Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nobody Ever Listens

Well, I'm trying not to lose the momentum of returning, so since I have nothing very intelligent to say, I thought I'd share some of the things I write to the government about all the time that nobody listens to.

Nobody Listens to Me #1:

First, the thing I've written about over and over during the health care riots was a way to make (I think) Medicare both more fair and more self-sufficient. I'm really lucky to get Medicare even though I hate doctors and never go. Still, it's there. And actually I do get my money's worth because I talk to Dr. Jim every week and he then waits months - up to a year - to get the pittance they give him for the pain of talking to me. He's covered by Medicare Part B, which is where I think a little re-thinking would make my life easier and add tons of money to the Medicare trough. The way Part B is done now is they take money out of your stipend every month. In my case, they take $96 and some change. That's about 14% of my stipend.

I couldn't find my Medicare book from this year, but this is an excerpt from an email I wrote to someone back in 2007 when I began my one-woman campaign to talk about this. So far, it's still a one woman campaign. Anyway, here are the numbers from 2007.

$80,000 or less (individual) or $160,000 or less (joint)
you pay $ 93.50

$80,001-100,000 (individual) or $160,001-$200,000 (joint)
you pay $105.80

$100,001-150,000 (individual) or $200,001-300,000 (joint)
you pay $125.00

$150,001-200,000 (individual) or $300,001-400,000 (joint)
you pay $142.90

Above $200,000 (individual) or Above $400,000 (joint)
you pay $161.40

Math is not my strong suit (to put it mildly), but by my calculations, those at the 80,000 end of the equation in my $93.50 category are paying less than 2% of their income towards Medicare versus my 8%. The low end of the $80-100,000 category pays 1.5% of their yearly income and the upper end pays about 1.25%. Moving to level three, the bottom level folks pay 1.5% and the upper level folks pay 1%... Level 4, the bottom rung pays about 1.15% of their total income and the top end pay less than 1% (.085 or some such thing). Those at the bottom of the top range pay under 1% (.097% approximately). For someone with $500,000 in annual income the percentage is about .004%...

Even though the numbers are off for the current year, the principle remains. Someone with 10 times my income pays only $150 more per year than I do for Part B. And someone making $750,000 (50X what I get) pays only $814 more/year for insurance than someone with a yearly income of $14,000. Doesn't that seem a little nuts?

Nobody Listens to me #2:

My other big idea is about recycling. I don't understand why (sorry Republicans) don't nationalize our recycling system so that instead of each state recycling some things the nation recycles everything. If New York is set up to recycle #1,2 and 3 plastics, let them ship their #5 to Arizona where they recycle that and so on. This would be good for the environment and it would provide much needed jobs. It's a win-win.

Well, That's all I've got. I got side-tracked in the middle. I'm saving fairies from wistful spirits and it I thought I was just going to check in, but it took much longer than it should have.

Hope you are all having a lovely Thursday. Hard to believe the week has flown so fast.

No comments: