It seems to me more and more that some segments of our population, be it politicians or media, tend to try and frame certain services as free. This is a complete disservice to we the people as a whole. Nothing is free, except your free will. It misleads people. People who receive these services need to know someone is paying for them.
So, first I am not saying certain goods and services should not be provided, but…
Some want to tell you that public education (K to 12th grade) is free. It is not. I know from personal experience as I go down to the school district’s tax office each year and hand over a check. Yes, there is no direct cost for that 5 year old to attend the public school system. But we need to remember, everyday people are paying for that schooling.
Teachers, buildings, and books just don’t appear out of nowhere. People are working and some of their hard-earned wages go to paying for that education. Way too many people take for granted that public education is “free.”
There are also some that think college/higher education should be free, but who is going to pay for that?
There is no free healthcare, no free health checkups, no free dental cleanings, no free contraceptives, no free emergency care. They are all paid for by we the people or a segment of the population.
Our government, our employers, our health insurance providers tell us we get a free annual checkup. NO, we don’t…my monthly premiums pay for it. Despite the current administration saying birth control should be provided for free at no cost, that is a lie. The monthly premiums paid for by policy holders bare the burden of the cost.
Personally, I think we need to move away from this model. When the insurance company (or Medicare/Medicaid) “covers” the cost and we do nothing more than sign a piece of paper or pay small small fee ($10 co-pay) we lose sight of the real costs. We think it is not that big of burden.
Certain healthcare expenditures, should carry a higher out-of-pocket cost. I think of my car. I pay for the gas, the oil changes, the tires, the brakes. But when and if there is a accident or the windshield shatters from a flying rock, insurance is there to help with the cost. Healthcare services should be the same, I should know the true cost of a doctor’s office visit or a flu shot (which btw, I do not take, never have, never will).
A personal experience with the so-called free yearly check-up, physical or whatever you want to call it…it took money from my account. I received the statement about a month after the appointment, it is supposed to be all “free” right?… to cover the costs of the blood work and the 15 minutes with the doctor (different story for another day). Not exactly. The paperwork showed miss-billings of account numbers of something so it took a few dollars from my account after several back-and-forth’s between the doc office and insurance company. My policy says all costs will be covered, but reality is they were not. And you know what? I did not fight it. It was not worth my time to get on the phone, to be put on hold, to be transferred to endless departments, to be told to file for an appeal, etc. all for a few dollars. But sadly, when it is a few dollars happening to millions of people that means millions of dollars.
There is no free lunch. My boss may on occasion pay for a lunch at work, but it is not free. That cost may reduce a potential raise for me or a co-worker. It may prevent supplies being bought. I do appreciate it, but I have the smarts to realize that something else will be forfeited for me to not directly pay for that burger.
I just think we as a society would be better off knowing that nothing is truly free (not even our freedom) and to stop portraying it as such. Someone is paying higher taxes or receiving lower wages or, if lucky, donating more of what they have to help pay for goods and services. More importantly, we need to remember that some are sacrificing their time and some instances their life for certain freedoms. Our government, our media and we the people all bare some of the responsibility to help educate the masses on this topic.
Related note: I even realize that this blog is not free. Somewhere, someone is paying a cost to host servers and storage to allow me to take advantage of it to have the…dare I say freedom…ability to freely write these thoughts down on the interwebs.