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 sicknotenewsletter@gmail.com. Subscribers receive weekly interviews about healthcare (on Tuesdays), plus a roundup of healthcare news (on Fridays), and other posts when I write them.

About Me:

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)

Government Healthcare Is Saving My Mum's Life (Splinter)

Look at These Absolutely Ordinary Americans Who Hate Medicare for All (Splinter)

Wellness Brands Skirt FDA Rules to Push Shady UTI ‘Cures’ on Instagram (Vice)

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.