cartoonist healthcare is citizen healthcare

Tom Spurgeon notes that S. Clay Wilson’s partner & caregiver Lorraine Chamberlain “could use some help negotiating some patients rights issue” at a hospital that he’s currently admitted to, entering the ICU a week ago. The longtime underground cartoonist, Checkered Demon and Captain Pissgums creator and Zap! comics squad member suffered a brain injury in 2008, through assault or misadventure, and has required constant care since. After some other health issues exacerbated by his condition, the 77-year old is now additionally suffering dementia.

Various fundraisers have been held for Wilson during the decade since his coma, and Chamberlain has a Paypal donate button for Wilson’s Special Needs Trust. Spurge says ” We as a community can do a much better job with things like this,” and from the context of other appeals he’s made for GoFundMes and such, I take him to mean the community of comics creators and readers, rather than Americans in general.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent from Wilson, today the mayor of Baltimore is taking fully-paid “sick” leave after completely coincidental revelations that she took $500,000 ($100k/pa) in bribes from one medical service whose board she also sits on, $114,000 from another commercial health insurance provider to which the city subsequently awarded a $48,000,000 contract, and $90,000 from a charity which had raised the money from other entities, including another commercial health insurance entity that receives city funds. The mayor’s salary is $185k, which is more money than any human needs, but when you can grift merely half that again in exchange for 48 million, I guess that reads as a public service mentality in action?

The best part of this affair is what a sloppy, organised-crime approach she took to the rort. The bribes were laundered through sales of children’s books she’d written about healthy eating. She has sold no copies commercially, only through these grifts. But she had the charity send them unsolicited to the school system, then sent staff from her own office to the loading dock to steal shipments of up to 20,000 copies back, presumably to fill other bribe-based orders. By 2017, five years into this dodge, she just stopped bothering to even print the latest books she was “selling.”

Anyway, America, any time you have the choice in the next two years, please don’t vote for anyone at any level who doesn’t have nationalising health care as a core platform plank.

Wilson and Chamberlain.

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