stupid.

Teacher:
The idea of trading art work for medical coverage would just be a bandaid for sure and not meet the real problem. I thought about this many times during the last year while I was going through the whole breast cancer thing. I got amazing treatment at one of the best hospitals in the country. I didn’t have to make tough choices or know that there were medicines out there that I couldn’t afford. That is only because my husband was a university professor and I have the coverage from that. I have never had my own coverage as an artist or arts administrator. I couldn’t offer it, even with the successful Medicaid program. That needs to be fixed. Right now I’m looking for a dentist that will trade for paintings? Anyone know any.

Classmate:
We were just talking about this in another class!! Yes, I think a bartering system would work incredibly well for artists. That way, the artist buys their healthcare with their talent and the health care provider is rewarded (paid) with visual art.

I know that there are a few programs which do similar trades and would love to investigate more about them.

ME:
eeeghhhh
I dont mean to break up the “bartering is a wonderful idea” conversation, but if i have to pop out paintings just to get some antibiotics for a sinus infection or get wisdom teeth pulled out, i think I’d go crazy. I think it demeans the art making process.
Granted, it is a way for artists to get health insurance, but then you’ve got health professionals that might not want art, they want money, and artists who don’t want to be objectified just to get the same health care as everyone else.

It’s the equivalent to asking an actor to do a little skit in the middle of a silent auction (which i was recently told was a horrible idea).

The majority of rest of the working population doesn’t have to give up days/weeks/months of time and costly materials to create a piece of art that the recipient might not even like or want, to be provided with decent health care, they just have to do their jobs.

The more i think about it, the more wrong it is. It could never happen on a mass scale – shit like this can’t be regulated.
There is no way medical professionals as a whole would approve of this method. I’d like to see one Chief of Medicine take a painting over the thousands and thousands of dollars certain procedures cost. I realize some art is worth thousands and thousands of dollars, but not for the majority of artists out there. So would there be a cap on what operations are and aren’t covered by artistic product?

If visual art is accepted as payment, an uprise from non-artists who have to still pay the thousands of dollars would happen, no doubt. I know how much art is worth to me, but someone unassociated with art only sees themselves paying for procedures, and us as getting free health care.

And what about in emergency cases? Where the artist hasn’t the time or energy, in a coma or bed ridden, to paint something. Do hospital administrators raid the studio? Take what they want?

Good on you if you can find a dentist or an eye doctor to take a painting or photograph as payment, go for it, I’m just saying that there is no way a bartering system will work for everyone in any given situation.

America is built on money, not an appreciation for the value of art. Everyone knows that much.

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