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In light of the news that the GOP’s Affordable Care Act replacement will leave 24 million people without health insurance and higher premiums for everyone else, it’s normal to feel a little stressed out about the future of your medical care. But fear not, friends, because as GOP leaders have pointed out, with a little clever budgeting, anyone and everyone can afford high quality health insurance and medical care. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 easy tips to take charge of your destiny and make sure you can afford basic medical care in Paul Ryan’s libertarian hellscape:
1. Stop buying iPhones.
This little budgeting trick is super obvious, as we were recently reminded by Utah rep Jason Chaffetz, but it’s true: if you stopped buying a new iPhone every week, you could maybe afford to go to the doctor sometimes. It’s simple math, people! Luckily there are many affordable alternatives to an iPhone. Try a pager, two aluminum cans connected with a string, the pink rhinestone-encrusted T-Mobile Sidekick that’s been collecting dust in a junk drawer at your parents’ house since the early 2000s, or a microwave with an outgoing phone line hidden in the “popcorn” button.
2. Make your coffee at home.
Yes, you love your caramel macchiatos, but do you really need to buy a fancy Starbucks drink every day? If you can forgo the expensive brand-name coffees and make your morning latte at home three days a week, not only will you cut down on waste from all those plastic cups, you’ll save enough money to be able to pay for your next kidney transplant out of pocket.
3. Buy food in bulk.
You can save a lot of money shopping for necessities in larger quantities in bulk food sections or warehouse clubs. For example, did you know that for the price of one can of organic pinto beans from Whole Foods you can buy a 50-pound bag of dry beans from Costco? Smart shopping swaps like this will allow you to funnel the remainder of your bean budget into your vaccine/penicillin/antibiotic budget. Another benefit? Having a stockpile of dry goods will come in handy for the upcoming nuclear winter.
4. Start a health savings account.
What is an HSA, you ask? It’s a savings account you use to pay for health care. Basically, it’s a fancy way of saying “your own money.” Will you ever be able to save enough to pay for a major operation or prolonged treatment of a chronic illness? Definitely not. But you might be able to save enough to pay for some deli trays (the nice ones with turkey wraps!) at the party you throw to say goodbye to your loved ones.
5. Cut out the bad habits.
Smoking and drinking aren’t just bad for your health, they’re bad for your bank account! If you stopped smoking and drinking today, by the end of this year you’ll have saved anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, which is enough to buy a plane ticket to France and take advantage of their low-cost healthcare. Having trouble kicking the bad habits? Swap them out for more wholesome ones: replace cigarettes with yummy carrot sticks. Replace vodka with clandestine meetings with Russian ambassadors.
6. Cancel your car insurance.
Ugh, car insurance is so expensive, not to mention unnecessary. Try canceling your collision coverage and using the monthly savings to pay for health insurance instead. Do your best not to get in any accidents, but if you do, rest easy knowing your for-profit health insurance company will pay for 10% of your bill before kicking you off your plan for exceeding lifetime limits.
7. Replace your prescription drugs with Trader Joe’s gummy vitamins.
Prescription drugs are prohibitively expensive without health insurance, and even with insurance, the bills rack up incredibly fast. You can save thousands by swapping your expensive pills for a daily regimen of delicious gummy vitamins.*
*Oh my god, PLEASE DO NOT ACTUALLY DO THIS.
8. Befriend a billionaire and ask them to pay for your health care.
With the massive tax breaks they’re getting, they should have no trouble affording it.
9. Skip chemo.
It’s like an iPhone: expensive and unnecessary.
10. Fake your own death and start fresh.
It might soon be impossible to get health insurance coverage if you have a pesky pre-existing condition such as diabetes, asthma, depression, cancer, a heart defect, or a car with a Hillary 2016 bumper sticker in the window. The easiest way to get around this? Fake your own death in a base jumping accident and give yourself the gift of a fresh start with a new identity — preferably as a member of congress, because they get amazing health insurance coverage and never have to worry about how they’re going to pay for it.