‘Sex Workers’ Embrace Obamacare at ‘Healthy Ho’s Party’

Posted by on Nov 01, 2013 at 9:28 am

Well, at least when they get their ObamaCare bill and realize they’re totally fucked it won’t be anything new for them.

A burlesque dancer dressed as a nurse taunts her co-performer with a toy syringe, dangling the medicine seductively in an act that’s meant to reflect the cat-and-mouse game of U.S. healthcare. They shimmy and eventually end up topless.

The risqué performance was part of an Obamacare registration drive last week in San Francisco, dubbed the “Healthy Ho’s Party.”

Organized by “Siouxsie Q,” a Bay Area sex worker, the event was meant to encourage other sex workers to enroll in the new insurance exchanges. It was a rousing success: Nearly 40 men and women attended and almost all of them filed enrollment paperwork.

In the all-cash, off-the-books sex industry, workers can be particularly high risk and insurance is often out of reach. Many sex workers — a broad term that can refer to a number of services, including sexual massage, prostitution, and escort and dominatrix work — consider themselves self-employed entrepreneurs who can’t afford to purchase healthcare. But that could all change with the Affordable Care Act.

Siouxsie, 28, has shopped for plans countless times since 2008, coming up empty each time. She and her partner recently reviewed their healthcare options and found that a joint plan would have cost between $400 and $500 a month — an unaffordably large chunk of their incomes.

“We just couldn’t swing [insurance] in the Bay Area — we’re lower middle class, recent college graduates, in Startup Land trying to make our way,” she said.

But come January 1, when the new law goes into effect, she and her partner will be looking at a monthly bill of between $175 and $200. They’re deciding between two plans on the California exchange and will receive a tax credit of about $275 a month (without the credit it would have cost nearly $500).

California’s exchange site was down the first few times Siouxsie tried to navigate it, but she was able to successfully browse policies several times. (She nevertheless arrived at the party with stacks of paper applications so the night could continue even if the website was disrupted.)

Volunteers from Siouxsie’s weekly podcast, The WhoreCast, staffed the event. “Jolene,” another sex worker who had already enrolled through the California exchange, was also on hand to talk users through the process. A key detail for the crowd: Enrollment doesn’t require users to report their employment.

“I am here mostly to put my skill at filling out bureaucratic forms to use,” Jolene joked.

Through the California exchange, Jolene will receive a $211 monthly tax credit, which will bring her payments to just $36 a month.

Wait until they find out it’ll cost them $1000 a month in year two.


4 Responses to “‘Sex Workers’ Embrace Obamacare at ‘Healthy Ho’s Party’”

  1. Peej on 1/01/13 at 10:40 pm

    Wonder what income they’ll claim when it comes time to determine their subsidy. Another great use of my tax dollars.

  2. Will on 1/01/13 at 11:02 pm

    Yay! Let me finance your lifestyle choices! You’re free to choose, and I’m free to pay for it!

    Where do I sign to subsidize Evel Knievel as well?

  3. Jhn1 on 2/02/13 at 4:01 am

    What do you want to bet most (all?) of their income is not declared to get the $275 taxpayer subsidy?

    Now there is somebody I want the IRS to audit.

  4. gays en peru on 4/04/13 at 9:58 pm

    I do trust all the concepts you have introduced in your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for novices. May you please prolong them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.