Certainly some form of government sponsered health care for musicians and the populace in general is a much needed reality. I would agree that the efforts of artist whose lives and works contribute to moments of joy in our own lives should be the recipricated in some way. While I applaud the spirit of community that characterizes benefits, I also feel it is a shame and a disgrace when they have to be organized to deal with medical cost for an artist whose contribution to society should at least guarantee free health care.
This government is supposed to be of the people for the people and by the people. So what can the people do about this, if they care? Well maybe we the people can start with those who are alive and who care and who are on this list. As opposed to dealing with what happened to Sun Ra why not take a look at his oldest living musician, Marshall Allen. At one time there was a campaign being launched to make tapes of an out of print recording that Marshall was not even on. It was a noble gesture. But suppose the same effort could be launched to determine if Marshall or other musicians have been paid for recordings that have been reissued and that they are on. We do love to talk and advertise some of these recordings on this list.
There might not be a need for the government to subsidize health care for musicians, or a need for benefits if they got paid! In order to produce a recording someone certainly on the production end has to get paid. If a musicians name is on the recording and that name helps to sell that recording shouldn't that musician be paid also? Peace AA