Friday, January 09, 2009

496 Deductible or Deduct A Bill

496 Deductible Or Deduct A Bill

It's that time of year again.  Yes, after the annual post-holiday let down you get to deal with some brand new nuisances, the first of which is that everything has gone up but your paycheck.  The nastiest surprise is always that first purchase at the pharmacy.  New year, new deductible.

Mrs. Groanboan, 82, is on the pickup line at the drug counter.  Her generic Romulex now costs more than her car payment.  Real Romulex would cost her two months' car payments plus her firstborn, who, fortunately, is out of the country, and besides who wants to take in trade a guy in his late 50s and two car payments for a bottle of pills that lasts 31 days.  Mrs. Groanboan faints at the bill.  Pharmacy "technician" (what is a pharmacy technician, anyway?) Amy Sarah (almost all pharmacy technicians are named Amy or Sarah or both) jumps the counter, pops a smelling salt under Mrs. Groanboan's nose, revives her, returns her credit card and receipt and sends her and her bottle of generic Romulex on their way.

Amy Sarah keeps a supply of smelling salts at the register every January, February and March.  A lot of fainting goes on at the drug counter in the first quarter of the year.  She can, when she does her taxes, deduct a bill for smelling salts, because it's necessary for her job.  The rest of us would like to deduct a bill or two from our pharmacy budgets.

If generics are getting this pricey, maybe someone will come along and make sub-generics, knockoffs of the knockoffs.  It happens in fashion.  So why not pharmaceuticals.

Not a bad idea in pills, so what about expanding it to other fields.  We've already done it with clothing.  How about cars.  Can't afford a Cadillac?  Someone should build a generic version.  It would look like a Caddy, but without the nameplate.  It would have the same active ingredients as a Caddy -- four wheels, two doors, an engine, a transmission and brakes.  Not good ones, necessarily, but active ingredients, nonetheless.

Just don't buy one until about mid-year, when you can deduct a bill instead of paying a deductible.


--Free food abounds in the shopping clubs, at least on weekends.  If you plan your moves right, you can get a whole meal on the house.  Wait for a shift change before you hit the cheese and crackers stand for the fifth time

--Two George Bushes, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter had lunch with Obama at the White House earlier this week.  What do you think they talked about?  Best guess is baseball, dogs, cats and children,  the only things all five of them know about.

--I have heard from about half a dozen readers and listeners on the previous post, "Man Without a Blackberry."  Several admitted they are in the same boatload of Blackberry-less outcasts.  A smaller number confess to dropping theirs in the sink or toilet, some accidentally, others on purpose.

I'm Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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