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March 20, 2017

Hey! That's Me You're Talking About!

Sixty-four year old making $26,500 now paying $1,700 per year for medical coverage would pay $14,600 per year under Trumpcare. Does Trump care? Sorry, rhetorical question.

My very personal master plan is to retire soon and move back to the U.S. After a lifetime abroad I think I deserve at least that. I'm letting you in on my life story because it's emblematic and because it shows how the millionaire politicians can really affect the ordinary people. Negatively.

If--big if--the Republicans can pass Trumpcare, I'm out. I can no longer afford my big move. That probably means little to you, readers, but it's a dream I've held for almost forty years. With the GOP deck stacked against me, I can't afford to live in my own country, to live in my own house. Most of all, I can't afford to get sick in the U.S., where it's "go broke or die."

Here in Italy, like in most European countries, we have a public health system, which has pros and cons. The gov pays for it out of our wages before we see them. When you call the central booking number to make an appointment they tell you it might be a month or a year before you can see a specialist (you can't choose which Dr.) or get an exam like an MRI. Your family doctor, who is free/go anytime, probably needs those results immediately, so you go to a private facility and pay. You also pay a small fee for prescriptions.

When I say 'pay' I mean reasonable amounts, not astronomical American prices. A complete cardiac exam is about $40; chest x-rays $60; medicine might be $5 for a month's supply. Some of this depends on government subsidies and some on low market prices. With our salaries--university instructor and city official--about the same as the American minimum wage (pensions even lower), things get tight around the end of the month. We could never manage an exponential increase in health costs. Trumpcare would be ten times more expensive than Obamacare for me.

So, like 20 million other Americans, I'm watching this very closely. The big move is on hold. "Oh Lord, stuck in Messina again." This time the Washington con games mean life or death to us middle-class folks. The politicians had better do what's right or they'll hear from us bigly. So far, it doesn't look good.

Plus, my iphone is a hand-me-down.

Happy trials, Martin

Mutt:  Two peanuts walk into a bar.
Jeff:  Good morning, Mr. Mutt-ster. How art thou this fine day?
Mutt:  One was a salted.
Jeff:  Well, some people just don't like food going to waist.
Mutt:  A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
Jeff:  A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, "So, why the long face?"
Mutt:  Heard it.
Jeff:  Did you hear about the two silk worms who had a race.
Mutt:  No, what happened?
Jeff:  They ended up in a tie.
Mutt:  Where do you find giant snails?
Jeff:  On the ends of giant's fingers?
Mutt:  A polar bear, a giraffe and a penguin walk into a bar. The bartender says, "What's is this? Some kind of joke?"
Jeff:  How bout the singer who broke into song because he couldn't find the key?
Mutt:  How bout the expert farmer who was outstanding in his field?
Jeff:  How bout the wife who needs a lover just to break the monogamy?
Mutt:  On the surface of things whales are always blowing it.
Jeff:  A criminal's best asset is his lie ability.
Mutt:  And when you dream in color it's a pigment of your imagination.
Jeff:  Are we on a roll yet?
Mutt:  No, not yet but close.
Jeff:  Oowah!