Just tried to sign up for the Affordable Care Act insurance before the deadline. Guess I should, after I severely broke my ankle last year and the hospital wanted $54,000 out of me for less than 20 hours in the hospital – no frills, no food, refused medication, got a ride from co-workers back and forth to avoid the inevitable horrendous ambulance bill. Still came up to over $54,000. Part of it must have been that triple billing for the anesthesiology… It’s true! $54,000 is more money than I make in two years, by the way.
So, I punched in the numbers and waited. They came back with an answer of “Sorry, you make too much money.” This, even though I had been on crutches for 6 weeks, unable to work for another month, and had been unemployed again for two months later that fall.
But, lo and behold, there was some hope. “Here are some alternatives for you!” they wrote.
The alternative insurances, of which there were two possibilities, quoted me prices of $1300 and more a month for the blessing of being covered by an All-American, honest to God, real INSURANCE POLICY!!!!!!! (Imagine a full-scale orchestra playing triumphant music at this, while fireworks went off!)
After paying that and rent I would have about $400 dollars left over. Shazam! Think of all the things I could do with that $400!!!
I could buy a used refrigerator box for $20 and move into it and have all that expensive rent I pay now for other things, like food and a heater. Or I could just move into my car and find a safe place to park it at night after putting all my stuff into a storage locker for between $80 to $100 a month. Either option would enable me to live a somewhat normal life (except for sleeping in a big box or a car…. for the rest of the winter). If I could get away with just leaving my car in one place for the winter, so I could quit my car insurance and have more moolah for myself. What a great idea! Walking three miles to work wouldn’t be all that great though.
Or I could go on an every-other-day fast, and that would help my health, so I maybe wouldn’t need my insurance and could eventually give it up. Don’t know if it would be good for me to lose any weight though, as I am already as skinny as a rail. People might think I escaped from North Korea. Or they wouldn’t see me if I turned sideways.
I could put up a tent or tepee under a tree, let the snow cover it and hope no one notices. I just couldn’t keep any food inside as I know from experience that assorted animals WILL notice the smell and come after it. You’d be surprised just how clever those allegedly ‘dumb animals’ can be.
Lastly, there is the time honored alternative of hauling plywood up into the rafters of my work building, making a shelter with a rope ladder and hanging out there until A.- I am discovered and fired, B.- The bats get to me, C.- I fall and am dead, D.- I work for another 30 years and finally save up enough money to buy a dumpy house nearby.
Which alternative would you choose?
Ain’t it great to live in a country where the cost of dying beats out the cost of living?