When I ran this picture the other day, a lot of you wanted to know where you could get one of these wristbands. Well, we live to serve here at C&L, so here's the story behind them.
This is a project started in 2007 by Daric Cheshire, 36, an artist/business owner in Portland, Oregon, as a response to the ongoing health care crisis.
If you'll remember, there were a lot of causes using wristbands (such as the yellow "live strong" bands, etc.) at the time, and he thought it was a perfect way to illustrate the problem of the uninsured.
At the time he started the project, his own family was uninsured. The original concept: if people who actually are uninsured were to wear these wristbands, the rest of us lucky enough to have insurance would be able to see in daily life what a real problem it is - that it affects normal, everyday people like your grocery checker or your next door neighbor and not just marginalized groups like the homeless, or undocumented immigrants.
The response was enthusiastic, and it's grown to where the bands have been embraced by people who just want to draw attention to the problem, whether they're insured or not. As he puts it, the message of the band is:
"I'm uninsured. You may not know why, but now you know my face. Maybe I look like you or someone you love. I'm uninsured and scared of being without health insurance in this country. Maybe my health is already suffering from lack of health care. Today it's me, tomorrow it could be you."
What a great idea. As Michael Moore showed us in "Sicko," none of us really have health insurance - we have the illusion of health insurance.
If you want to get one of the bands, you can click here. If you can't afford it, he'll send you one, anyway.
UPDATE: Got this letter today:
Thank you so much. I was up till 1:30 addressing envelopes, woke up and realized the site had exceeded its bandwidth. The response has been overwhelming. I really appreciate your support. We are back up and running now. I hope I can keep up with the demand. Thanks again.