Bill Murray and President Obama play golf to promote health care

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We had to sign up for a healthcare “ministry” this year. Can’t afford the premiums for even the lowest ACA plans anymore. Fingers crossed that the ministry will pay when we need it to.


What is a Healthcare Ministry? I still find it bizarre that America, one of the world’s largest economies, doesn’t have a national health service, paid from taxation and free at the point of delivery.

I suppose that, as our government takes more and more cues from the worst of American politics, we’ll get more and more “choice” in our health provision, until our NHS ceases to exist.


Bad government is one of our few remaining exports.

Well, that and extremely large amounts of money, in order to avoid taxes, which any patriotic citizens/corporate investors would gladly pay. Those are two of our remaining exports.

I’ll stop now before this turns into a bad Monty Python sketch.


Healthcare Ministries are this weird exception to ACA regulation. They don’t count as “insurance,” but they do exempt you from the penalty for being uninsured. The “coverage” in the one we signed up for is WAY better than the Bronze level plans on the NC marketplace, and it’s less than half the cost per month for a family of four.

The cons are that they don’t take preexisting conditions, and they’re not obligated to pay anything. Which is to say that if you submit a bill to them and they’ve already spent all their cash on hand, they’re not required to pay your bill. However, I did not find a lot of people complaining about costs not being covered. People seemed consistently pleased with the one we signed up for.

There are a lot of little ins and outs with the healthcare ministries. I like ours on paper, but we haven’t put it to the test yet. Hopefully we are sidestepping any complications that will arise from Trump’s mangling of the ACA. However, we would be signing up for this even if Clinton had won. Our hope was that she would be able to make some fixes to the ACA that would make it viable for us again, but now it’s uncertainty all the way down.


Is the other export “surprise”?


We sent out a large batch of surprise on November 9.


I wish they had better micing.

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The ACA is too expensive for some people. This needs to be addressed quickly.


Don’t forget munitions.

Delivered either en masse, or one projectile at a time.


Any good tips for resources you’ve used? Have a friend who can’t afford coverage, unless the penalty is going to be higher than coverage, any lower cost option would be great to learn more about.

Well, it appears that there are two ways to avoid the penalty. The first is to use one of the ministries. I think there are four or five of them. The other is demonstrate that the lowest premium was still more than x% of your annual income. We probably could have counted on that to keep us from paying the penalty, but that still leaves you uninsured.

There are a number of sites that explore ways to sidestep the ACA. Sometimes they offer good advice and sometimes they offer incorrect or out of date advice. Many of them are heavily inflected with right-wing rhetoric. I’m sorry to say that we found our healthcare ministry through a Breitbart article that came up in a Google search.


Americans will proudly claim that “the American form of democracy is the greatest on the planet”, while at the same time crying “Washington is broken, we need less government, politicians are all crooks (except for the ones I voted for.)”

There’s no reasoning with those folks, of course. They will cry about Obamacare “taking away their freedom” while they lose their houses paying off medical bills. If you want American democracy to work for you then you have to be involved, educated, and patient, three traits few Americans share.

If anyone other than President Lincoln had said “a government of the people, by the people, for the people…” Americans would be saying "that sounds like communism!


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