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The Arts and Medicine
November 7, 2017

Portraits in Health Policy

JAMA. 2017;318(17):1634-1636. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11556

I am a visual artist who paints portraits of people whose lives illustrate the perils and absurdities of our fragmented health insurance system.

As a former small-business owner I paid higher fees each year for less insurance coverage for the same number of employees. I briefly thought about firing my employees and hiring part-time workers to avoid the obligation but I knew that, aside from treating good people badly, that would only perpetuate the problem. I needed to understand the system and its effects on people, so I used my love of painting as a way to tell people’s health care stories.