Musicians rally to defend the Affordable Care Act
The life of a musician can be economically precarious, and the club-gig circuit rarely comes with health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, many artists have been able to find and afford coverage for the first time.
Now that the law is threatened by the incoming Trump administration, some musicians are speaking out about what that coverage has meant to their lives and livelihoods.
In a new campaign, musicians including Kelley Deal of the Breeders, Spoon, the Mountain Goats and other groups like the Future of Music Coalition have teamed up with Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell for “#CoverageMatters” — a “day of action” in support of the law on Jan 12.
Deal appears with Burwell in a video describing how, despite being in successful projects her whole career — including her current act R. Ring — she was unable to even buy insurance until the ACA went into effect.
“This is the first time that I’ve ever had insurance as a self-employed single woman,” Deal says, choking up a bit in the video. “And it feels really good.”
The agency announced Tuesday that 11.5 million people had gained coverage under the federal and state exchanges, with millions more under the expansion of Medicaid. More than 20 million people could lose health insurance if the law is repealed, according the Congressional Budget Office.
The video and “day of action” are part of the department’s larger “#CoverageMatters” program, which highlights the ACA’s effect on the lives of Americans. While the Republican-led Congress and President-elect Donald Trump have long railed against the Affordable Care Act, their desire — and ability — to overturn it is currently unknown.
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