Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.
I hesitate to write this last-minute letter given your hectic travel schedule and the sheer volume of work involved in delivering gifts around the world, not to mention supervising all those elves. I can’t imagine the stress. I bet you’re thankful for smartphones, loyal reindeer and a reliable sleigh.
I don’t mean to add to your burden, Santa. But I haven’t asked for anything from you in decades. So I thought I would send you my Christmas list and see what you can do. Here goes:
DSLR camera (My aged Canon EOS 20-D performs poorly in low light and, well, it won’t last forever.)
office chair (Mine is ripping on the back and I need one that offers better back support.)
comforter (I noticed when I made the bed last week that ours is tearing.)
new bed (Ours is wearing out, as in sagging.)
new pots and pans (Mine are circa late 70s, handles coming loose…)
insta pot (This is a wish, not a need.)
kitchen update (Or at least a new faucet to replace the leaky one and maybe a new sink to replace the brown one.)
new smartphone (My Android is old and slow.)
shirts & sweaters (A weight loss necessitates this as does the need to upgrade an aging wardrobe.)
short boots (Not snowboots, but the fashion kind.)
There you go, Santa.
Wait a minute. I’m having second thoughts about asking for so much. I am thankful for all I already have. Let’s cross all those wishes off my list and make it a single wish. Here’s what I really want, and not just for myself: I want affordable health insurance, lower deductibles and insurance companies to stop making decisions about individual healthcare. Do you possess enough magic to make that happen?
Here’s the deal. The overwhelming cost of health insurance ($1,700/month for us with $4,250/each deductibles in 2020) is causing financial and emotional stress not only for me and Randy but for many others (those who are self-employed, work for small businesses with minimal or no benefits…) in the same situation. I don’t expect free insurance. But I do expect reasonable premiums and deductibles that make our insurance affordable and usable.
I know of family members, myself included, who are not getting necessary healthcare because they can’t afford it, due to the aforementioned high premiums and deductibles. And, no, I can get neither subsidy or tax credit. I checked, with multiple sources (aka MNsure navigators and social services). We fall through a loophole.
I know of family members denied prescriptions or treatments because health insurance companies judged these unnecessary or determined there were other options. Why do insurance companies have the right to override a medical provider’s directive? This makes absolutely no sense to me, Santa. Sure, policyholders can appeal decisions. But why aren’t doctors’ orders good enough?
I expect that for every grievance I could list here,
thousands millions more exist.
Well, Santa, I don’t want to sound like a complainer and you probably can’t grant this wish. But if you have any connections with anyone who can effect change, I’d appreciate your help.
Safe travels and Merry Christmas!