Are You Insured?

“It turns out though, that because most of my friends are cartoonists, they’re uninsured too…”

Julia Wertz on living with lupus and being uninsured. (link via Mike Lynch)

Ivy and I were uninsured for the first several years of our marriage. Then Winter swallowed a penny when she was two and it cost us seven hundred thousand pennies to get it out.

Getting health insurance is a really good idea (as is fixing the whole system, though that’s another topic). It’s sad that so few in this business—at least on the alternative/small press end—feel they can afford it.

[More on this topic from Evan Dorkin, plus (via Tom in the comments) here’s some older, but still relevant info from Colleen Doran.]

Discussion (19)¬

  1. Steve Weiner says:

    Its really criminal that, in a country as advanced as this one, insurance is an issue. It should be a right. In Massachusetts, unisured people are legally supposed to join the state plan, however its pretty expensive(which is one of the reasons these people don’t have insurance in the first place).

    • Darkflame says:

      Surely healthcare itself should be a human right, not the insurance?
      We dont have insurance agency’s to pay Fireman or Police, so why Doctors 😕

  2. Stephoodle says:

    NHS is one of the reasons I’m happy to be living in the UK now. The cost of medical care back in the States is huge, and even if you’re lucky enough to have an employer that offers health coverage it takes a good chunk to get a decent plan.

  3. indigo says:

    I lost my insurance when I got laid off about 18 months ago, and since i’ve become self-employed, I haven’t been able to afford to get my own. I’m a generally healthy guy, and rarely need to see a doctor. I don’t have any chronic conditions, so I didn’t really see the point in paying out several hundred dollars a month for something I’d never need.

    Until I woke up one morning in March with appendicitis. A day in the hospital later, and I’d racked up over $16,000 in medical bills. I knew as soon as I’d made the decision to go see a doctor that morning that I was going to have to declare bankruptcy, and I know I’m not the only person in the country who’s had to do that. I’m in the beginning stages of that process now. I do feel bad for Julia, but I’m glad she knows that she’s not alone, that there are a lot of artists in the country who aren’t properly insured.

    I was terribly disappointed to see the congress back down on the public option part of the medical reform act. Though it’s clear that simply providing insurance to everybody won’t solve the bigger problem, which is the outrageous cost of medical care in this country, giving more people access to it would create a healthier, happier nation. Also, having the government provide inexpensive and ubiquitous insurance to every citizen in the country would lighten the huge burden on business to provide expensive and limiting health care plans to their employees. I know people who have left jobs they enjoyed at small businesses because those businesses didn’t offer health insurance. Imagine not needing to pick a job based on its medical benefits package!

  4. This is so important and I’s so glad I could watch it here. Thanks a lot, Mr. McCloud.

  5. DK says:

    This has got to be the primary reason as an “aspiring” writer/illustrator I’m afraid to leave my current job in retail to attempt to dedicate all my time to producing new work. I have decent health insurance through my job, and I have to work 35 hours a week to maintain it.

  6. Mario says:

    Sometimes you need to stop following your dreams and get a real job.

  7. Chiel says:

    Where I’m from everybodu got health insurance, your obligated. Everybody got the same…

  8. Dear America,

    If you stop pumping all of your tax money into the futile plan of being the world’s police, you will find that you do have more than enough money for universal health care.

    And you’ll still have enough left over to build a fancy jet fighter!

    Your friend,

    Common Sense.

    • While I probably agree with the “spirit” of this post, I think it oversimplifies a fairly complex political/moral issue. Instead of becoming isolationist, I think the goal should be improved responsibility when necessity dictates engaging in military pursuits–from a political, cultural, and economic perspective. I know this is a hot button topic, and I don’t want to offend, but issues like Health Care and foreign policy aren’t as black and white as many make them out to be. That being said, I do believe we need Health Care reform, and I do think we waste tremendous amounts of money in our armed forces.

      • Chiel says:

        I know what you mean and I agree on most parts although I do think your country needs a health Care reform. What I know is from documantaries so pls correct me if I’m wrong but there are many people in your country not insured and many have huge depts due to a previous treatment. These issues doens’t exist in the Netherlands because all are insured and all are paying for it making Health insurance payable.

      • Next time I’ll submit an essay. 😉

  9. Will Curwin says:


  10. Tom Galloway says:

    Colleen Doran did a good overview post on her blog about health insurance resources: http://adistantsoil.com/2009/01/13/artists-health-insurance/

  11. Darkflame says:

    Insurance just means more middle-man handling the cash.
    National Health when done right is vastly cheaper, as theres less hands taking the money. (and, a heck of a lot less money spent on advertising…millions of dollars a day recently).
    For some reason this gets glossed over or ignored in debates. The idea that insurance systems are cheaper is a stubborn one.

    The other advantage with national healthcare is people dont worry about the cost of seeing a doctor, thus are often seen quicker/earlier and are cheaper to treat.

    Anyway, thats my politics for the day.

  12. catty says:

    Or move to Canada…we have free health care, gay marriage, and maple syrup. Mmmm…