Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Benzion Noam Chinn is Living in Poverty

Last May, while coming back from a Cirque De Soleil show, I was jumped by a group of youths, who attempted to rob me. (Yes, incidentally they were black but for me that is beside the point.) I was knocked off of my bike and suffered a fractured clavicle otherwise known as a broken collarbone. I was taken to Riverside Methodist Hospital where I was given a shot of cortisone for the pain, an MRI to make sure I had not suffered any head injuries, a slink for my arm and an icepack. I spent about three hours in the hospital before going to bed and teaching the next morning. Due to the wonders of our health care system I got handed a bill for over $5000. I have been going through the hoops of my insurance company in order to get them to cover as much of this as possible. I also applied for aid under the Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program.
A few days ago I received a letter from the Attorney General of Ohio, Marc Dann, that I was exempt from paying over $2000 worth of bills due to the fact that I live below the Federal poverty line. It seems that according to our government I am living in poverty due to the fact that I supported myself on under $10,000 last year. This is news to me I have never considered myself poor. I eat three meals a day. I regularly have meat in my diet. I have plenty of cloths and I even own two suits. I have a room to myself, which I pay about $400 a month for. I regularly purchase such luxury items as books, CDs and DVDs. I am typing these words on a laptop which I purchased last year. I even have health insurance. I confess, I do not own a car. I get around on my bike and the bus system. I will grant you that most people have more than I do. I have made certain lifestyle choices. I want to be a historian and I am willing to live on little in order to achieve this.

I certainly do not need any major government programs in order to help me. Could someone just fix the health care system? There is something when a trip to the hospital that did not require any surgery costs over $5000.

1 comment:

Miss S. said...

sorry...trying to pass the time while in an incredibly boring seminar given by Paychex...

I think I have always lived below the poverty line. My top pay was $18.50 and hour...yet that pushed me over into the 15% tax bracket. I never had a car payment, but student loans instead. I got a little break on car insurance when I was 25. Rent and food were huge expenses -- in that my rent ran about $850/month with nothing included and because of a long commute and attending shiurim like crazy, I ate out in kosher restaurants about 75% of the time (so $14 per dinner about?).

Thank G-d, when I had my accident, it was covered by my car and health insurance. The final damage for a 9-hour surgery to put me back together - $157,000. But I think the surgery itself was only $24,000. The rest of that was from the hospital stay (hospitals are more expensive than four star hotels...and the food is not nearly as good).

So I don't have medical bills; but I did lose 9 months of work. Now I am back in a lower tax bracket because I work part time at $11/hr. But due to the low cost of living, I'm pretty much enjoying the same lifestyle.

Who is rich? Those who are satisfied with their portion...