December 13, 2017
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.




Do we recognize this man? He’s us.  Or could be.  Ken Kewley, an artist, cut off from health care by cuts in his state.  Profiled in the Times, he has been left only with the hope that he will stay healthy until “Obamacare”.  You could see this as  a necessary cut to afford vast sums to be kept by the ultra rich.  They should at least thank him. He had an $85,000 aortic  valve replacement recently that cost him under $1000 out of pocket. Budget cuts in Pa. have eliminated a program that helps people like Ken.  From the Times piece, ”

Now any minor symptom, like a mild pinch in his chest, prompts a devil’s calculation about whether he can afford to have it checked.

When he noticed such discomfort on Tuesday morning, he broke into a cold sweat, felt his stomach tightening and experienced “a sense of impending doom,” he said. For the moment, Mr. Kewley is trying to convince himself it is just a pulled muscle.

“It’s a worry, and it’s draining,” he said, seated in the home studio where he applies bold acrylics to landscapes of the sloping hillsides nearby. “It’s always present in my mind so it’s hard to come up here and do my work.”


  1. As a Canadian who admires Americans and America, I always take a deep breath and pause before i criticize the USA, but…I have to say, your health care system leaves me shaking my head in disbelief. Not the nurses, doctors, researchers or the wonderful facilities; just the economics. In Canada we have a different system. It’s not perfect, not even close. Everyone contributes through taxation. No one likes taxes but nobody goes without healthcare.Wait times are longer for many, non-critical procedures. Things like hip replacements, for example, where demographics place huge demands on the system, take longer to happen. Not ideal, but it’s something that you can anticipate and plan for.
    That people like Ken Kewley, who, by the way, is an internationally revered artist and teacher, have to live in anxiety over healthcare expenses is unfair and I’d suggest, un -American. He works in a business that has no benefits. Like Duke Ellington, Andrew Wyeth, Alvin Ailey and Walt Disney, he’s a cultural ambassador for America. You guys are the first to step up and help people in distress all over the world. What about Ken Kewley?