Health Care Reform and the Health of Performing Artists in the US

Abstract: Health care in the United States is beset by three critical problems: cost, quality, and coverage. We have by far the most expensive health care in the world, spending about 17% of our Gross Domestic Product, or over $7,000/person; most other developed countries spend about 8 to 10% of their GDP on health care. Despite spending that much money, the health status of Americans is far from the best in the world. Underlying both problems is the fact that over 15% of the US population does not have health insurance,5 which means they do not have access to health care when it can be delivered most effectively at the lowest cost. While this should be of great concern to anyone who lives in this country, those of us who are invested in the health of performing artists should be especially interested in this issue. For a variety of reasons, performing artists are probably more likely to lack health insurance than is the case for the population at large.

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