anghara (anghara) wrote,

So since everyone is talking about the healthcare issue...'s an option. Have an Artist's Clause.

Yes, it's self interest, up to a point - but I know of far too many other writers and artists in the same boat so this one's for The Tribe, if you like.

We are not employed by bosses and companies and corporations that give us "packages". We do not have jobs with "Benefits". We do not have the luxury of affording medical insurance - partly because they insist on being paid every month for the privilege of kicking us out when we most need them (if they can find a way to do it), and our money, when we get it, comes in widely-spaced chunks which may come in as much as a year apart.

But are we not human? If you cut us, do we not bleed? If we get sick, do we not suffer? If we get struck down by awful accidents or Acts of God, do we not break?

And do we not contribute to the fabric of society? An artist or a writer who is too sick to paint or write has lost EVERYTHING - and the public might never see the paintings or the stories which that artist might have produced if they had been able to go to a doctor to get that cough seen to before it became pneumonia, to check out if that sudden rash is allergy or a bad case of chickenpox, to find out if there's a problem with high blood pressure before the stroke hits.

So, then. This remains, even with the "public option", which as far as I can tell is rapidly heading for the cutting room floor. If the mandate is that all of us out there are going to HAVE to get insurance, by law, there are a lot of us who might become guilty of felonious conduct by default - after all, if we could afford health insurance in the first place, *we would already have it*. So unless y'all want your novels and your art and your sculpture to come from special artists' prisons (where you'll have to feed and house us at the public's expense anyway) you might want to consider, up on Lawmakers Hill, that there we ARE out there. That we are an outlet for the dreams and the fears and the learning experiences of a society, that we are responsible, at least partly, for the "circuses" part of the old Roman adage that all that a populace needs to be kept happy and docile is bread and circuses - we are the entertainment.

We mostly do it because we want to and because we love it. Help us continue to do it. If you value your artists, do not bury them with this.

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