UncoveredSeptember 10, 2008
Art used in messaging is nothing new, but we’re used to seeing what I call “elevator art” — backgrounds in TV commercials, graphics in magazine ads — even the web has more than its share. So when I saw this on the news the other day, it caught my attention, especially amid the noise of conventions and the pause before debates. In Los Angeles, nude sculpture has been put around the city in an effort to bring attention to the millions of individuals not covered by health insurance in California.
The exhibit, Uncovered, touched me, not because I live in California (I don’t), but because I watched the impact of not having enough insurance on someone close to me suffering from cancer. There isn’t anyone I know who hasn’t either personally experienced or knows of someone who has been hit with the expenses incurred with ill health, whether insured or not. A little more research showed that a big insurance company is supporting this exhibit, bringing up the question of universal health care coverage versus universal health insurance — a debate for another time, another place. As for the special impact on women, the National Women’s Law Center’s Womenstake recently highlighted statistics specific to uninsured women.
I like the title, Uncovered, because it also brought to mind another health issue AAUW is urging individuals to take action on. On August 26, the Bush administration proposed regulations that would severely limit women’s access to reproductive health and family planning services, including some of the most common forms of birth control. The new regulations, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, would allow health-care employees to refuse to provide any health-care service that is in any way contrary to their personal beliefs without any consideration for patients’ guaranteed access to care and full information. The official 30-day comment period on the proposed regulations is now open, and AAUW urges you to tell the Bush administration to preserve and protect critical family planning services.
We will continue to be bombarded with opinions on issues as the November elections draw closer. At least I hope it’ll be about issues and proposed actions rather than just vague promises by any candidate running. It would also be nice, in my personal opinion, if good or even great art was used more often in messaging. It makes one pause and appreciate the moment, whether you agree with the message or not.