Is it open season on us?

Fawn Musick

I hope that everyone who could voted this past week. I voted early, and I encouraged everyone I knew to get out and vote. It is important to make our voices heard, as we will be asked to get out and vote again in future times. During what I call “open season,” or the months leading up to a vote, I fear we are all as white-tail deer, and the media gurus and politicians are the hunters.

We stare blindly at the commercials that flash before us and we have no idea who to trust or sometimes, even what the issues are. This year, I received a small pamphlet in the mail outlining the candidates and the different issues we were to vote for. I read them carefully, and then hubs and I read them together. We discussed the different things we heard, and we still weren’t sure who or what to vote for.

On the night we got out to vote, I forgot my little booklet and had to rely on my memory. I had been bombarded with so many ads that I became uncertain. My pencil wobbled over the small circle more than once as I tried to remember what my intentions were.

Once finished, I wasn’t absolutely certain that I had circled the right dots on the issues we had discussed. Somehow the wording got twisted and tangled and even for a wordsmith like myself, I got a little confused. But I did vote, and I am certain that it is the best thing to do. Now, we can all relax and maybe the commercials will go away and, somehow, we will get through the next few years despite all the political brouhaha.

As the political races wind down another entirely - yet similar - race has begun. It is now open season for insurance enrollment. Talk about feeling like a hunted white-tailed deer — or maybe an exotic gazelle —whew! I opened one Internet ad and within 15 seconds I had six calls wanting to sell me health insurance. They called all day and sent me texts into the night.

As many of you know, I am not a fan of health insurance, or of any other insurance to be truthful, but especially health insurance because I work in the health industry. I hear people everyday talk about how they can not afford insurance and they do not know what they are going to do. Some are paying $3000 to $4000 per month for health insurance complete with large co-pays and HUGE deductibles which will never be paid off in a year.

In my search for new insurance, I contacted my insurance company, and they gave me a list of brokers. I called and called and called. No answers. Finally, I dropped by the office of the first on my list. The cheapest quote he could give me was an increase of $800 per month. He told me that they had only raised their premiums four percent because that was a natural cost-of-living kind of thing. The next quote was more than double my current insurance. I asked him for other types, and he assured me that this was the only type that an individual could own. Pfffttt…

Then I decided to check out the Internet. YIKES! No quotes unless you give them all your information and then they pass your information along to about eighty million folks who then proceed to call and pester. I think if I wanted to be mean to someone, I might just fill out an Internet Insurance quote request and put their name and phone number on it. Maybe not. That might be too cruel.

I will have to muddle through the insurance mess because, well, it is required! Seems to me that as I grow older, there are more requirements and fewer choices. I like to think that I can take care of myself and my family without someone else telling me how. When we used to make a bad choice, we paid the consequences and hopefully learned a lesson.

Schools can’t educate because there are no consequences. Parents can’t parent because there is no support system for the parent who wishes their child to be independent and productive. Doctors can’t doctor because the insurance companies tell them exactly how much they can make and who they can treat. Pharmacies tell doctors what drugs they can prescribe based on what the insurance company tells them they will pay for. Folks can’t work more hours even if they wanted to because of regulations.

There are days, I believe it is Open Season on common sense and morality. Anything that makes sense has been thrown out the window and replaced with all kinds of rules and regulations. Most things that seem right are being tossed upside down and replaced with all kinds of weirdness and in-your-face ness.

Perhaps it is progress. Perhaps it is idiocy. Some days it is difficult to tell the difference.

Fawn Musick is a Princeton Times columnist, a mom, and a blogger. To read more of her work, visit fawn.musick.com. To contact her, write fawnmusick@yahoo.com.