Untitled By Jessica Meuninck-Ganger

On a regular basis I am made aware of our healthcare system’s inadequacies. Four years ago, I was a new mother wrapping up my graduate work in Minneapolis. My husband was not able to add my new son and me to his healthcare plan because we were far too expensive to insure. I independently purchased insurance at a high cost and with an unaffordable deductible. It was the most reasonable I could find. The plan cost our family $12,000 a year. Between my 3 part-time jobs, which together equaled far more than 40 hours a week, I was ONLY able to contribute enough money to pay for our insurance. Not one penny went towards our household budget. Luckily our family has been blessed with good health. Unfortunately, my dearest friends are not so lucky.

My best friend (at 30 years old) was diagnosed with MS, and soon after, she lost her job and insurance. Since then, insurance companies consistently turn her down because of her pre-existing condition. She’s worked and waited for the past 5+ years hoping that a stretch of time might clear her record. During this period she has not seen a doctor. Several times she went blind for a week or more, had several episodes of seizures, and lost strength in her hands. These episodes frequently cause(d) her to miss work at her various jobs -which include small businesses and non-profit organizations that can’t offer affordable plans.

Because another dear friend (an 34-year old artist) couldn’t afford insurance, he went two years without seeking medical advice about his physical problems, including: loss of balance, impaired hearing, and increasing paralysis of one side of his face. We, friends & fellow artists, came together and held a fundraiser. The effort partially funded his doctor visits. His tests revealed a brain tumor the size of a fist, which was quickly growing and had to be removed immediately. Although he made it through, after two years of multiple surgeries and extensive therapy it’s unlikely that he will ever be in place where he can pay off his debt and live comfortably.

And, I could share more and more and more and more stories. This series of prints illustrates the completely appalling state of our current healthcare system. The prints advertise absurd (yet possibly affordable) “alternative therapies” for our physical, mental, and social challenges.




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