A Letter to My Younger Self…Or, to You.

It’s my birthday on Monday. I’m grateful to those who are part of my life and you who make it better. You know who you are. 🙂As I’ve gotten older (and I am older than I look, I think), I’ve realized that relationships matter more than money. That’s probably the primary lesson I’ve learned and I used to choose work over everything else. Here are some more valuable lessons I wish I’d known if you want to benefit from my plethora of mistakes: 

(Then again, I don’t know if I would’ve listened had someone told me. I dunno. Hindsight…)

1. Listen to all sides. There are always more sides than yours. 

2. Take care of your body. It’s the only one you’ll get. 

3. People over politics. Always. Never lose someone over how they vote. It’s fucking stupid. Dump them over being a negative asshole, a liar, or a shitty person. But not for how they vote. 

4. Speaking of, sometimes people act strangely because they’re dealing with something or have a mental disorder – diagnosed or not. Patience and finding out where they’re coming from and HOW to talk with them can help. 

5. Skincare! Satin pillowcase, always moisturize and use sunscreen. 

 

6. Showering before bed saves time in the morning. 

7. Don’t work out or wrestle if you’re hurt or sick. There’s nothing to prove. 

8. ZINC and Vit D! Not Vit C for colds. It’s ZINC, D and sovereign silver.

9. It’s all about pets & plants. 

10. Not having kids works out fine. We’ll see about in the end. The jury’s out on that one. 

11. You’ll never have a healthy relationship if you’re not a healthy, whole person. No one “completes you” and you will not complete anyone. Worst fucking line in cinematic history. Best line: “May The Force Be With You.”  

12. There’s no crying in baseball. Or, wrestling. 

13. Free speech includes the word “fuck”. Get over it. No one is slapping your baby. 

 

14. You CAN choose your family. In modern times, traditional ideas of marriage and family are somewhat outdated. Partners are actually partners and friends can be family. The true meaning of “Blood is thicker than water”: those who spill blood & battle together are tighter than anyone, including family. It was meant for warriors and soldiers, but hell…life is a battle.

15. Dirty laundry belongs in the wash, not on Facebook. (Oh, and when you publicly post how much you love your significant other, we all know exactly how badly that relationship is going. We also know that if you post about nothing other than politics, you kinda have no life.) 

16. Complaining is far easier than changing. Most people are fine with being average. The majority of us don’t LIVE, we exist. 

17. Happiness is a choice, not a right. It’s how we choose to see things. 

 

18. You are not too old, and it is not too late. 

19. Don’t listen to what others say. Listen to your gut. 

20. You get ONE SHOT at life. Do things, go places. Travel is the best education you can give yourself. Every little choice you make today will affect tomorrow…your future…from what you’re eating for lunch, to how you treat your mom, to choosing a job you don’t love because you have money fears…to karma if you steal music or model’s photos from her site. (Yeah…that might be why your car was broken into.)

22. WALK. Every day. Even if you don’t feel like it. 

23. WWYD. What Would You Do? Treat people the way you want them to treat YOU. When in doubt, default to that. 

 

24. Respect is earned, not given. And if someone wastes 10 minutes of your time, 7 minutes is YOUR fault. Stand up for your damn self. 

25. Make decisions based on love, not fear. If you chose fear, you’ll pay for it with a shitty life. 

26. Be honest. Even when it hurts. Even when it’s horrible. Say what you mean, mean what you say. 

27. Manners and courtesy go a LONG WAY. (People are afraid of anger. Took me a while to learn the anger one. Still learning about it.) 

 

28. Do not drive slow (or the speed limit) in the passing lane. Which is the left lane in the USA. Many of you do not know this is a law. MANY OF YOU. And for fucks sake, use your turn signal. (Also a law.) We don’t have ESP and you are not on the roads all by yourself.  (This isn’t a lesson I learned on my own. It’s one my dad taught me.)

 

29. Tell people you love them (if you do.) They die suddenly, and you may never have the chance. 

30. Forgive assholes. You don’t have to forget…just forgive. Most of the time, it’s for you, not for them. 

31. There’s a massive difference between reacting and responding. ALSO: No one can make you FEEL anything. Your feelings are your own. If you DECIDE not to get upset, angry, care or bothered by it…you won’t. BOOM. Just like that.  

Ps. Expectation is premeditated disappointment. Want something? ASK FOR IT. 

32. Best advice I ever got: Never keep your meds on the counter. Put them into a box and keep them in the cabinet. Seeing your pills all the time is a mental cockblock. You are not A Sick Person, you are a PERSON who just happens to also be sick. Don’t let it affect your aspirations.

