Today is the last day of this column on Beliefnet.com. After over 12 years of daily writings on Beliefnet, I’m moving on. I thank God for this wonderful experience. As far as I’ve been told, I’m the last original Beliefnet contributing editor and writer; everyone else is new. Now, however, I need to make some […]
Gosh, we’ve had a lot of comments and traffic from that blog I wrote the other day on healthcare, Obama healthcare reform, and on America’s health care system. I’m so glad people are voicing their opinion here! I’m sad that there are a few who want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and instantly unsubscribe from my newsletters; shame or criticize me, our President, or others — just because we put forward opinions they don’t like. (BTW, I cannot unsubscribe for them; they have to do it themselves. There are instructions on each newsletter. First, though, if you’re planning on unsubscribing think of all the good things I’ve given you, and the price you paid!)
I’m not going to specifically address each person’s concerns, that might fuel the fire. I will however, respond in general.
To those who call me, others, and our President “un-Christian,” I’m 100% Christian, and God knows it. Speaking of Christianity, such comments remind me of those who attacked Jesus Christ, opposed Him, even crucified Him for His differing opinions. Think of how Christ Himself was rejected by people in His own town, and by His family. Jesus teaches me to “love my neighbor,” despite differing opinions and ways of life. I sure make mistakes, and am nowhere near perfect, but my heart’s in the right place and I care a lot about others.
Christ’s teaching of loving my neighbor, and also His teachings about caring for the sick and poverty-stricken, makes me want to make sure all my neighbors have adequate health care, and basic necessities. I’m here to help others, not attack or diminish them.
I think President Barack Obama is to be congratulated for having the guts to try to do some good. Sure, he’s human and can and will make mistakes, but I believe his heart is in the right place. I’m reminded of when other presidents were trying to bring about health care reform, and to help those in need: Roosevelt’s New Deal to help end the Depression and the origination of Social Security. Those reforms were also called “Socialist” in their day. Imagine that!
Let’s get beyond the emotions. Let’s look beyond the present government, president, and congress. Let’s get to the heart of the American health care matter, shall we? What’s the underlying problem with our broken health care system, where not everyone can get taken care of, families get broken and end up bankrupt if they get badly sick or injured? I believe it’s all about money and greed, and we need to take a stand and take action.
Why is it there are so many sick people in America? Because we have been trained, commoditized, and used as “consumers,” to consume as much unhealthy food (junk food, processed garbage food, high-fat, high-sugar, etc.), and to take poor care of ourselves. Americans are predominately overweight, obese or morbidly obese. We drive everywhere. We sit most of the day, and rarely move, much less exercise. We pollute our world and ourselves.
Why is it health care is so expensive in America, and so ineffective? We consume way too many drugs, and too much on reactive and emergency medicine instead of preventative measures. What are the largest-selling, most expensive pharmaceuticals? Those that try to offset deadly effects from high cholesterol and cardiac events (largely due to obesity and heart disease). $602 billion was spent worldwide on drugs in 2006; the US spent the most: $252 billion in annual sales according to Forbes Magazine. Also in the top ten are several drugs that attempt to offset symptoms of high blood pressure, and heartburn. None of these giant bestsellers actually cure the problems.
We spend tons of money on emergency medical procedures, obesity-related heroic surgeries, and uninsured E.R. cases — $2.3 TRILLION or more annually! Further, “America spends $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet” according to a recent op-ed piece by Michael Pollan in the New York Times. (Read it here, it’s an eye-opener).
The point is we have really got to make some changes. Not just with our health care system, but first, with ourselves. We can do it with God’s help, a little bit of effort, and an attitude of trying to work together – instead of tearing each other apart with misplaced anger and division. Let’s move beyond politics and into reason and compassion. Let’s immediately eat healthier foods, less of them, and get moving.
Please keep the comments coming! I read every one of them.
Take a look at my original article here. Please tell your friends.