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Amber Peach

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Will Porn Stars Get the Shaft From Obamacare?

Posted: 07/16/2012 2:18 pm

Porn stars make a ton of money for having sex with relative strangers on camera, right?

Whether we would like to admit it or not, most of us have enjoyed at least one adult movie in our lifetime. But with documentaries like After Porn Ends, which came out last month, and Obamacare dominating the news, have you ever wondered what these two things have in common? Probably not. But here is a little known fact: up until now, insurance companies considered doing pornography for a living a "pre-existing condition." This means, even if the average female porn star, who (on the high end) may do 300 scenes in her career that spans maybe 10 years, that's about $30,000 a year. And more than likely, she doesn't have health insurance. Yep, you heard me right, porn stars don't make much more money than the average American. We have all heard that porn is a billion or even trillion-dollar business, but like most porn stars' boobs, that number is actually a little over-inflated. According to Forbes the figure is closer to around $520 million, which is then distributed among countless companies. Most of this profit goes to the top, the majority of the actors themselves not getting any type of residuals -- only being paid on a scene-by-scene basis as an independent contractor. But I digress.

So back to my original point, how will the president's new healthcare plan affect porn stars? Well, considering that most porn actors are considered independent contractors, none of them would be eligible for healthcare through their employer. So that would mean that they would be responsible for finding their own health insurance. But in theory, insurance companies would no longer be able to completely deny adult industry workers insurance. But would they still have to pay a premium for "high-risk" insurance -- insurance that runs about $500 per month? This would mean that men and women would have to pay roughly 20% of their monthly income on health insurance.

Even factoring in feature dancing and other income, $500 a month is a lot for health insurance. And this doesn't include STD testing, which performers have always paid out-of-pocket every 28 days. This would only be health insurance in case of emergency, in case something terrible happened like they got cancer or were in a car accident. Under the current healthcare system, most adult performers rely on luck and little else when it comes to health care. And when something does go wrong, like in the case of Nicki Hunter, co-host of Playboy Radio's Night Calls, who found out she had lymphoblastic leukemia in 2007. Nicki found that her fellow performers were willing to pull together and do fundraisers to help her pay off the mountain of debt caused by her illness. Or Stephanie Swift, who also got cancer and racked up a ton of debt. And even the most resent tragedy to befall the porn community, the death of Holly Stevens from cancer. He may not want to think about it just yet, but her husband now has stacks of medical bills to figure out how to pay, in addition to grieving for his wife. And not everyone has the admiration and backing like some of these stars do. Not everyone will get help from the porn community and fans.

So as the rest of the nation, and the world, waits to see if the healthcare bill will even be implemented, the adult film community holds its breath to see just how they will be affected. Will they finally have the security of health insurance, or will they get the shaft like they have so many times before?

 
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