33. a. God helps those who help themselves. Thoughts and prayers are nice (if useless for the most part) but DOING something is BETTER. If you don’t believe in God, same thing applies. Verbs make life move forward. 

b. “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Yeah…I dunno about that one. Might be bullshit. But you can handle more than you think. Sometimes, you just have to tell everyone around you “no” until you get where you need to be.

34. No matter how stunning someone is on the outside, they can get ugly and unattractive REAL fast.  It happens the other way around, too. Less physically attractive people can become very beautiful. 

35. Sometimes the line between bravery and stupidity is gossamer thin.

36. Sex is natural. Nudity is natural. Having emotions is natural. Wanting to be loved is natural. These aren’t things to ever feel shame or embarrassment for. 

37. I know I’ll continue to learn something new every day.  

Got advice? Let’s hear it.

Xo. 

-Me

“There are flowers everywhere for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

 

 

 

If you want to spoil me for my birthday, here is a link to my Amazon Wishlist. Xo! #SpoilYourGinger!

http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/258GQWZANXBQ3/ref=cm_sw_r_tw … … via @amazon

 

 

rumi

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Carl is Coming!

I’m super excited Carl agreed to be my guest blogger! Continue reading “Carl is Coming!”

Why America Needs Single-Payer Healthcare

By April K. Hunter

This is a different kind of article on healthcare, one written from a business perspective.

In order for Obamacare to be sustainable, Sarah Lueck states in the New York Times that there must be a mix of healthy and sick enrollees to adequately spread costs. Read her claim here: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/08/24/is-obamacare-sustainable/insurers-must-recalibrate-premiums-and-costs.

While a free market economy works well in many avenues, it has no place in American healthcare. Simply put, health should not be available for profit. There is no amount a parent wouldn’t spend to save their child. While The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, it didn’t go far enough. Lueck notes that despite the federal analysis of insurers’ data, which indicates that the balance of risk actually improved, some insurers have still incurred substantial financial losses and are leaving the marketplaces. She feels the answer to this problem is “to further increase the risk pool by pushing for raising enrollment, especially of healthy people” (Lueck, 2016). She also suggests more states should adopt the expansion of Medicaid to reduce the amount of uninsured.

Medicaid is a version of single-payer healthcare. It’s coverage for people made available once they reach a certain age. Most countries use a form of this type of healthcare for everybody, regardless of age. There’s a valid reason no other country in the world uses the complicated and costly version of privatized healthcare the United States does (Fisher, 2012). It’s morally and ethically dubious to earn trillions off disease, life-saving medications, and surgeries.

Additionally, most countries rank higher than the United States for being healthier, with more preventative care in place, and the overall cost per person is significantly lower. The United States spends over 17% of its GDP on healthcare, which is 50% more than France, the next most expensive country, and almost double of what was spent in the United Kingdom (Commonwealthfund.org, 2015). The solution isn’t to push for more Obamacare enrollments in order to appease insurance companies whose only job is to deny care and raise prices. The solution is to abolish insurance companies altogether and implement a constitutional amendment which allows for a single payer system covered by taxes. As much as everyone hates a tax increase, we can expect an increase to be less expensive than what most pay now in combined costs of deductibles, co-pays, premium coverage and inflated prescription prices (Mintz, 2004).

Single-payer healthcare (otherwise known as universal healthcare coverage) offers enormous benefits to businesses by slashing operating costs. Companies would pay substantially less in taxes than their expenditures for costly employee health insurance (Mintz, 2004). It would help level the playing field since corporations outside the United States don’t have the same expenses to contend with (Mintz, 2004). Employers would no longer have to pay for coverage under workers’ compensation which adds up to billions spent each year. Auto insurance rates would drop if insurers were no longer liable for medical bills (Mintz, 2004). Without healthcare costs, companies could afford to hire more employees, which creates a better economy, and smaller businesses would have an enhanced chance to thrive. “The cost of employee health insurance has become a significant factor in the employment slump, as the labor market adds only a trickle of new jobs each month” (Mintz, 2004). Yet, despite all the advantages, corporations mostly shun the universal healthcare option, even though there is evidence that taxpayers would willingly support it. Companies have found that healthcare is such a vital issue to Americans, it’s being used as leverage to keep them tied to jobs they’re unhappy doing.

