The highlight of this news report produced by Sacramento's ABC affiliate on Thursday is probably when the brothel owner says, "Well, I think it's 'Hookers For Obama.'" Because it neatly encapsulates the issue: For sex workers, affordable heatlh care is a new luxury. And also, because that quote is very weird.
"The Affordable Care Act has been touted as a boon to America's self-employed," reporter George Warren narrates. "That includes the independent contractors at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, otherwise known as prostitutes." This is almost certainly the only news story you will see today that quotes "Bunny Ranch prostitute Bella Dawn." Almost certainly.
But we should let Ms. Dawn speak for herself.
The video actually makes some solid points about the effects of the Affordable Care Act. It's hard for professional sex workers to get health coverage in part because insurers "equate us to illegal working girls that have very high rates of STDs and AIDS," in the words of Caressa Kisses (probably not her real name). Such risk factors won't negatively affect their ability to be covered once policies begin on January 1. "It's truly a miracle," Dawn added.
For Dennis Hof, the brothel's exactly-what-you'd-think-he-looks-like owner, the bill is a "double-edged sword" — his 150 non-prostitute employees will also get coverage once the employer mandate begins, which will increase his costs by $250,000 a year.
Hof is the one that offered the unflinching "Hookers For Obama" endorsement, an endorsement that could only have helped the president during last year's reelection campaign.
Hat-tip: Sam Stein.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.