Letters to the Editor: Door County Artists Need Affordable Health Care

People who live in Door County regularly talk about how much they value the peninsula’s vibrant art scene, and it’s not empty talk. People here put their money where their mouths are: they support the local artists they value. As an independent musician, I’m also a businesswoman and entrepreneur, and I work long hours on my craft and the business that goes with it. But that work would mean nothing if it couldn’t find an audience willing to pay for it. The support of the Door County community is something I feel grateful for every time I work on a play, perform a concert, record a CD, or pay my bills.

If the current AHCA bill passes Congress, I’m worried I won’t be able to pay those bills anymore. Since the ACA was passed, my husband (a potter) was able to afford insurance for the first time in his adult life. He needed to get staples in his head after a work injury, and we could afford it. We had a baby, and we could afford it. We could not have afforded to pay $25,000 (the typical cost for a straightforward birth in this area), as we would have had to before the ACA required insurance plans to include maternity coverage. (Many of my Door County friends had to pay this out of pocket.) We can live within our means in part because ACA subsidies have lowered our premiums.

I know many of you with higher incomes have seen your premiums rise under the ACA. That’s a problem, one that needs fixing. But the plan currently proposed in Congress, which would likely cost hundreds of thousands of lower-income Wisconsinites their insurance coverage, is not the solution. As you call your Congresspeople, as you consider the country’s health care conundrum, please bear in mind that many of Door County’s artists could quickly see our business models (and thus our ability to produce our work) become untenable if we lose our health insurance.

Katie Dahl

Baileys Harbor, Wis.