I’ve tried and tried and tried to quell my stabbiness, but I was driven over the edge today by three different things. So, today, it’s a That Makes Me Stabby free for all! First I’ll post mine, then you can share the things that make you reach for the kitchen knife in the comments.
Proposed Salt Ban
How do these idiots get into our legislative bodies? First, there’s the growing movement to tax soda, because apparently soda is the sole cause of obesity in this country. It couldn’t possibly be the corn subsidies that have resulted in high-fructose corn syrup being placed into nearly every food on the planet. It couldn’t possibly be decades of poor health policy and an increasing reliance on fast foods and convenience foods. Nope, it’s the soda.
Now, a legislator in New York wants to ban salt from food preparation in New York restaurants. Salt. As anyone who cooks knows, salt is a pretty vital ingredient for cooking if you want your food to have, um, taste. But no, let’s ban it and ruin the restaurant trade, because salt is bad for you. And it’s true, high sodium levels can be very bad for you, but prohibiting restaurants from using a vital cooking ingredient is not the best way to combat that. Unless, of course, you like flat bread and flavorless food.
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, my husband recently underwent surgery. Today we received a bill summary from the hospital. Total cost for two hospitalizations: $295,000. That eye-popping number doesn’t include the surgeon, anesthesiologist, or a couple of tests he received while in the hospital. After insurance reductions, the total came to a mere $106,000, most of which is covered by insurance. So far we haven’t had to pay much at all. Due to my husband’s dual coverage, we may not have to pay more than prescription and doctor co-pays.
However, if we didn’t have insurance, my husband simply wouldn’t have been able to have surgery. There is no way a family that wasn’t wealthy could afford something like this. I’m sure by the time all the doctors and physical therapy are factored in, we’re looking at $350,000. At that point, it becomes a choice between surgery and a home or retirement.
Clearly, something has to be done about the cost of healthcare and the insurance system in this country. This was major surgery, but it wasn’t life-saving surgery. I can only imagine what something like heart surgery or a transplant would cost without insurance.
For those who say, “Consumers need to be able to shop around for medical care and negotiate for the best price,” sometimes shopping around isn’t an option. You can’t shop around for a doctor in the middle of a heart attack or after a car accident. You can’t negotiate the cost of your Medivac helicopter as you’re being airlifted to a life-saving procedure.
Unemployment Insurance Encouraging Unemployment
This has long been the reason why unemployment benefits are lower than disability benefits: they don’t want you to sit at home doing nothing while collecting unemployment. You’re supposed to get off your lazy, unemployed bum and look for work.
Of course, this doesn’t always work because sometimes it’s hard to find work. Like now, for instance. Unemployment insurance has already been extended to a record 99 weeks. That’s nearly two years of benefits. However, last week one of our political parties trotted out two arguments against extending benefit eligibility (not adding to the number of weeks available): 1. We can’t afford it. (Actually, the money was already in the stimulus bill, this just gives people more time to collect it) And 2. Extending unemployment people will encourage people to remain unemployed.
Yes, because my unemployed friends just sit at home eating bon-bons purchased with the grocery store gift cards they received in lieu of other gifts at Christmas. Perhaps Congresspeople haven’t noticed, but people who are on unemployment can’t just go get a job. If they could, 99.99999% of them would. But they can’t, because there aren’t jobs to go get. Maybe Congresspeople, with their guaranteed lifetime pensions, should think about the actual state of our economy before pronouncing that extending unemployment makes people lazy.
Okay, so that’s three things that make me stabby. What makes you stabby right now?