Sunday, July 12, 2009

health insurance

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.

This blog has moved. My blog now lives here: