Jazz journalist James Hale's observations on the contemporary music scene, festivals, events and whatever he's been listening to.
For the edification of Canadian readers who may be in the dark about how truly barbarous the situation is here, here's the "best case scenario":1.Andrew survives the surgery with flying colors and the tumor, as advertised, is benign.2. His friends and colleagues in the jazz community manage to scrape together, say, $30,000 towards his medical bills (let's face it, jazz benefit concerts don't tend to raise Live-Aid level money).3. The hospital presents Andrew with a bill of, say, $280,000.4.After paying $30,000 off, Andrew's credit ating is savaged and he's pursued by collection agencies until he is able to declare bankruptcy. Fully half of personal bankuptcies in America are a result of medical bills, a condition which exists nowhere else in the civilized world.And to add insult to injury, it's likely that he'll be unable to obtain any needed post-operative therapy unless he has access to some sort of musicians health clinic, which will still charge approximately 10% of cost.I'm lucky enough to have "good" insurance through my university teaching job. It costs $329 a month, has a $5,000 deductable for hospital stays, and a passel of restrictions, co-pays, and denial of services clauses. Plus the companies battalion of lawyers standing at the ready to exploit any loophole to deny claims.It's a totally insane situation that shows no signs of changing in my lifetime.
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