Hip-Hop Health Care Plan on Hold
By Kangol Kid
Greetings my fellow Hip-Hop brothers and sisters,
This is your brother Kangol Kid with great and not-so-great news to share with you today. For over a year I’ve been meeting with the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC), planning and organizing a health care plan for Hip-Hop artists and all artists alike. I had realized that we were becoming the first generation of Hip-Hop Senior Citizens, and wondered if any of us had the health care coverage we would need, knowing that is isn’t so easy to “ask the system” for care. I decided to contact every one of my fellow “legendary” artists and compiled a list of eligible and interested members. I found someone within HHC to work with — Joe Schick, Executive Director of The Fund for HHC – and he and I designed an incredibly simple program called the”ArtXchange Program,” which operates as a simple bartering system. Artists would earn credits toward their health care by providing their assigned hospital with unique services and in return the hospital would provide artists with the medical services they require. It’s that simple… at least that’s what we thought.
The ArtXchange Program was set to launch on Wednesday, August 8, at Metropolitan Hospital Center (MET) in Harlem with the hospital’s Executive Director Meryl Weinberg preparing to welcome my Hip-Hop brothers and sisters as members. This event was also set two days before my birthday and was also going to serve as a small birthday party. I envisioned celebrating a new year of life while giving you all the gift of many more years of life through this program.
Unfortunately, five days before the launch an issue arose that could not be ignored. I learned – as did HHC — that there is a price for this gift I planned to give to you, as there is a value to the gifts that you and the hospital would exchange.
In America, gifts of this magnitude are taxed, and services that exceed a certain amount would be reported to our Uncle Sam, thereby making you a blip on his radar.
In other words, my attempt to give you the gift of better life could result in the IRS giving you a heart attack. Needless to say, the ArtXchange Program is hereby officially postponed until we design a system that will satisfy all parties.
Mr. Schick, Ms. Weinberg, and I have not given up and believe we will soon find an acceptable solution. We WILL find this solution in memory of Heavy D, Ms. Melodie, MCA, Nate Dogg, Guru, KMG, J Dilla, Big Pun, Professor X… and many others.