Welcome to Sick Note.
Sick Note is a newsletter about American healthcare, and how bad it is. It tells stories from real people about their health and healthcare. You can email me your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribers receive weekly interviews about healthcare (on Tuesdays), plus a roundup of healthcare news (on Fridays), and other posts when I write them.
I’m Libby Watson, a journalist based in Washington, D.C.. Until last month, I wrote about politics and healthcare for The New Republic. Before that, I wrote for Splinter, also about politics and healthcare. I’ve covered tech for Gizmodo and campaign finance at the Sunlight Foundation, and written freelance for a number of other websites. I’ve lived in Washington for the last 8 years, but I grew up in Britain, a country with a really very good (but not perfect!) healthcare system, which informs a lot of my thinking about America’s not-good healthcare not-system. I get frequent-to-chronic migraines, so I’ll probably write about those, too. Here’s some of my best writing about healthcare:
The Fetishization of Employer-Provided Health Care (The New Republic)
I left a full-time job at The New Republic to start Sick Note. I had a lot of reasons for doing this, but the one that sealed it, even in those terrified “WHAT AM I DOING???” moments, was that the work I’m proudest of is when I actually talked to people about their experiences with our bad healthcare system. Like the piece I did for TNR where I talked to people waiting for free healthcare at the Remote Area Medical clinic just outside DC. Or the pieces I wrote for Splinter about women who suffer from migraines but have no paid sick leave, or couldn’t access groundbreaking new drugs. That’s why I’m here; if it doesn’t work, at least I tried.