All I know is this: there’s this guy in Tacoma, a full-time musician, self-employed. He was helping a friend with some home repairs and fell off the roof.
There’s a woman from Seattle, a gifted pianist and songwriter, and her albums receive plenty of local acclaim. The type of artist who maybe played two shows a year, but you could count on them being sold out. She was in an accident, and both of her hands were crushed. Now she can’t play or work.
Every few weeks it seems there’s a Facebook campaign or benefit concert fundraiser for a career musician struck with a sudden illness or injury, leaving them with a stack of bills and unable to work even a “normal” job. I don’t know about you, but “have friends throw benefit concert” doesn’t strike me as a particularly sound form of coverage.
Americans like to talk big about individualism and practically worship entrepreneurs. Find your passion, follow your bliss, bootstrap yada yada something Zuckerberg. Yet the ones starting down this path are often literally putting their lives at risk, reclaiming their time by leaving the shelter of corporate-subsidized health coverage. These people — and I personally know a few — are making a big bet that they’ll find both professional success and financial security before they or a loved one are in an accident or diagnosed with something scary.
The ACA won’t be perfect. But it’s something, and I’ll take that something over another damn benefit concert.