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Life Health > Health Insurance

5 ideas for ACA Halloween costumes

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Some of you may face an urgent need to come up with a Halloween costume in the next two weeks, just as you’re trying to get ready for the fourth annual Affordable Care Act individual major medical insurance open enrollment period.

Here are some costume ideas for readers who normally spend their ideas slaying ACA-related monsters:

Related: Creepy crawlies

    1. A manager of New York State of Health (the Empire State’s state-based ACA exchange): Combine street clothes with any Halloween mask. Use tape or white paint to eliminate the mouth to represent that exchange’s minimalist approach to communication.
    2. The assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Print out a photo of the face of Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the HHS secretary. Glue that on a paper plate, and cut out eyeholes, a nose hole and a mouth hole to create a mask. Get a marionette. Use the voice recording app in your phone to create the following phrase for the marionette: “Look how well the ACA has reduced the uninsured rate!” Tie the phone to the back of the marionette. Walk around a Halloween party withe marionette repeating, “Look how well the ACA has reduced the uninsured rate!” until the other guests start throwing their drinks at you.
    3. Donald Trump: Get a Halloween costume store Trump wig and a map of the United States shower curtain. Drape yourself in the U.S. map shower curtain to reflect the Trump proposal to resolve U.S. health insurance system problems by letting insurers sell health insurance across state lines. Tell any and all around you, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”
    4. Barack Obama (or Hillary Clinton): Buy a commercial Obama costume (or Clinton costume), and buy or make a 10-foot pole. Attend the party with a spouse or business associate labeled “the ACA.” Stay at least 10 feet away from the ACA. Carefully avoid touching the ACA with the 10-foot pole. 
    5. Future post-ACA risk pool enrollee: Trump and other Republicans have proposed helping people with serious health problems cope with a repeal of the ACA ban on medical underwriting by setting up “risk pool” programs that would be similar to the risk pools of the 1990s and early 2000s. To represent this, buy an ordinary Halloween store corpse costume. Add a name tag that identifies yourself as someone who is “third in line to get into [insert state]‘s risk pool program once the funding situation improves enough that the governor can lift the temporary enrollment cap that’s been in place for 80 years.”

Allison Bell is health channel editor for