Freelance Artists in California and Healthcare.
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Thread: Freelance Artists in California and Healthcare.

  1. #1
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    Freelance Artists in California and Healthcare.

    Yeah, I should be updating my sketchbook.

    Regardless, as artists, especially freelancers, many of us may find it problematic to find affordable healthcare for ourselves and our families. Often if you are doing contract or freelance work, as I am, there is no healthcare option unless you are employed fulltime by a company that offers a health plan. Some say "screw it! Don't get sick!" However you may find yourself in a bit of trouble like my pal Groover McNab who was saddled with a $15,000 hospital bill (I stand corrected!) after breaking his arm. He at that point didn't have healthcare. You might also find yourself in a position like another contract worker friend of mine who is currently being sued by her health provider because they contest that her debilitating back problem was pre-existent when she signed up for health care, which it was not. These, among other problems are the inherent flaws of managed care. About 40 Million Americans currently do not have health coverage, many of them children.

    So, like myself and my girlfriend, you can shell out approximately $300 dollars a month, (not counting the price of prescriptions) and be able to insure against catastrophic illness and keep your allergies in check, or you can go without and suffer, and if injured or stricken with illness, be in dept for the rest of your life. Back in my home state of New York there is a new program providing healthcare to those who cannot afford it called Child and Family Health Plus, which has been extremely beneficial. Being that both of us currently pay up the nose for healthcare, (taking approximately $3600 from us each per year) I've been looking for a better solution.

    This is where I get off my soapbox to inform my fellow Californians about an interesting initiative I have discovered. Currently, there is a bill in the California State Senate called SB 840. It would effectively dismantle the private run healthcare system in California and replace it (keeping the organizations of Kaiser, Blue Cross, etc in place) with a large Non-Profit organization that would provide universal healthcare for all Californians.

    The organization surrounding this bill can be located here..

    www.healthcareforall.org

    There you can take a look at the proposed initiative. This is not so much a current option for healthcare as it is an opportunity for activism. I'm not trying to raise a discussion or debate on this issue; I am mainly just trying to arouse interest in the artistic community as California has a wealth of artists who do not have access to healthcare due to contract work.

    Undeniably there is a healthcare crisis across the nation as there is in California, and its long term implications are vastly important. For many people having guaranteed healthcare would liberate more disposable income, it would encourage the increase of preventative care rather than reactive, and it would prevent bankruptcy as much financial tribulation is caused in families which have seen a member incur excessive healthcare bills. I would like to inform my fellow Californian artists and encourage them to take the issue up with their legislators and see what they can do to spread word of the initiative. This issue affects me personally and I can guarantee it affects any artist not employed by a company which offers health plans.

    I would be interested in speaking with anyone who might have an idea of how to raise awareness and fight back against the eventual lobbying frenzy that will ensue when the HMO's begin to react.

    Sorry to bring politics back into the lounge, but I consider this issue extremely pertinent to us as Californians and as artists. In addition I believe we as artists posses a compassion and sensitivity that warrants support of such an initiative for the benifit of all.

    Last edited by Helium Macaroni; April 26th, 2005 at 05:09 AM.
    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed, The world in arms is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from an iron cross."

    ...I have a sketchbook?
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    O noes socialism!!!!!

    As good as it is it will fail, sadly.
    In the end money prevails as the main driving force and it will until this unsustainable system will finally collapse or you get a some sort of revolution(which is extremely unlikely given the case).
    This is one of the most unreasonable health care systems in all the first world countries and all because of unrelentless and unrestrained capitalism.

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    As much as I agree that forces and the odds are against us in this matter, it certainly doesn't hurt to try or to get the word out.

    Also, considering this is at the state level, and in one of the more progressive states, we may have a chance at getting it to pass. This is one of those issues that we need to use and to motivate our side to turn out and fight. Just like the conservatives used the state amendments banning gay marriage to motivate thier base, we need to use progressive initiatives to rally our side. Think about it. In this state especially the prospect of universal healthcare might motivate a significant amount of the electorate to take action. We need to do our part though. Get the initiative known and prepare to fight the private interests that will most certainly rally against it's passing.

    Though I agree with a lot that you say, we still have to try.

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed, The world in arms is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from an iron cross."

    ...I have a sketchbook?
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    great post man. yea i totally agree that this would help many people out there. sure people would complain about "o i'm paying for someone else's healthcare, etc etc" but i'm thinking so long as the bill is written out properly this can work out for everyone

    hmm being only 18 and not a very big voice in politics i guess i'll have to wait and see how it unfolds

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    I mean if there is a signature or a vote to give I am for a universal healthcare but I doubt it can be implemented, its not the first time that you see a sensible proposition getting overturned in the upper spheres because interests are at stake.
    Besides we've seen that the majority of the electorate is misinformed just as in any other state, which is very very problematic.

    On a side note are you still around here, in Pasadena?

    Last edited by skullsquid; April 26th, 2005 at 02:15 AM.
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    Helium-Your a good man for bringing up this issue. Freelancers and other wildfools without steady fulltime jobs should take interest in what you are saying. You have my vote bro'tha. It might be a longshot idea, but I like how it sounds. Vote Yes on SB 840. I wonder what the Governator thinks about it.

    -britt

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    Thanks Britt. I'm pretty sure Arnold will not be in support of it due to the heavy lobbying interests that will fight against it. He is indeed a moderate, but he doesn't often seem to stand too firm against larger corporate interests, and such an initiative would most likely not resonate well with the HMO industry or the upper income brackets that will most likely have to pay slightly more for the system to be implemented.

    I think everyone stands to gain from this initiative passing. From anyone who cannot afford healthcare, to anyone concearned about greater societal problems that stem from the lack of fundamental care. It would be a vote to raise all boats in my opinion.

    Thanks for the support, see if you can mention it to friends, or sign up for the mailing list. A lot of the fight will depend soley on getting the issue known. I'm going to try to raise awareness here by meeting with the local political chapters and opening up a table at my farmers market. Just circulate the word, thats the first step. I'm sure the opinion of people in the SF and Bay Areas would be right in line with this bill

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed, The world in arms is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from an iron cross."

    ...I have a sketchbook?
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    Take a look at some other countries with another healthcare system and find out how they're doing it. It might help to strenghten your voice if you bring up alternatives that actually work.
    Here in Belgium every citizin is covered for healtcare. However there are exceptions like cosmetic surgery and such. Don't know to what degree those things are covered.
    In fact the complete social security system here is one of the best in the world!
    I can give you the link to the according belgian site but its only translated in dutch , french and german ----> LINK
    But it still offers a lot of usefull info i guess.

    According to what you say Helium, the healthcare system in the US is obviously an immense problem. I can only hope it develops into something better. Healtcare insurance should be like a fundamental right!

    Last edited by Art_Addict; April 26th, 2005 at 08:26 PM.
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    Healthcare in Canada started off pretty good...

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    Gogogogogo. Fight the good fight!

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    i work fulltime at an art supply store to get health and life insurance and dental plan. i pay 50$ out of every paycheck for it but i think its worth it. i know a few people who had some badluck and ended up in the hospital with no insurance. and now they have bills that they will never be able to pay off. after seeing how that fucked them over for the rest of their lives, i'm definately for free healthcare.

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