Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Health Costs Skyrocket, UFT Unity Wins Pencils

I had an interesting week. My daughter had a terrible headache, so I rushed her to an Urgent Care facility near our home. They thought she might have meningitis, so I took her to the ER. Thankfully, she didn't have meningitis and it was just a virus, but they had to rule it out.

The cost was $50 for visiting the urgent care plus $200 for the ER visit, for a total of $250. That's $185 more than this would've cost me last year. Now at 8:30 on a Friday night when the local urgent care closed at 9, I suppose I could've driven her to the Advantage Care facility in Valley Stream, 15 minutes farther away, and saved 50 bucks. I would've had to get on the laptop and check their hours and address. Then it would've been only $135 out of pocket. (I guess I'm just not smart enough to think like that when I see my daughter in pain.)

I can't imagine my story is that unique. Now this, of course, was a by-product of the most recent contract agreement, the one negotiated by Michael Mulgrew and his crack team of UFT Unity loyalty oath signers. Now I guess the $250 is just a drop in the bucket compared to the $40,000 I already lent the city but have to wait until 2020 to get (with no interest). Like everyone, I look forward to getting back a whopping zero percent of that back during the next school year. Thanks again, UFT Unity.

But surely the $250 is just one part of how much I'll pay this year as part of the 2014 contract that was not revealed to us as Mulgrew sold it to us via appeals to fear, like how retro was not a God-given right.  In any case, UFT Unity is on Twitter boasting about their latest victory:

That's pretty interesting. Now last year, Teacher's Choice was at $122. Though they haven't actually provided the precise figure, I'm guessing 27% more is another 30 bucks a year. Now I have to give them credit--that makes up for a small fraction of what their brilliant negotiations cost me last Friday night. In fact we have no idea what further givebacks are in store for us as a result of Mulgrew's yet incomplete negotition.

Regardless, it's a net loss. This silver lining is that with that thirty bucks, or whatever it turns out to be, I can invest in Ticonderoga, the acknowledged Cadillac of pencils. These pencils derive their name from Ticonderoga New York, where they were once made. That's back before someone discovered it was cheaper to outsource labor than pay American workers. But I digress.

The important thing to remember is UFT Unity is hard at work getting you 30 bucks a year, maybe. If you and your entire family see medical specialists less than twice a year, never go to a convenient and now ubiquitous Urgent Care facility, and never visit an ER, this could represent a jump in income sufficient to net yourself some sweet Ticonderoga pencils, possibly in bulk at Costco.

So thank you, UFT Unity, for looking out for us. You can imagine how grateful we must be. For those of us who've already been shelling out the big bucks for Ticonderoga, well, maybe we can go splurge and go see a movie or something, as long as we don't go crazy and buy popcorn. And no matter how many hundreds or thousands of dollars we lose as a result of your health care negotiations, no matter how many more losses we incur as a result of their not yet having been completed, we will have that (maybe) thirty bucks to console us.
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