More on Health Insurance for Writers

by Brenda W. Clough

Earlier this season this report surfaced from writer Elizabeth Hand.

She is a single mother with two kids living in Maine, and she calculates she spent at least $60,000 since 2001 on her health care. And this is a healthy woman with healthy kids, living on a writing income. I wince just thinking about this. She signed up this year for ACA benefits, and her monthly payment has dropped from $466 to $52.

Furthermore, now that she can afford it, she had a colonoscopy. Click through, to read the medical details. This is a writer whose life has been saved this year, because she has decent coverage at last. Read more about how health insurance can be life-saving at

She was by no means the only one in this situation, either. See here for my previous post. I am certain that, as more and more creatives can afford health insurance, we will hear more stories of this type.

The ebook version of my novel How Like a God is now available from Book View Cafe.

How Like a God, by Brenda W. CloughMy newest novel Speak to Our Desires is out from Book View Café.

I also have stories in Book View Café’s two steampunk anthologies, The Shadow Conspiracy and The Shadow Conspiracy II, as well as in BVC’s many other anthologies, including our latest, Beyond Grimm.



About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


More on Health Insurance for Writers — 11 Comments

  1. So glad she shared her story. We need the factual counter-points to the fictions being pushed by the opponents to the ACA. I’ll know that we enough Americans with medical coverage when I stop seeing blog posts pointing to fundraisers for people slammed by medical bills.

    • Really. Isn’t it appalling that we have to have fundraisers for those people? It would be great if all the energy that went into finding money to pay medical bills for those folks could be redirected to providing the other kinds of assistance people dealing with major medical crises need — emotional support, breaks for caregivers, special requests.

      • Gosh, I envision the SFWA of the future where the latest brouhaha is that The Membership Just Lays There and Does Nothing. We can whack our quad canes on the floor and remind the whippersnappers of the days when we all raised money for the Emergency Medical Fund and enjoyed it.

  2. I am just about to pay my first ACA bill. Same general parameters as Liz Hand’s. After five years of nothing because it was the mortgage or insurance, and I have to have a place to live.

    And I find myself feeling physically nauseated when I see people on facebook–good Christian people who pray for everybody–reciting Fox News talking points and complaining about the “crap” coverage they are now “forced” to take. The one with the special-needs child who would reach his lifetime cap before his teens under the old regime and may still again if his parents get what they want, which is the repeal of the ACA, and who would, if they ever lost their insurance, be uninsurable because of his many and expensive medical needs–how do these people do it? How do they fail so signally to see?

    How can their new coverage be crap? The out-of-pocket limit, the elimination of preexisting conditions, the free preventive care, the drops in copays and premiums in so many areas–maybe they’re in an area with little competition, and therefore less reduction in costs? Though they’re in a major city, so I don’t know how that computes. Are they just not looking at their plan literature, and buying the line that their “news” network and their party feeds them?

    I don’t understand. I can’t say anything, because they’re true believers and their bubble is impervious to facts or logic or plain compassion. All I can do is hide their ranting posts and their auto-generated talking points and hope people of their mind don’t take control of this country. Because if they do, they’ll take away my health care. And that thought makes me sick to my stomach.

    • Like you, I am amazed that some people who are eligible for vastly improved health insurance under the ACA still oppose it. It’s pretty obvious that many of them don’t understand what the program does. The only legitimate criticism of the whole thing is that it’s over-complicated, but that’s because it was set up to use insurance companies rather than as a more efficient single-payer program. I’m sure those folks would be even more critical of single-payer.

  3. It is one of the great mysteries of the republic, that there are people who will vote against their self-interest. Not only that, they clearly recognize that it is against their self-interest. And they do it anyway.

    • Combine the low-information voter with the true-believer mindset and you have a mind just made for propaganda. Feed it misinformation and disinformation and teach it to mistrust “the media” so that anything that contradicts the lies is perceived as being false or outright evil, and there you are.

      “Forty years of liberal socialism” is a favorite line of these people. Tell them the truth and they shut down completely. Go into their bubble and pull the stopper in after them.