So, after I wrote about my hundred dollar road trip goal, I have had some questions and comments about how it works. Since I am just now doing serious planning for my May road trip, I though I would share a $45 a night option I discovered , as well as how I drastically reduce gas prices. Since I usually plan a road trip just a month and a half or so out (other than destinations), you all will get to follow along with my first month long road trip in over a year.
First, though, you all know I have to talk about today's news. As I write this Friday evening, I assume we have all at least heard some of the news of the day. The Republican health plan (I won't stoop to the level of Republicans and name it after our President) is DOA. The Speaker of the House is so wimpy, he has declared Obamacare the law of the land, rather than try for a better alternative.
The kicker of course in all of this is the Republican Congress itself. As a liberal Democrat, I cannot take one ounce of credit for this. The administration did this to itself, with no help from the so called liberals. In fact, the party is so divided that I (who follow the news and have read the bill) have no idea who sunk it worse-the alt-right/Freedom party types, the moderate conservatives or the American Voters. Personally. I'm going with the voters.
I mean, rabid comments on this blog to the contrary, the law would have increased insurance fees for seniors up to one hundred percent (again, yes, I read this portion) by allowing insurers to charge up to seven times the going rate for seniors. They would have left 20 million people covered under the ACA uninsured. And while they would have kept in place some protections for those with previous conditions, they would have allowed insurers to charge up to ten times the rate. And let's not forget foot in mouth disease. Iphones indeed. The bottom line is that the voters made it clear that if this bill passed, those representatives would be out of a job, many of them in 2018. What's truly sad is that almost all legislation to date (health and otherwise) affects those poor souls who voted for the man the most. They will suffer the greatest.
Now, I am not one of those folks who think that the ACA is perfect. Serious work needs to be done in terms of viability and lowering costs, but insurers need to take responsiblity as do those of us who receive care have a responsibility to be good consumers and be responsible for our own care. For example, one of the things I object to especially is the idea that twenty somethings should pay a hefty fee for insurance so that they can carry the rest of us. As with many parents of twenty somethings, my college student/full time employee had to be subsidized by me to afford said insurance, defeating the purpose. In my case I aknowledge that as I age my health care costs will probably go up (hence medicare, after all), and while I am unwilling to pay ursury fees for health care, I am also unwilling to have the next generation bear that burden for me.
So the end result is that there is still much to do on health care. The question is will the party in charge take that step, and regroup and come up with a better plan. Or will the turn tail between their legs, whine and complain at the first defeat and show their true colors. No one, not even the most liberal democrat denies that the ACA needs tweaking, but so does health care delivery as well. The ACA is mainly about insurance, and reforming health care will also require tweaking how it is delivered. Now, the evidence shows that the best way to lower costs for all, is to make delivery equitable and cost effective. That has more to do with how care is delivered in terms of cost and efficiency than the insurance portion, although coverage for all should be basic. I mean seriously. Let me wear my own robe and nightgown and bring my own aspirin-that would save me a good 100 bucks a day in the hospital!
Most every other civilized country knows this and manages to do so. The excuse of our size is really not a defense in this area, although I suppose the power of the states could be on occasion. But, put simply.THE UNITED STATES IS 37TH IN DELIVERING HEALTH CARE IN THE WORD. OMAN HAS BETTER HEALTH CARE! The fact that the King of Jordan flies to New York for health care has much, much less to do with quality of care and much, much more to do with the pampering experience of a hospital VIP suite, or the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed.
Just a quick note. I've referenced the military health care system as an excellent health care system in past blog posts. For the record, the VA is NOT part of the military health care system, and one of the constantly suggested solutions as yet to be followed through on is to let the military services take back the VA. I personally think this is an excellent condition.
Back on the road trip front, and about those hotel alternatives. Since I was spending the longest amount of time (a week) in the Corpus Christie area, I concentrated on that first. Road trip sleeping is very flexible, and I can always driver a longer time or a shorter time, but the week's vacation was my starting point.
Now, Airbnb is a little newer to me than to many I expect, and I am still learning as I go. In Corpus Christie I learned that I can rent a small gate house or mother in law apartment for 45 bucks a night, and if I were willing to just have a room and bath in someones house I can go as low as $19 (this is the kind of thing I would do in a city I knew little about, to get the local "input"). At at goal of $100 a day, with this kind of price for where to lay my head, I have no doubt I will keep to the budget in Corpus. Now on to those road trip overnights and beautiful downtown San Antonio.4
This weekend, my local Kroger affiliate has four times fuel points, so it's time to go shopping. Along with my groceries, I buy gift cards to places I shop (not just for gas), buy the gift cards when I have four times the fuel points, and save tons of money all around. Last week I had seventy cents of a gallon of gas. This way I will have gas cards to use along the way and fuel points to keep the gas down further-if I'm lucky, around a buck a gallon.
In other end of week news, I still have no oven but the part is on order. I've plowed through the first three Catherine Coulter FBI books (yep, I binge read as well). I started knitting a beautiful poncho/shawl for a gift next year-which I'll share in a bit, as the recipient doesn't drop in here. Immigration and Sanctuary ministry is supporting a woman in sanctuary and visiting detainees. I am attempting to meet my goal of writing every day. And last but not least, I've spent an extraordinary amount of time sunning outside in almost eighty degree weather here in Denver in March. In fact, I'm so spoiled by this weather, that it dropped to the fifties today and I've been complaining all day. What can I say, give me the heat!! I may have to look at snowbirding after all.
And now, I'm off to my pillows and fourth Catherine Coulter of the week. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day!