I think every blogger has a graveyard of half-finished drafts of posts that they can’t quite find the time or words to finish to their satisfaction. One of mine is about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.
Thankfully, instead of having to finish that post, I can link you to several other posts made by working artists and critics to give a sense of what ACA can mean for our country, as well as what it has already done.
Critic Alyssa Rosenberg, on what the ACA could mean for artists: http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/10/02/2719011/affordable-care-act-artists/
Author Kameron Hurley, sharing a horror story from her own life about what can happen when you’re young and uninsured in America pre-ACA. http://www.kameronhurley.com/the-horror-novel-youll-never-have-to-live-surviving-without-health-insurance/
Author Jay Lake, who is living with terminal cancer, about what ACA has already done in extending his life: http://www.jlake.com/2013/10/03/politicscancer-the-government-shutdown-and-the-aca-and-me/
For myself, I’m very excited and optimistic about PPACA/ACA – I think Alyssa’s dead-on about the potential for artists and freelancers, and if I wasn’t really happy with and excited by my current job, I’d be taking a serious look at going full-time as a writer in 2014 with the healthcare exchanges. As-is, I’m going to be looking at the exchanges anyway, to see if I can save money by switching over to the exchanges and strengthen the pool by participating as a healthy young person.
What the exchanges, the employer mandates, and the individual mandates will actually look like and how they will shake out in terms of costs, really remains to be seen. But ACA has already taken a big step forward in several areas, (the ones discussed above, among others) from our total cluster@$% of a healthcare system to something somewhat less callous and exploitative. Maybe one day, we’ll move forward from PPACA and institute a real, single-payer, universal healthcare system like the vast majority of the rest of the developed world.