I have been only sort of half-heartedly following the news about the government shut-down, partly because listening to the news too much makes me really stressed out and partly because I'm so disgusted with Congress for doing this. I mean, on the one hand, using the tools available (such as allowing the government to shut down rather than pass a spending bill) is an important thing to be able to do. BUT taking a day off before the shut-down rather than working on coming to an agreement, and accepting paychecks while refusing to work are really nasty. It makes me want to learn more about who's doing this, so I can vote them out of office next time around.
I don't get into party politics too much around here, and I won't this time, either. But this government shut-down might have a pretty devastating financial impact on my family, and I want to talk about it. I've seen a lot of comments on Facebook and elsewhere about how families receiving assistance such as WIC should "suck it up" and "get a job" and that sort of thing. (WIC is affected by the government shut-down, although the impact varies by state.) WIC is saving my family from nearly $700 per month in specialized formula costs. Despite being exclusively tube-fed, Baby M doesn't have the exact right diagnosis to have our insurance cover her formula, which is the most specialized, expensive type available. This isn't something that there are coupons for, or even something I can pick up at Target. It has to be purchased at a pharmacy or home health products company. We are extremely fortunate that Baby M's birth weight qualifies her for state aid as a secondary insurance, and as part of that WIC covers her formula expenses.
We're very lucky in so many ways and I realize that. Peanut has a good, stable job and I am able to stay home. We have excellent health care coverage. But we could not afford Baby M's formula out of pocket without spending down our savings, and it would be medically detrimental - possibly dangerous - to switch her to a more standard formula right now (though we have a plan for doing that over the next six months, if she handles it). WIC is a crucial part of our health care team, and the government is playing with that coverage with no thought as to what effect it might have on voters.
And we are the lucky ones. There are people who depend on WIC to feed their families regular food, not just special infant formula. These kinds of services are critical to the people who put Congress in office, and shame on our government for not spending money they have already approved on aid that people need. There are other ways to fight Obamacare or to make a point to the president or to get paid to not work. Shame, shame, shame.