We, here in America, live in the only industrialized country in the world where you can lose everything to Medical Bills. Where getting healthy can make you bankrupt. Only us. Only (in the) US.
Part of the stimulus package our government has put in play involves a tax break for us working stiffs who make less than 250K a year - in the form of more take home money every paycheck.
My company has imposed a pay freeze this year. As a salaried individual, I don't get 'overtime' - I get the same paycheck (albeit a nice one) every two weeks. All that means is, I can compare this year's paycheck with last year's paycheck from the same period and see EXACTLY what the stimulus package is doing for me.
I saw the effect of the package for the first time, today. This is the first check reflecting the tax credit from Uncle Sam. This is money my Uncle wants me to go out and spend, put in play, so to speak. Stimulate the economy with my little contribution every two weeks.
I compared the check from this pay period with a check from a year ago. If you don't think that the Medical and Medical Insurance Industries have a stranglehold on our economy, then consider this. My insurance premiums have gone UP by 33% in the year - by an amount EQUAL to the amount I'm getting back from the government in the form of this tax break. WTF?
We pay more for Medicine and Medical Intervention in this country than anywhere else in the world, but we're sicker than any other industrialized country, and don't live as long. More of our babies die that any other industrialized country and we, only we, can wind up living in the street because of Medical Bills.
Something really, really, needs to change.