Onto the muddled state I find myself in…all thoughts, comments, yeahs or nays welcome.
Thought #1: Health care. I am one of the self-employed corralled into an individual health plan and therefore subject to limits based on what I’ve been able to afford to buy into. You’ve heard me complain about the cost of my premium, but what I forgot to mention (some of you emailed that your own plans were more costly) is that I’m on what is called a 40/60 plan with no limit on the deductible and no preventive coverage, and a $40/visit co-pay. So if I go to the doctor 10 times in the year (let’s say I had been injured, or got whooping cough), that is $400 for my co-pays, plus 40% of each visit. If I were hospitalized and the bill is a mere $10k, I’m on the hook for $4k, etc. So here is where I’m a bit confounded right now. We are all aware that there is a pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic in California. I’ve received emails and voicemails from LAUSD reminding me to innoculate my daughter with the tDAP vaccine. Because the vaccine is considered preventive care, it is not covered by my plan. It will cost me $85 – $90 each for my child and I to be innoculated.
I’m on a search for the free vaccine, however most free or low cost clinics listed through LA city insist on a full medical exam for each of us prior to the exam, even though we both have regular doctors. The cost for the exams will be the same, if not more, than the cost of shot. So, it will cost me about $170 for the shots, which I plan on paying for. Money is tight for everyone…so let’s say that I didn’t get the innoculations. If I caught whooping cough, aside from potentially dying, wouldn’t the costs for my health care be a whole lot higher than $170? I’m just saying….
Thought #2: Oh my gawd! Watching the lead up to the Nov. 2nd elections is PAINFUL. Painful. Worse than listening to fingernails scratching against blackboard (those days are long gone…only whiteboards and dry erase markers now…) is watching the sound byte lies permeating the ads on both sides of the aisle. However, since the GOP is spending a bit more on their ads, they seem to be even more out there in the “let me lie, but call it marketing” campaigns.
One of my faves is the Christine O’Donnell “I am not a witch” ad. Dressed in somber colors, lit up like a ghoul against a dark blue backdrop, with a bizarrely haunting piano track, I swear I can see ghosts floating around behind her.
Another fave for sheer idiocy is the anti-Meg Pinnocchio nose-growing ad. I can’t stand Whitman, but seriously…this ad is laughable.
But my absolute favorite ad (this time for sheer brilliance) is again, a Jerry Brown sponsored anti-Meg Whitman ad, juxtaposing her sound bytes against Arnold’s bytes from his first campaign. Yup…same words. I’m sure she’s had a conversation or two with her campaign manager and speech writers about it. Enjoy.
Thought #3: Self-esteem. Have you noticed everyone is suffering a bit at the self-esteem front? Could it be because 41% (or just about) of the employable workforce is unemployed? Do you keep hearing people say “well…with 10% of America unemployed 90% are working”. False. Untrue. Bad math. There are about 300 million Americans. You have to take out the retired (forceably or otherwise) and children and other non-working family members as well as those in “institutional” roles…i.e. non general population workforce. Then there are also those who have given up looking for work (about 2 million). Then look at the numbers in the perspective of the American non-institutional workforce. You get a true employment to population ratio is 58.5%. How many of those in America who CAN work are in fact, working. Here is the report…if you head down to the bar graph at the bottom of the report it is easier to figure out. (Look for 58.5% and you’ll see how the labor metrics work.) So 14.8 million are unemployed out of a potential pool of 150M civilian laborers. That’s how it shakes out.