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"An informed populace makes wise decisions"

-- President Thomas Jefferson

You may have now heard about the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law and its individual mandate requiring that all Massachusetts residents over 18 must have health insurance by July 1, 2007 (One key thing to keep in mind is that embedded in the law is that the deadline for obtaining health insurance is in actuality December 31st, 2007). The AF has been monitoring and working on the implementation of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law and trying to ensure that it does not negatively impact the artists of this state. As of my last count I am on, as the AF representative, 2 statewide coalitions (artshealthcarecoalition.org and hcfama.org/ACT/), 6 working groups and 2 task forces. Members of our board and advisory board are also on duty monitoring this law. One of our board members is a key and active member of the Greater Boston Interfaith Origination that is working on affordability issues in regard to the health care reform law.

Myself, AF board members, and advisory board members have been actively attending, monitoring, and testifying at public hearings and meetings on the Health Care Reform Law. The AF has also been working with artists to gather written testimony and to help them present their spoken testimony at public hearings to help to ensure that artists are not hurt by the Healthcare Reform law. Many artists have taken the time to testify in person and/or in written format, including Hannah Barrett, Laurel Sparks, Linda Price-Sneddon, Robert Davis, Bruce Myren, Chris Nau, and others.

The Artists Foundation has created a new on-line free resource for Massachusetts artists working in all disciplines to aid them navigating the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law and its requirements. It is also a site to help health care providers enroll artists into health care reform options: healthcareforartists.org

This site also has a free list serve that is only for health care related issue - so we urge you to join that list serve as well.

We ask you to bookmark this site and spread the word of it to as many artists working of all disciplines across the state. This site has a free list serve specific to health care reform and health care issues and it also lists key health care legislation artists should be aware of, among other important health care information and resources. PLEASE pass web site on to any arts organization, school, health care provider, or anyone else you might think this site could help and could help spread the word of this site.

We will do our best to keep you informed on new developments via the new web site, healthcareforartists.org, via the site’s list serve, and via this column.

The Artists Foundation would like to formally thank the following for their help on this site: Liz Nofziger, Ean White, David A. Rice, and Sophia Solar Michalski.

Image found here.

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