The high cost of medical care deeply affects America’s economy. In 1981, 8% of Americans filed for bankruptcy due to medical causes and expenses. Twenty years later, that number escalated to 62%. By 2007, Dr. David Himmelstein’s study revealed “…an American family filed bankruptcy every 90 seconds in the aftermath of illness, and medical bankruptcies reached 69.1%.” (Himmelstein, 2007) Dr. Himmelstein’s studies found that most medical debtors were well educated and middle class, with three quarters having health insurance. (Himmelstein, 2007). The largest expenses are hospital bills, prescription drugs, premiums, medical equipment, and nursing homes. According to the World Health Organization, the costliest afflictions include neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, asthma and COPD, mental illness and mood disorders, hepatitis C, diabetes, injuries, joint disorders, autism, stroke, hemophilia, neonatal problems, HIV, dementia and heart conditions (Whelan, 20012 & Anderson, 2016).

38125766_10157499142133942_7134706479914811392_nDespite being mandatorily insured by The Affordable Care Act, popularly referred to as Obamacare, Americans are still forced to find workarounds for injuries, illnesses, and disorders. In the current healthcare system, they are not patients. They are customers. With Obamacare, Americans have to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket deductibles before health insurance kicks in to keep costs down. Due to those deductibles, local clinics are popping up everywhere. People can now use a lower cost alternative for many options, such as wasp stings, bronchitis or a broken bone, which is stealing a lot of business away from hospitals. “Hospital operators are now facing a classic “innovator’s dilemma”. If they persist with their high-cost business model, even as their customers discover that cheaper alternatives are good enough, they will be in trouble” (Christensen, 2015). The result? Hospital closures and lost jobs.

Too many in the system are completely left behind. The Affordable Care Act fails to insure 30 million Americans, which is almost 10% of the population. Single payer would close that gap, saving a lot of money and resources spent in administration with the current health care system. Gerald Friedmund, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, estimates a single payer system would save 600 billion dollars the first year. “Right now, Americans pay on average $6,000 a year per person, that includes everybody, for health insurance” (Saintanto, 2016). Additionally, limitations would be abolished. Americans would no longer be allowed only a certain amount of doctors’ visits per year. They’d get what they need.

Good health is essential to enjoying life, liberty and pursuing happiness. No one should die or go bankrupt because they can’t afford to take care of themselves. No one should be bound to a job they despise because it provides health benefits for their family. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

About:

April K. Hunter is a television writer, short story author, copywriter, blogger, and primarily writes thrillers and memoirs. She attends Full Sail University for her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment. Her work appears in a variety of publications, including RxMusclePage & SpineMedium, and European Journal FONT. Her first book, UNDISCLOSED DARKNESS can be found on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

A model and pro wrestler, she’s currently a part-time superhero at geek conventions, Mother of Chickens and owned by one spoiled rotten corgi. When not crafting stories, she is learning something new each day or scouring the internet for funny memes while drinking too much coffee.

Insta: @realAprilHunter

www.Patreon.com/aprilhunter

 

References

Anderson, L. PhD. (2016, September 6). Money, money, money: The ten most expensive medical conditions to treat. Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/slideshow/money- money-the-10-most-expensive-conditions-to-treat-1123

Christensen, C. (2016, Sept 17). Shock treatment. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/news/business/21645741-wasteful-and-inefficient-industry-throes-great-disruption-shock-treatment

Commonwealthfund.org (2015) U.S. healthcare from a global perspective. Retrieved from http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective

Fisher, M. (2012, June 28). Here’s a map of countries that provide universal healthcare. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/heres-a-map-of-the-countries-that-provide-universal-health-care-americas-still-not-on-it/259153/

Himmelstein, D. & Thorn, D. & Warren, E. & Woodhandler, S. (2007). Medical bankruptcy in the United States: Results of a national study. Retrieved from http://www.pnhp.org/new_bankruptcy_study/Bankruptcy-2009.pdf

Lueck, S. (2016, August 24). Insurers must recalibrate insurance premiums and costs. Retrieved August 30, 2016 from http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/08/24/is-obamacare-sustainable/insurers-must-recalibrate-premiums-and-costs

*Mintz, M. (2004, Oct 28). Single payer: Good for business. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.oclc.fullsail.edu:81/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=5ca52a42-7de9-4b87-b790-776c79a5172c%40sessionmgr4010&vid=6&hid=4107

Sainato, M. (2016, Jan 19). An economist breaks down single payer healthcare. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-sainato/an-economist-breaks-down-_b_9018098.html

Whelan, D. (2012, Feb 25) The 10 most expensive common medical conditions. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidwhelan/2012/02/25/the-10-most-expensive-common-medical-conditions/#6eaaf3fe5a1d

 

 

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