Okay, just to be clear…
(and this is NOT a bleg!)
I’M NOT POOR
But, it IS a matter of relativity.
I know folks who could go out for expensive steak dinners every night of the week! And doing so would have no serious consequence for them (except perhaps gout!).
I know others who generally ‘get by’ on what they bring in. Going overboard for Christmas perhaps, and playing games with five credit cards in an effort to stay solvent. Maybe playing a little too much at the Indian casinos(?) But they are treading water.
A few of my friends have good jobs, and have for many years. And often help friends and relatives in need. Sometimes even including yours truly.
But, I remain on SSDI (Social Security Disability Income), coupled with a small stipend (17% of the total) from private health insurance I was lucky enough to purchase when I was employed. And even though I was placed on the ‘disabled list’ due to one affliction, I am blessed with additional ones.
This is of no consequence to the bean counters.
I recently applied for supplemental Medicare insurance (I got Medicare with my SSDI). I’ve been on SSDI for five years, but have never applied for a supplement before. Between the complexities of the system and fear a supplement would cost more, I never did it before. Guess what? I will be penalized financially for NOT having applied in the previous five years!
Fortunately, I found an independent insurance agent who researched my options and helped me walk through the Gordian knot of rules and regulations. Sadly, he asked me to apply for assistance in paying for my prescriptions from Social Security, and they declined.
See? I’m NOT poor. The government says so!
Currently, I pay full price for my prescriptions, averaging $85/month. And without a secondary insurance, Medicare is 80/20. Meaning if I go in to see my primary care physician, a specialist or have a ‘procedure’ done (like the recent endoscopy), I owe 20%.
Which I do not have.
To be clear, I get to go out to eat (with my roommate), pay for TV satellite, rent and groceries. (She pays for the other stuff, like mortgage, electric and Wifi.) I suppose if we didn’t ever go out (usually fast food, pizza (etc.), never steak), and we didn’t have satellite TV, Internet, etc., I could afford the 20%.
We are NOT Syrian refugees, to be sure.
My 17-year old Oldsmobile clunker is other evidence. She still runs, albeit poorly. And I cannot afford regular maintenance.
Theoretically, my new plan will cover 80% of my prescriptions! And has some vision and dental coverage, as well. (Of course, the government is tacking on $20-30/month because I had to audacity to not have applied sooner!)
I’ve seen on the Internet, one cannot be fat and poor. I was once 350 pounds. I am now 233 – 50 or so more to go…
Everything is relative.