School of Medicine conceived by a retired federal judge is helping poor people in rural Georgia pay their medical debts.

A news release from the university says the Mercer Family Cares Initiative, funded by three families with ties to the school, is retiring more than $4.3 million in medical debt for nearly 3,000 people who live in 33 Georgia counties.

The idea came from retired U.S. District Judge William Duffey, who served in the northern district of Georgia and was previously a partner at King & Spalding law firm in Atlanta after he noticed inflated prices for items on his own medical bills.

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