Health Care Thought
There’s a Democratic Congressman named Jim Himes in Connecticut who voted for Obama’s health reform plan. As a result, for months now, my Google Alerts have been sending me angry blog posts and web pages by spelling-impaired “real patriots” reacting to Himes’ endorsement of this socialist plot.
I haven’t written much about the health care debate, and I’m not planning to do a full-blown rant here. However, for those of you who are my fans and readers, here are a few projects you might have seen if the U.S. had decent universal health care:
- A fourth Jig the goblin book (tentatively titled Goblin Lord)
- A YA book or series, following the adventures of Danielle’s son Jakob and the daughter of the fairy queen from Fairytown
- An alternate-universe short story about Snow and Talia
- More short fiction
These are all ideas I’ve thought about trying to do, but after looking at the demands on my time — specifically, the need to work the full-time day job so that I and my family have health coverage — there’s no way I can make them happen.
Would all of these projects have materialized if we had universal health care? I can’t say for certain. There’s still a lot to be said for a stable income, which writing doesn’t provide. But given what I make now, if I was able to write full time and produce an extra book a year … especially that fourth goblin book, considering how well they’ve done in Germany … well, let’s just say the odds of seeing those projects would be much better.
I’m not complaining. I’m thankful to be employed, and happy to be able to do one book each year. But I’d also love to have the option of doing more.
April 19, 2010 @ 9:49 am
You know, I think this may be the best argument for decent universal health care that I’ve seen.
Jim C. Hines
April 19, 2010 @ 9:55 am
Heh. Thank you 🙂
April 19, 2010 @ 10:29 am
Bravo. Everything you said applies to me, too.
Jim C. Hines
April 19, 2010 @ 10:32 am
Thanks, Lisa. My guess is there are a lot of writers here in the U.S. who would be writing more if it were an option. Makes me wonder what kind of books and stories we’re missing out on.
Rob Thurman Rob Thurman
April 19, 2010 @ 11:15 am
I, like many others in these past few years, lost my job when my company folded after losing their government contract. I’m healthy but over *40.* I pay over $300/mos for health insurance. I wonder what might have been, too, and I completely miss the sanity/creativity that went with the stability of a steady income and benefits (and a retirement plan of ‘Write until you Die’ is somewhat nervewracking.) Is there a country with socialized medicine that needs a writer out there? Somewhere??
Rob Thurman Rob Thurman
April 19, 2010 @ 11:57 am
Whoops, but forgot to add that should I ever be able to find another job…yes, books will be lost. Characters never born. Stories won’t ever be told. Especially Jack’s story, what a brilliant story that is. And that–hell, what do you do with that? When you see me standing at the freeway off-ramp with a sign that says ‘Will write UF for food!’, wave and toss me a rumpled copy of King’s The Talisman to keep me going.
April 19, 2010 @ 12:57 pm
While I dig the argument for healthcare – an argument I can fully get behind, as a guy who wants to write, but is stuck in a somewhat dead-endish day-job for the financial and healthcare security – for me the real burden of the day-job is the financial security part of the equation. I make pretty decent money in my day-job (and when I finish my MBA – yes, I’m a sellout – I should be able to bump that up by half). By all accounts, what I am able to do sitting behind a desk crunching somebody else’s numbers I would likely only be able to do if I could be sure of a spot at the top of the midlist.
Basically, no matter how good I may ever be at writing, if I’m realistic… I’m just worth more getting bored out of my mind than I am actually applying my creativity to something useful.
Jim C. Hines
April 19, 2010 @ 1:30 pm
Sadly, the “Write until I die” plan is probably at least as stable and reliable as the retirement package I have at my current job…
Jim C. Hines
April 19, 2010 @ 1:32 pm
Financial security is a big piece too. I started writing in 1995, and for at least the first 12 years, there’s no way I’d have been able to quit the day job, even if health insurance wasn’t an issue. It’s only in the past few years that the writing income has been significant enough for me to even think about it.
Even today, if health insurance was taken care of, it would be a long discussion with my wife before I took the plunge. My guess is I’d probably start by trying to go part time at my day job, just to keep a little of that financial security. But even then, an extra 20 hours/week to write would probably get me close to a second book each year.
April 19, 2010 @ 3:19 pm
That’s great if you can make it work! And if you have the kind of job where you can even consider the option of choosing to go part-time to free up time to work on writing, there’s something to be said for that, too! In many ways I think that’s harder to do with the kinds of jobs/careers you can pursue with an MBA… In that sense, writing is likely always to be a hobby for me (hopefully one that pays for itself plus some date-money on the side)… though of course I intend for it to be oh-so-much-more than that.
April 20, 2010 @ 5:11 pm
Call me crazy, but I’d rather be in charge of my own life, make my own way. What kind of a hero waits for Uncle Sugar to chip in–chip in money he’s snatched away from the person who actually earned it–and take care of my cutie-pie, genius self so I can–me, because I’m so damn special–can create more books. For sure, I don’t want to read about such a dead-beat hero as that. When did we all get to be such damsels in distress? I’m ashamed of this elitist “I’m special, so you better give me the money YOU earn, so I can follow my bliss.”
I followed a link to this site, but won’t do it again. If you can’t think clearly on a subject like this, then you have nothing trustworthy to say.