Things the Poors Don’t Need if They Want Health Insurance

GOP Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz says foregoing a new iPhone can help low-income people pay for their own health care. Here are some other ways to cut back.

OK, we all get it. Health care costs keep going up. Even though the U.S. has been out-pacing the rest of the developed world in amount spent as a percentage of GDP for the past 30 years, the current Republican Congress believes the best way to bring down costs is to get rid of the individual mandate, thereby letting companies sell across state lines.

This would give consumers a choice, as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz recently condescendingly explained: “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice, so maybe instead of getting that new iPhone that they just love, and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.”

This seems extremely reasonable, but foregoing that new iPhone purchase is only going to save the almost-poors a couple months’ worth of health care premiums. Here are a few other luxury expenses that you can get rid of in order to invest in your health care.

Pet food and medicine: Do you have a pet? Why? Please take it to the local shelter immediately. It will surely live a happy life playing and enjoying the company of other people’s former pets until a generous person who can afford both pets and health insurance comes along and adopts your pet... or whatever it is that shelters do with used and old pets.

Refrigerator: Go to your kitchen right now. Open the refrigerator. Is it cold? If yes, then you are feeling the cold reality of wasted health care money. Refrigerators cost, on average, 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Not to mention the fact that perishable goods such as milk, eggs, cheese, meat and vegetables are often the most expensive things at the grocery. Plus, buying a refrigerator often costs even more than an iPhone.

Orange Juice: Did you even know there was an alternative? While you might think orange juice is a good source of Vitamin C, it also costs four to five times as much as orange drink. The lack of vitamins and nutrients in orange drink are compensated by supplemental corn syrup and access to a variety of colors. Orange drink is available in red, orange, green, purple and blue colors. Check label for refrigeration requirements.

Vitamins: Taking vitamins is simply a precaution against not getting all your daily nutrition or whatever. It’s like an extra luxury protection you pay for instead of having health insurance. Your doctor might have recommended taking them, but have you ever asked your doctor if vitamins even work? She has no idea, and doctors are one of the reasons health care costs so much. Why listen to someone who is just making the problem worse?

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