Crowdfunding a Cure

The sick are getting strangers to pay their medical bills

On the popular site kickstarter, tens of thousands of users have tapped friends, family and strangers to help finance everything from comic books to movies to a dream-enhancing sleep mask. But can that same model work for medical bills?

With U.S. health care costs at least $8,000 per capita, a group of new Web platforms are offering people an opportunity to ask the public for help. Of course, families have long held informal fundraisers for such causes. But now, by creating pages on GoFundMe (where medical asks are now the biggest traffic draw, trumping education and travel), GiveForward and other crowdfunding...

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