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It's unfortunate how much it varies by states. Our state has really good programs for low to lower-middle class people, from free to sliding scale. They are administered now through the ACA application process, but at least there are options for people who don't make enough to afford what the marketplace has. Other states apparently don't have very good options for people who fall just outside the medicaid requirements but can't afford much else. @dhammachick most people still get their insurance through employers, Obamacare/ACA is mostly for those who don't have that option, so they are like people who own small businesses or work for places not large enough to offer insurance. People still have what they did before, if Trump's plan passed 24 million would have lost what they have already. We can build on what we have, tearing it down wouldn't have been a good option.
ACA needs some work. But that said, a lot of the problems with it are due to greedy insurance companies and not due to ACA itself. Republicans thought it would be so simple to just do what they want without caring who they threw off insurance as long as those on it got a better deal. I'm glad that didn't happen. And glad they learned it's much harder than it looks to really come up with a plan. I think for us to see a truly good plan that'll serve most Americans, our health care system needs to be reworked. Not just the way we pay for it. How they bill and the complete lack of regulation of costs and prescriptions needs to change. A lot of the chasm between the insurance companies taking part in the ACA and providers is cost. They want to pay less but the providers need more to keep the door open, especially when insurance companies pay a fraction of the listed cost. It's really a ridiculous system and the whole thing needs to be fixed.
@Kerome have you looked if you can get the HBo stuff separately? They do it here online now, you can get it through amazon video I believe, or HBO Go (I think that is right). So you only pay for HBO and not a whole package of movie channels. That is what we do. While I'm sad it'll be over soon, I'm a little glad we can stop paying for it soon. But at least we aren't paying $15 a month all years to watch a show that only on for a couple months! I truly would be happy with no tv service at all for the most part. I hate having the tv on.
I mostly use a laptop. I have a smartphone because my kids when they aren't home primarily text and texting with the old school keyboard is ridiculously frustrating for me, lol. I don't use it much for social media and even less for general internet. I use it like 75% for texting with my kids. 20% for random things like games (I think I have 2) and weather apps, and 5% for phone calls. If I had my way (and a different life) I wouldn't have a phone at all. I find them so friggin' irritating. Cell phones are even worse. Now even my parents, they try the home phone. If I don't answer they call my cell. If I don't answer, they text. It's like it's unacceptable to be unavailable the second someone wants to share their random mind diarrhea with you. That is what I hate about them the most. But it's a lifesaver having a kid with diabetes (his insulin pump sends his blood sugars to my phone, so at night at 2am if he goes low, an alarm goes off on my phone to tell me. My monthly cycle is almost over. I've talked 22 minutes on the phone (mostly to my dad) but have 722 text messages. Which is more than my 2 kids combined, lol.
I indeed have overall concerns with them and the amount of use people tend to have. Kids especially. I know kids who can barely read who have smart phones. I don't get it. Our general rule is once you have a driver's permit then you can have a phone unless you are going to get a job and get your own pay as you go phone. My youngest will probably have one earlier because of his diabetes. He's almost 9. Definitely no phone yet.
Edited to add: BTW I think it's really awesome you have found what works for you to decrease what was a problematic issue for you. I think that's awesome! I hope one day I can ditch the phone. My ultimate dream is to be off-grid entirely one day and fully self-sufficient.
Indeed, knowing how to make tea is so important! For so long I made green tea like herbal teas. No go, it was so bitter and I couldn't understand why everyone loved it. Turned out the water cannot be boiling. My tea experience improved vastly when I received a guide for how long to steep and what temp to do so at for the different types of tea. Game changer!
Indeed, what @federica says. Dietary cholesterol and serum (blood) cholesterol are not actually linked at all really. Your body produces cholesterol on its own, and often in response to the damage that high carb diets do to the vascular system. So actually problems with cholesterol and clogged arteries are much more linked to high carb. You do want to focus on healthy fats though. Too many low carbers I know focus on processed meat which is awful for you. Olives, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, healthy fish (if you eat it), etc. I eat a lot of avocados. Like 3-4 a week. Eggs. Nuts and seeds (more of the kind that are not roasted and full of salt)
The whole "eating fat makes you have heart attacks" is about as valid as vaccines causing autism. It has been debunked by many, many studies at this point over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, it takes an eternity to get new information into the hands of people who make official recommendations, and the sugar lobby is huge and powerful. They have actually paid scientists to change their findings. Thus our government still recommends a 2000 calories diet with 65% coming from carbs. That is way way way too much for the average person. Especially when most of it comes from processed junk.
I have a huge sweet tooth too @Hozan! I still enjoy a treat, I just make sure it fits into my day which helps me to make better choices. Last night I had some dark chocolate squares with nut butter. They taste SO much better when you have them as a treat anyhow. I don't crave things like pastries and cake anymore (thank goodness, I'd eat half a cake). You can make things like chocolate mousse as low carb as well. The hardest for me is eating out (depending on the place) and worse eating, eating with family. I hate constantly getting the "well that doesn't sound healthy" lectures. But the "diet" speaks for itself.
For me, I was always a healthy weight, until I had my last son 8 years ago. The weight simply didn't come off. I did everything possible for working out and dieting for years and it did nothing. Low carb is the only thing that works for me, and I assume a lot of that has to do with my many years of high carb (mostly junk, cereal, poptarts, that kind of stuff) eating caught up with me and messed up my hormonal and metabolic processes. Which is very common. My oldest son eats a ridiculously gross diet, he is 20 and of course sees no harm from it because he is very active. I told him it'll catch up to him. It always does.