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If Kylie Jenner Is Fundraising To Pay For Medical Bills, What Hope Do We Have?

Photo: Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock
If Kylie Jenner Is Fundraising To Pay For Medical Bills, What Hope Do We Have?

Kylie Jenner is facing backlash after calling on fans to donate to a GoFundMe campaign raising money for makeup artist Samuel Rauda.

It’s no secret that healthcare and medical expenses have a financially crippling impact on millions of Americans but it is a particularly disturbing reflection on our healthcare system if Kylie Jenner and those who work around her have to resort to fundraising to afford life-saving care.

The makeup mogul shared a link on her Instagram story flagging Rauda’s fundraiser which was established in the aftermath of a serious accident.

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Rauda, who goes by MakeupBySamuel on social media, is known for working with celebrities Olivia Cuplo to Bella Thorne, and of course, Jenner herself.

Though little is known about the details of Rauda’s accident or the aftercare he requires, his family revealed on their GoFundMe page that the makeup artist has already undergone major surgery and “has a long road to recovery ahead of him.”

The fundraiser’s initial goal of $10,000 was quickly exceeded following Jenner’s post to her 222 million followers and now almost $100,000 has been raised for the cause.

It is suspected that Jenner herself donated $5,000 which generated plenty of criticism from followers who were appalled that Forbes’ very own “self-made billionaire” would call on her less economically advantaged followers to pay off the medical debts of her friend.

However, this criticism, justified or not, deflects from a bitter reality: If those moving in circles some of the richest celebrities in the world are forced to crowdfund their medical bills, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Not even celebrity status will protect you from America’s astronomically expensive healthcare system.

Rauda’s client list is a who’s-who of America’s top 1%, and though we don’t know an exact breakdown of what he’s charging for a seat in his makeup chair, it’s not misguided to assume that Rauda should be prospering financially.

But even those with high incomes can’t always budget for unexpected, life-threatening accidents that can derail your financial and physical security overnight especially when the cost of these incidents are more than any individual should have to bear.

In 2019, 137 million Americans were struggling with medical debt. These figures have likely risen as the pandemic creates increased financial burdens across the country.

America is a rich, well-developed country that should be able to afford a world-class healthcare system. Yet, in moments when we need it most, the country has little medical assistance to provide.

Currently, the government pays for just one-half of all healthcare costs while individuals pay for one quarter and employers fund the rest.

The number of Americans skipping out on health insurance has reached new heights in recent years with a record 13.7% of adults living without insurance.

Even for those with healthcare coverage, medical emergencies, and expensive treatments often leave people paying out of pocket for costs their health insurance won’t cover.

For a makeup artist, like Rauda, whose work has no doubt dried up since the beginning of the pandemic, a sudden accident can be a financial burden too expensive to bear.

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Jenner isn’t the only one turning to GoFundMe for medical bills.

GoFundMe has inadvertently become a substitute for health insurance for countless people who have turned to the site for help in times of need.

Over one-third of all fundraisers on the site are for medical expenses which have accumulatively raised over $650 million.

Donations come to these fundraisers in all amounts from close friends, good samaritans, kind strangers, and even the occasional Keeping Up With The Kardashians star.

But the good nature of these donors pays for more than just the medical bills of the person they’re donating to.

It also allows the government to continue to slack off on providing affordable healthcare by deflecting responsibility back on to individuals and the people who are kind enough to help them out.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.