America’s Health Care Crisis Explored In “Mercy Killers”

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On this edition of Conversations from Studio B, Jackie Wolf talks with Debbie Silverstein, state director of the Single Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPAN), and Michael Milligan, author of the one-man play Mercy Killers.

In Mercy Killers, Milligan plays a character named Joe, a patriotic, blue-collar body shop owner from southeast Ohio.

However, when his uninsured wife is diagnosed with cancer, his patriotic feelings and passion for the ethos of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are turned upside down.

The play is part of a tour that Michael is putting on in collaboration with SPAN of Ohio, which is organizing performances around the state to help raise awareness about the growing dysfunction of the American health care system. Over 60% of all bankruptcies in the United States are the result of medical debt.

"What most people don't realize is that in the majority of those bankruptcies, the person involved actually had insurance at the onset of their health crisis," said Milligan. "Mercy Killers is my attempt to translate those statistics into the human experience indicated by those numbers."

The Ohio Native and Broadway actor will perform at ARTS/West on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. The free performance will be followed by a panel discussion on health care.

For more information on Mercy Killers, visit