Today I am home taking a sick day because I had a scheduled laser surgery this morning. Nothing serious. It is a neat way to take care of varicose veins, a hereditary trait passed down from my mom. Mom had serious varicose veins. I can remember how awful they looked when I was growing up. Of course mom had seven kids, so that didn't help. I can't imagine wearing those support stockings she had to wear year round. Several of my brothers and sisters have the same problem, but none as bad as mom. Mine bothered me a bit but probably no where near as mom's did her. I decided to take care of mine while I still had good health insurance.You may be wondering what's up with my insurance...or the title to my blog.
I presently work for the New York State Tobacco Control Program. I work part time in the Community Partner aspect and the other half in Tobacco Cessation. The work is interesting and rewarding, but it's more of the behind the scenes work rather than directly helping tobacco users quit.
We are a grant funded program that came out of the lawsuits between the government and the tobacco industry. They lost and NY State gained $85 million a year to help us deal with the ramifications of tobacco use and try to prevent people from taking up this deadly habit that would most likely end in addiction and ultimately, death. This particular job has its perks. Great pay, great benefits and a sense that you are doing some good in the community. Each grant has a fiscal agent to oversee it and make sure the initiatives are met and the expenses are in line with the program. Our fiscal agent is the the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley (aka Kingston Hospital) and when you work for a hospital, you tend to get pretty good health benefits.
All that background to say, in this time of fiscal crisis of the federal, state, and local governments, not to mention skyrocketing business expenses and daily living expenses, everyone is cutting budgets. New York State has decided to cut a huge part of the Tobacco Control Program. This is the second cut in three years and both were for 30% or more!
At the moment, we have been told $17 million has been cut from the whole program and each day we wait to hear how the TCP is going to factor that cut into our budgets. As I said, I happen to work in two of those areas. Three weeks have gone by so far and still no official word has been given. Rumors are flying. 5%, 8%, 10% cuts or the shutting down of whole modalities have all been passed along. This week we were told to cancel our recognition event. That's no big deal really as it doesn't affect our payroll. A small sigh of relief, there. I have been threatened many times over the past three years that my position may have to be cut to save the other two. The sacrificial lamb so to speak?
This all would not be such a huge dilemma if my husband, Jim was working, but while he has been looking for work, applying for jobs and gone on a few interviews, nothing has panned out. I am grateful that my job pays well enough to sustain us.
While all this appears to be a gloomy prospect, I have to fall back on the promises of the God I place my life in, to provide. He ALWAYS has in the past. Sometimes in amazing ways, sometimes in delightful, surprising ways, but always just what we needed at the time.
I have a peace in knowing something will come along. I am excited about what changes lie ahead. I rest in His arms and allow Him to carry us through.
The laser surgery was just a way to repair a problem that may have only gotten worse, while I have insurance to take care of it. I thank God for his provision both now and forever.