Coupons and ACA

Linda has never been much of a coupon person. Years ago she would go through the ads and cut a few coupons and stack them on the windowsill above the kitchen sink.

Occasionally she would clean out the old-outdated coupons, yet she would never use the new one. A couple months later she would do the same thing, take the ones from the bottom outdated and worthless and toss them away.

However, she and I have used the discount card that many stores offer. The cards on my keychain are so dirty that when I begin to hand it to the clerk, he or she will say, “Why don’t you just type your phone number on the keypad,” pointing to the credit card terminal.

I’m the type of guy that even after swiping the savings card, I do not save any money. I plan to go to Lowe’s to by a new screw driver, excited because I saw, in their circular, that there was a 20 percent discount. After procrastinating and then arriving at the store to get my new tool, I question the price.

“The drill sale ended yesterday,” the department guru says.

It’s hard to save a buck these days. Food’s going up as I write this. I remember when a Volkswagen bug was $1,900 and that was the new one with the rounded front window, and the heat worked. Now the VW Beetle is priced at around $22,000. Gas used to be cheap, too.

I guess for the younger generation, it’s just status quo. This is what it’s like and will always be. It could be less stressful to think that way. Although, folks in my generation were buying houses before they were 30 and paying 25 cents for a soda was considered high.

The 1970s had the highest inflation rate at about 7 percent (all items except groceries increasing in price by an average of 7 percent each year) since the 1910s. Our current inflation rate is just over 3 percent and the data collectors now include groceries. How is it possible that the cost of everything seems to get higher every day?

But it makes more sense if you Google it. It deserves a Google.

What is called cumulative inflation pushes our inflation rate much higher than what we are told it is currently. Cumulative means: growing in quantity, strength successive additions or gradual steps. In simple terms it piles up year after year or if we have a low inflation year it might bring the overall inflation rate down.

So we decided, (cheated with a Google) that currently our inflation is about 3 percent, but the cumulative rate is closer to 7 percent. So that’s why it seems that prices are edging up. They just build on the previous year. If anyone out there has had math past the fifth grade level, let me know if I am anywhere close on this one.

What got me thinking about this whole inflation thing and the price of beans in China is the Affordable Care Act. Makes you shiver doesn’t it. Spoke to Rick Gray today and he told me he just went through the whole rigmarole and felt like he got a pretty good deal.

Linda and I on the other hand are staying with our same old health policy, which has been going up cumulatively since a long time ago (before streetcars) and the cost has gotten unbearable. We fool with our coverage every year just to try and get some relief. It might be better to pay all our health bills without insurance. Oh, it’s illegal to not have health insurance. And,  you and I really do need health insurance. You know I take a medication that costs something like $800 a month and I pay only $118.

So last week, as the postman drives away and Linda gets the mail and looks a little freaked out. She opens the Anthem envelope and it has our rates for the coming year stuffed in it.

As she walked up the driveway her spirit seemed to lighten. “Our rate is lower this year, it hasn’t gone up again,” she said.

Our insurance had indeed gone down by $400 and our deductible, which was $5,000 went down to $4,000. In with the bill was an explanation of our bill or our saving. Careful… It was due to Obamacare. Did it make you shiver?

Now I am told that our savings is really a rebate that is essentially covered by the government. I’m not sure. I heard it at the barbershop, or was it beauty shop. Anyway, some may think that the Affordable Care Act will ruin this country and socialism will grip the nation.

But don’t you see what’s going on here? It’s propaganda. Whichever party wants to scare you, can do a pretty good job of it. All in the name of votes. Has the government taken your gun? I haven’t seen any death panels, and I have yet to have a chip implanted in my arm. It’s only a bruise Linda gave me for not saving a coupon. Linda is saving her coupons for our next health insurance payment.

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