Arts Coalition Urges Healthcare Reform

Adrian Versteegh

A coalition of organizations representing artists and cultural workers has entered the national debate on healthcare reform. Americans for the Arts, in conjunction with twenty other national nonprofit groups, has called on Congress to enact a public health insurance option for individual artists, along with measures making it easier for cash-strapped cultural organizations to provide adequate coverage for employees.

“Now is the time for those in the arts community to join together and build momentum for passage of a comprehensive healthcare reform bill,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, in a press release. “More than two million arts workers are calling on Congress to pass legislation that will provide all Americans and its cultural workforce with guaranteed universal health insurance coverage. We have the solutions, Congress must listen.”

In a statement released earlier this month, the coalition said that reducing the insurance burden on arts organizations could prevent cuts to employees’ existing benefits and would allow smaller nonprofits and unincorporated groups to extend health coverage to their staff for the first time. The statement also called for a bill supporting the integration of therapeutic arts programs into patient care.

Among the groups backing the call for healthcare reform are the Literary Network, a coalition of nonprofit literary organizations, presses, and magazines cofounded by Poets & Writers, Inc., in 1992; the Alliance of Artists Communities; and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.