HAAM seeks $1M from city to provide health care for musicians

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Monday, Could 16, 2022 by Chad Swiatecki

The Well being Alliance for Austin Musicians is searching for $1 million from town to assist keep well being care protection for 3,000 native musicians and canopy a further 1,000 who qualify for help from the nonprofit.

Throughout a presentation eventually week’s assembly of Metropolis Council’s Public Well being Committee, HAAM CEO Paul Scott stated his group sometimes has to withdraw as much as $500,000 yearly from its reserves to proceed to offer help with medical insurance premiums for its members. The $1 million ask would offer $800,000 to cowl a funding hole for current members, whereas the opposite $200,000 would permit for enrollment of the roughly 1,000 musicians within the Austin space who might obtain protection from HAAM.

Scott stated most of HAAM’s members earn from $25,000 to $50,000 per yr, and face challenges with secure housing, meals insecurity and psychological well being, that are all main determinants of poor well being. With roughly 8,000 musicians dwelling within the space, there’s vital concern brewing as musicians are inclined to have a life expectancy that’s 25 years lower than the common inhabitants.

“They work laborious and reside laborious and are adversely impacted by social determinants of well being,” he stated. “Our musicians are an iconic subculture on the coronary heart of our cultural id right here in Austin and they’re chargeable for a lot of our financial and general success.”

Since realigning its service mannequin in 2015, HAAM has seen a 53 % improve in enrollment, which has put a lot bigger monetary calls for on the group.

Scott stated he has spoken with Assistant Metropolis Supervisor Stephanie Hayden-Howard about how HAAM might generate further earnings by making use of for public well being contract requests for proposal that match with its service choices.

Past that potential contract earnings, the group is on the lookout for an allocation within the subsequent metropolis price range to cowl what stays of the $1 million request.

“We’d wish to enter right into a dialog with town to see how we are able to proceed to spend money on our musicians and their well being care as we leverage the well being care {dollars} out there by means of the work we’re doing. We’d wish to see a few referral to town supervisor’s workplace or a price range decision for funds.”

Council Member Ann Kitchen stated she could be prepared to attach Scott and HAAM leaders to the directors of TexHealth Central Texas, which offers protection subsidies for small companies, which some artists working in musical teams might qualify for.

“I’m not suggesting that as an alternative to what you’re asking for from town, however I’m simply saying they might have some {dollars} out there since what they do is subsidy help they usually’re not sure by the (Reasonably priced Care Act).”

Mayor Steve Adler additionally provided his assist in connecting HAAM to different organizations and potential donors who could need to become involved in fundraising for the group, calling its work important for town’s reside music ecosystem.

“One of many explanation why we are able to legitimately declare the moniker of the Stay Music Capital is partly due to your group and SIMS (Basis), as a result of we offer as a group the infrastructure for musicians that simply doesn’t exist in different cities,” he stated. “The attain and enlargement you’ve completed since 2015 is unimaginable and lifesaving and I do know there are folks from across the nation which can be at all times coming to Austin making an attempt to determine the way to make their music industries work … the very very first thing I speak about is HAAM, which isn’t what they anticipate.”

Photograph made out there by means of a Artistic Commons license.

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