05/22/2012 04:11 pm ET Updated May 22, 2012

Tobin Northrup, Sick Ohio Man, Selling 'Cool Aid' For $1,000 To Pay Medical Bills

For the low-price of $1,000, one man is offering customers a chance to drink to good health -- his own, that is.

Tobin Northrup, 43, of Lakewood, Ohio is selling a peach-mango drink for $1,000 per cup in an effort to pay off some hefty medical bills, FOX 8 Cleveland reports. Offering a second cup for free, he’s selling the drink from a stand in his parents' front yard with the hope of settling his hospital debts after three bouts of pancreatitis and gall bladder removal surgery.

“If I sold 19 ‘Cool-Aids,’ that would probably cover maybe about half,” Northrup, a bartender without health insurance who’s been unable to work since falling ill, told FOX 8.

Northrup is one of many Americans struggling to pay their bills amid rising health care costs. This year the average cost of health care for insured American families will top $20,000 for the first time ever. And health care costs have increased seven to eight percent each year since 2008 making the U.S. the country with the highest average health care costs of any industrialized nation. By 2037, health insurance will cost more than the median income of Americans.

A 2007 study found that more than 60 percent of Americans who file for bankruptcy do so because of medical bills.

And Northrup isn't the first person to turn to a beverage stand to raise money to pay off medical debts. Six-year-old Drew Cox, for example, raised $10,000 to pay for his Dad’s medical expenses by selling lemonade in April.

Others have opted to sell goods besides food. The parents of three-year-old cancer patient Liam Myrick took to selling paintings he made to help cover $500,000 of treatments. Jan Cline of Oregon, meanwhile, raised money to pay for medical bills by running yard sales every weekend before town officials told her that by law she was only allowed to host three yard sales per year.

Here are some other stories about Americans mired in debt:

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