Here's the story of yet another writer with no health insurance who needs help. I don't know him, but I feel for him. (If you're one of the lucky people who has a Real Job and a steady income, do please think about donating, even if it's just $25.)
Health insurance for the self-employed is brutally expensive. Kelley and I, for example, pay about $900 a month, just for the premium. It doesn't cover dental, optical is minimal, and services such as physical therapy (which I need on a regular basis) are severely limited. Plus, the co-pays for everything are high. In other words, our health costs are many thousands of dollars a year, probably more than our mortgage. But, hey, at least we have health insurance. We're lucky.
It blows me away that a country as rich as this refuses to provide for its citizens. There are many things about the US that I like--I chose to live here, after all--but its care, or lack thereof, for its people isn't one of them.
A stranger to these shores might be forgiven for thinking the American legislature, and therefore the people who vote them in, are evil or stupid or heartless. Healthcare could be fixed; everyone knows this. Every knows how to begin--a public option--but the special interests simply won't allow it. So is it because they're stupid, or evil, or heartless, or, shockingly, all of the above? I don't know. But until we figure it out, all that stands between many writers and health-costs disaster is the kindness of strangers. So I hope you will be kind.
I worry, frankly, that one day I might be in this position: holding out my hand and smiling hard. Today isn't that day. But the possibility exists, right here in the richest country on earth.