Welcome to Coffeyville, Kansas, where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection

Remember single payer healthcare is bad because it restricts freedom. The freedom to be imprisoned for getting sick is a vital part of American society and should be protected at all costs.


Coffeyville, that brings back memories. It was in a wheat field just south of Coffeyville, Kansas. It was late November. It’s a month of mist. And we were caught in the open. The sun was setting behind us. There was nowhere to run. Twice it came in on us, and twice it missed the heart of us. And that’s when I had an epiphany. You see they have great vision during the day- and they have even better vision at night. But in the failing light they can’t focus. Magic hour.

I think most states have similar procedures, with some few differences. In my state, the judge has to be a lawyer, but regardless, the judge’s role is pretty limited. Sounds to me like this lawyer has put together a system that allows him to make a living out of collection cases. For most lawyers, collections are by and large not worth doing. But I can see how, in a poverty-stricken place, which Coffeyville seems to be, it could be turned into a business.

But as the article points out, people don’t get jailed for nonpayment. They get jailed for not showing up or for lying in court. That’s true in any court proceeding in which the party is subpoenaed.

This is a just a runaround debtors’ prison, they hold you hostage until someone you love can bail you out and the bail goes to your creditor. Anyone who believed in justice would oppose this monstrosity, but of course anyone who believed in justice wouldn’t support America’s evil healthcare system to begin with. Many people support imprisoning the poor or letting them die as long as they’re not themselves inconvenienced.


I am not sure you understand the article. People in Coffeyville are not jailed because they owe money. They’re jailed if they’re subpoenaed and don’t show up or if they lie to the judge and it’s proved on them. That’s true even in traffic courts.

You’re talking about something that’s true everywhere. It’s just that it appears Kansas doesn’t require the judges in those cases to be lawyers (which it should) and some lawyer there has made a system of it. But this is not really unusual otherwise.

Legal processes can be abused. Recently there was legislation in Missouri changing the way municipal courts work in order to eliminate some abuses that were happening in the St. Louis area.

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I read and understand the article, hence my calling it a “runaround debtors’ prison”. Like all injustices people rules-lawyer it into somehow being justified so they don’t have to acknowledge the injustice. If they weren’t being jailed for their debt their creditors wouldn’t be getting a cut of the bail, but they are and the creditors do.

And much more has been written about this evil practice in the context of traffic court.

And they are clearly being abused in this instance.

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