Last night, sitting here in front of my computer, I was as close to tears as I have been in a long time. They weren’t tears of sadness or unhappiness, they were tears of frustration and annoyance and down right anger. Let me explain…
Before I go any farther, I have to say this, I love my country and the people that live and work here. It’s the government that has gone and ticked me off. Now, on to my explanation…
Can someone, anyone, explain to me why our government uses your gross income when figuring out if you qualify for stuff? As far as I am concerned, gross income is a random, made up number that has no basis in reality. Yes, I know that it’s the money earned before all the taxes and insurance and retirement and what ever else your employer deems necessary to take out of your hard earned money. I do understand that, but it still has no real bearing on my day to day life. Unless I need help from “The Government”. So, why does the government use that as a basis for deciding whether or not I, or anyone else, really does need help. If I took home my gross pay, I probably wouldn’t need food stamps or L.E.A.P. (Low income Energy Assistance Program), or need to drain my retirement funds just to survive.
I have 2 co-workers; one makes $200 more than allowed to qualify for food stamps or L.E.A.P. The other makes $20 too much. Not only does she not qualify for any relief from the government, she also doesn’t qualify for Medicaid for The Affordable Health Care Act. Does this suck or what?
Getting back to why I was sitting so frustrated and angry and annoyed last night. I qualified for Medicaid and as a result, could afford to get my eyes examined, it’s been 5 years since I could afford an eye exam. Yea for that. But my eyes have changed and my glasses don’t work for me. Does Medicaid pay for anything else? Nope. I’m on my own for the frames and lens. And I can’t go to a cheaper place to get my glasses – my eyes are too weird. I have astigmatism, nearsightedness and computer eye syndrome and now I need bifocals. Where am I going to get the money? To give you an example, Just the lenses, progressive because of the bifocals, runs between $250 and $300. Then I can’t have glass lenses because they are far and away too thick and too heavy for my nose to hold, so they have to be “plastic”. Add another $100 to $150. Then for the computer eye syndrome, I need a tint and a UV filter. That’s another $120 to $150. So, there’s $600. That doesn’t include the frames. Add another $50 to $60 to that total. “Fortunately”, this Ophthalmologist’s office has Package Deals. That will cost me close to $300. Yes, a better deal, but I still have to take more money out of my retirement fund, which was never very big to start with, to pay for the glasses I need to see with.
And yes, after work I went to the bank and withdrew the $300. Tomorrow I will go order my new glasses. It would sure be nice if Medicaid covered just a little more and if the government would realize that the gross income amount really doesn’t mean anything anymore.
Okay, off my soap box and on to other things.