Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Way to Look At It

So you've read my rants about our insurance, and how much I hate it. This is just a little one, with a good moral at the end.

I often think I would be better off without health insurance. If I took all of the premiums we have paid over the last 15 years (approx. $55,000 not including interest) and put it into a savings account, I could have paid cash for all four of my children's births, our preventative check ups, prescriptions and the three times we have seen a doctor for illness. We are healthy, we just happen to have babies. Instead I pay my premiums every year and get to foot a hefty part of my bill. My savings account now registers a big fat ZERO, and it will probably be empty for a while.

All the money I've saved goes to pay for something I think my husbands employer should just give him by virtue of the fact that they are exploiting him. Yes, they are. They say he is a hospital employee yet he is denied many of the benefits hospital employees receive: vacation time (he never gets to use), sick time (he never uses), he can't "sell" his unused time for cash like other employees, he doesn't get overtime, they refuse to let him moonlight. They really paint us into a corner.

But, what I am really sad about is that I wanted a new refrigerator. Temper tantrum. It is a beautiful counter depth stainless steel refrigerator that our kitchen needs if we are going to sell this house. This is a source of much anxiety around here. All of the other appliances have been replaced (slowly, over time) except the refrigerator, because it is the most expensive. Now I probably won't ever get to use it even if we are ever able to save enough to buy it!

And then I heard something on C-SPAN the other day that made me realize how silly it is for me to be mourning the loss of a shiny refrigerator when instead I got a healthy baby that I also wanted! It was a Presidential candidate talking to a group of newspaper editors, I love politics. He said he was approached by a senior citizen who wanted to know what he was going to do about health care because she pays $200 every month for medication that is keeping her alive and she thought that was a terrible injustice. His answer to her was isn't that wonderful! For only $200 you are able to purchase medication that is keeping you alive. He asked her how much her cel phone bill was, how much her cable bill was... you get the picture. His point was that we don't place enough value on the things that we say really matter to us.

My children are invaluable. They are my number one priority, and now my wallet reflects that fact. Yesterday I wrote out the first installments of bills for our delivery ($2,850 in all) and said a little prayer expressing gratitude that I have healthy children and pleading that somehow money would find its way back into my savings account for the other bills that are coming and if possible a new refrigerator, please.

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