Flat Tires and Skinned Feet

When you work a desk job and have a family, there’s never enough time for exercise. My solution is to ride my bicycle to work. It’s a 20 minute trip that gets the blood pumping and avoids incurring the wrath of Mommy. This past Sunday, I bought a new hybrid. Today, I got a flat tire. The result: Mommy had to load the kids in the car and come find me on the road.

My plan to avoid Mommy’s wrath? Epic fail.

On the bright side, changing a flat is fairly simple, and inner tubes are cheap. And so long as the government doesn’t force bikers to start purchasing bicycle insurance, the tubes will always be cheap.

Speaking of the health care debacle (or maybe I wasn’t, but I’m going to talk about it anyway), Widget2 skinned his foot crawling at the playground. I winced when I saw the bloody scabs, but Mommy says he didn’t even cry. Widget2 has a high tolerance for pain. He’s also strong, thick, energetic, and is already wearing his big brother’s old toddler clothes. I’m considering renaming him The Thing.

The cost to treat his wounds at home? Maybe a dollar for the band-aids and Neosporin.

If we had taken him to a doctor, that’s another story. Have you seen what the medical industry charges for a band-aid these days?

When I was a bachelor, I didn’t have health insurance and I didn’t think much about the cost of medical care because I rarely needed it. Then I got married, and my bank account vanished faster than a presidential promise. Thank God my employer is currently able to provide a generous insurance package, but who knows how much longer we’ll be able to keep it under the new federal regulations. I can’t help wondering how these crazy health care wars in Washington D.C. will affect my children’s future.

(Warning: strong opinions ahead) Agree or disagree with Obamacare, I think it misses the point. Obamacare is an answer to a problem that I’m not so sure is the real problem. In the view of our nation’s leaders, the great scandal of American health care is that not everyone has medical insurance. In my view, the great scandal is that medical services cost so much. These are different problems, and solving the former does not necessarily solve the latter. So far it has made it worse.

Health insurance is not health care. Health insurance is a risk pool. It creates a third party that steps in between the consumer and the provider, spreading the cost rather than reducing it, while creating new costs of its own and impeding the ability of the consumer to shop for the best price. I’m not anti-insurance. I just think the industry had ballooned out of control, and centralizing everything in Washington will only increase the problem. To the contrary, I’d like to see a scaling-back of insurance. Let’s do away with comprehensive insurance and return to the catastrophic model, similar to how most auto insurance works, and similar to how some health plans used to work before Obamacare regulated them out of existence.

In the meanwhile, we’ve got wounds to bandage, sinus infections to cure, chiropractors to visit, allergists to consult, and all sorts of medical issues that I never imagined would consume so much of my family’s life.

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