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A couple of days ago, I gave hipsters a primer on why they shouldn't go out of their way to sign up for the Obamacare health insurance exchanges. In short, the health care exchanges feed on the supple, easy-to-insure flesh of the young and virile in order to pay out all of the many expenses associated with housing, feeding, caring for and picking up after Baby Boomers.
Yep, the same generation who coined the phrase, "Never Trust Anyone Over 30" is happily proving their own remarkable foresight by fleecing their children bare to fund their high-rise loft senior living apartments.
But I digress. There are a number of reasons, of course, to avoid state-run health exchanges like the zombie plague they are, but did you know that opting out of state-run health insurance could actually save you money? A National Center for Public Policy Research study showed that young Americans could save around $500 per year* if they opt out of the individual mandate and pay a measley $95 "objection fee." And of course, if as many young people burn their Obamacare draft cards as are expected, young Americans could actually force the system to collapse under its own weight. Theoretically, anyway. In practice, we see how easy the government lets go of things. **cough** Social Security **cough**.
Anyway, I'm here to show you the top 20 hipster things you could do with that $500 extra dollars per year.
1. 27 Cases of PBR (or Two Kegs)
That is one hell of a weekend.
2. Approximately 131 (and a half!) pairs of black Forever21 leggings.
That is a lot of potentially inappropriate wearing-as-pants.
It is, of course, more if you have a Forever 21 employee discount. Which works out well since Forever 21 no long provides health care. Hey, how is their management supposed to live off of $3.80 bottoms if they don't cut things somewhere?
3. Approximately 17 original copies of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl.
Except, of course that most everyone has heard Dark Side somewhere, and hipsters prefer music people haven't heard, mostly because that music is crappy. But at least it gives them a false sense of superiority which is, essentially, what matters.
4. At least five pairs of Ray Ban Clubmaster sunglasses.
Just in case you, you know, accidentally leave one or two at the farmer's market because you were too busy hoarding samples of raw milk goats' cheese.
5. It would definitely give you the 10% down payment on this bad boy.
Or you could just get 10 of these bitchin' art prints for that uptown loft you share with six other people who are "finding themselves" while hiding out from the government trying to collect on the loans they took out for their French Experimental Film degrees.
6. At least 50 impressive paperback books to read on the subway.
Because, let's face it, if you read Catcher in the Rye on a Kindle, everyone would think you were a Republican. The number also works well for the Criterion Collection DVDs that you lay casually around your house but have never actually watched.
7. 31 flowered headbands from Urban Outfitters.
No one wants to live in a situation where their abode lacks indoor plumbing, but you should definitely look like you do. And without Obamacare, you can collect a different headband for every summer music festival.
8. 71 frozen vegan meals
You don't need to have health insurance to eat healthy.
9. 50 packs of American Spirits cigarettes.
Assuming that your state hasn't decided to tax you to death for your lifestyle choices, you might even be able to afford a couple of cases extra.
10. Ten 5lb bags of organic, fair trade Sumatran coffee.
Just because Barack Obama is cutting off consumers' access to the free market doesn't mean that you have to give up helping others gain access to a fair one.
11. At least two ironic tattoos.
You could actually get the Obama symbol tattooed somewhere. That way you can say that you supported him before it was cool and now you recognize that he's nothing more than another politician, so you keep it around to remind you that nothing - not even hope and change - lasts forever.
12. 17 pairs of Jorts.
Technically, you could just get a pair of Mom jeans from Goodwill and shred them, but Mom jeans haven't been ironic since Barack Obama started wearing them to bike around Martha's Vineyard.
13. Ten customized Tumblr skins.
Your dedication to chronicling John Stamos' mullet shouldn't have to lose out to a health exchange. It'll be huge!
14. Ten and a half pairs of Toms shoes.
The vegan ones, of course.
15. 19 vintage Canon SLR cameras.
Only problem is, you might have to get the film developed at Wal-Mart.
16. Four full size Art of Shaving complete shaving kits.
For creating, maintaining and grooming your mustache with all the inherent rustic-ness of 1800s shaving implements, but without all the risk of using real vintage materials.
17. Memberships to at least four museums of contemporary art.
Your friends will be saddled for the rest of their lives with all that student debt from their four year degree in Fiber Artistry that the government won't even let them discharge through bankruptcy. The least you could do is show up to their installations.
18. Almost three full fixed gear bicycles.
Just be aware of your nanny state helmet law.
19. Five rescue cats.
Nobody's life is complete without cats. And for the cost of an Obamacare health exchange ticket, you can save five adorable shelter cats from certain destruction.
20. And last but not least: two tickets to Bonaroo.
Your choice: $500 extra bucks for the government or $500 worth of music, camping, outdoor drinking and Pretty Lights on a 700 acre farm in the middle of nowhere. I know what I'd pick.
*For the lefty bedwetters who have been freaking out about the"Burn your ObamaCare Card" campaign since day one, let me remind you we're not encouraging people to go uninsured, we're just encouraging you to do the math and find the plan that is best for you.