25% of young Americans say they don't need insurance; 35% say it's not worth the cost.
…buuuuut they’ll still have to buy it or face a fine come January.
Personally, I fall into both of those categories. I don’t have health insurance, and right now, I don’t want it. In the future I probably will, but currently insurance is not for me.
Now, I know there’s a risk involved in not being insured — and I might opt for a basic catastrophic policy soon to cover any big, expensive surprises — but hey, there’s a risk involved in life. The best insurance policy in the world won’t remove all the risk from your health and financial situations…but it will cost you a heck of a lot of money each month.
In the meantime, I eat well, exercise, and save money instead of throwing thousands of dollars a year away on medical expenses I simply don’t have.
And I should be allowed to make that choice for myself —
As a U.S. citizen.
As an adult.
And as a human.
This is a situation where everyone, left and right, should be able to agree that the much-abused “My body, my choice” slogan clearly applies. But for 25% of Americans 18 to 30, no such luck.
Members of Congress are living off food stamps for a week to protest Republican cuts. It’s a challenge for them, but GOP cuts would hurt millions of everyday Americans.
Did anybody else catch the fact that they’re shopping at Wal-Mart?
Eating cheaply is a skill, and it’s not one that these Congressmen are likely to learn within a week. We can tell, because they’re all complaining about feeling weak and losing large amounts of weight. Unless they’re the size of Chris Christie, that’s a problem with food selection, not a problem of budget. Hint: it’s all about the beans and rice.
Let’s do some quick math. They need to eat for a week for $30, and they need ~2000 calories per day, which means they need to purchase 14,000 calories for $30.
Let’s see….lentils (my favorite beans) are about 3.5 calories for each gram of dry beans. Enriched white rice has about the same. Thus, with just boiled rice and lentils, we’d need about 4kg (almost 9lbs) of total food for the week.
Walmart is currently selling 20lb bags of rice for about $10, and while they don’t list the price of their lentils, other sources on the internet have them around $4 per pound. We can even splurge a bit and use Olive Oil, which Walmart sells for $6 per pint, though cheaper vegetable oil can be had for $7 per gallon. Salt can be had for free, just by asking at the in-store McDonalds.
What that means is that for $24, we can have 20lbs of rice, 2lbs of beans, and a bottle of oil….enough to feed a person for about 10 days. The extra money can be spent on things to spice up what is otherwise a fairly bland meal, like bacon or sausage, or on vegetables for a side dish.
These prices are also on the high end — with a bit more searching, and also by buying for the month instead of the week, costs can be cut dramatically.
No, this is not exciting food, but it is nutritionally complete, especially when combined with bits of vegetables and meat. But isn’t that the point? Food stamps are supposed to prevent starvation and hunger, not provide kingly feasts.
I stayed with many families in Nepal who lived entirely on this diet — in fact, “Daal Bhaat Tarkari” (Daal = lentils, bhaat = rice, and tarkari = curried vegetables) is considered the national dish.
This has been an episode of Curmudgeonly Cooking…next time, we’ll talk about how potatoes and yams can be stir-fried into a delicious Oriental-style meal on the cheap. Until then, get off my lawn!
THANK YOU! I always face palm when I see people claiming “the poor HAVE to live off of fast food because healthy food is too expensive.” Nope.
So, its Safeway, not Walmart. Walmart accepts stamps as well, though…
haven’t been posting abspiration photos lately… =P
Running motivation for this afternoon :D