Wednesday, October 26, 2005

AwfulSara's Print Drive

One of my favourite photographers on Flickr has recently been diagnosed with skin cancer and is facing a huge healthcare debt because she's just started freelancing.

This being the U.S., I am learning firsthand what it's like to be without socialised medicine and having to pay for doctors' expenses out-of-pocket. Heaven forbid you should ever lose your job, be between jobs, or for whatever reason aren't covered under a health care plan, because the costs can be astronomical and the health care providers -- as well as the individual -- are at the mercy of the insurance companies.

Today I received a refund cheque from MSP (Medical Services Plan) of BC for my monthly payment in September of $54. Yes, that's my premium, which went up from $36 a few years ago. The premium sat at $36 for a very long time. If you make $20k/yr or less, the premium is reduced, as mentioned by Toren here. But $54 is still a very small price to pay when faced with the alternative (U.S. health care model, in this case). There are indeed problems with socialised health care, but it's downright tragic that when you've decided to go independent the new threat is not just falling ill, but to be possibly bankrupt as a consequence. It's one thing to bring misfortune upon yourself, but poor health can strike anyone at any time... as we've become acutely aware of, ourselves.

(I don't know if I'll ever get used to seeing a cashier's office at a hospital.)

How this pertains to Sara Heinrich is that she, being newly self-employed, is not going to get her photography business off the ground unless she does something drastic... and I think she's doing the right thing here by starting up a print drive.

Sara's work is stunning. It deserves to be up on walls -- in offices, homes, wherever visual art is meant to be. If I had half her talent (and not in my currently restricted situation), I'd be forging ahead, too.

Click on the pic or her links below and check out her stuff -- it's fantastic imagery, even on a computer monitor rather than a wall.

Awful Sara's blog
Sara Heinrich's Photography