As we struggle on daily through the newly established higher fuel prices, several surprises have sprung up about which many of us have been oblivious. Corn, for example, had become the American epitome of green. If we could grow enough corn to make ethanol, life would be fine. Then, we were accused of causing food shortages world-wide because we used this precious food commodity to inefficiently produce a little extra enhanced gasoline product which, at least my oil distributor friends tell me cause your car to get less mileage. Why not sugar cane or grass or left over cooking oil from the fast food restaurants?
It became clear almost immediately that everything from the cost of picking up your garbage to the price of groceries has been seriously impacted by this growing cost of fuel. Hospitals and Health Networks magazine ran an article this month about the negative impact of these gas prices on, of all things, ambulance service. Who would have ever thought?
The article explained that the higher cost of fuel was making some ambulance organizations rethink their fleet sizes, their ability to field as many crews, and, consequently, their ability to respond to your needs. According to H&HN Medicare has always under funded ambulance companies by as much as 6%, and with as much as a 300% operating cost increase, the math just doesn’t work.
Could it possibly be one more problem created by our dependence on foreign oil? Could it be one more reason why we should begin to imitate our European partners? Could it be one more example of just how serious this situation is?
Last week India introduced an automobile that runs on air. Unfortunately, it seems that, for the last twelve years Washington D.C. has run on the same thing. Of course, to quote a friend, by the time we add the United States safety mandates such as airbags, crumple zones, break-away engine mounts, impact-absorbing bumpers, 3-point seat belts, child anchor systems et al, you have a $25,000 balloon that can’t do 35mph and have no chance of fitting 2 car seats and 25 Wal-Mart bags at the same time. Go figure. Maybe the funeral homes will start back their ambulance services?