Originally published August 1 2009
Americans are Victims of Undeclared War that Makes Universal Healthcare Unaffordable
by Barbara L. Minton
(NaturalNews) As all the pushing and shoving over universal health care coverage moves into high gear, one thing remains indisputable. If Americans were healthy the costs of insuring them would be a whole lot less, and coverage could easily be provided for all without breaking a sweat. Healthy people have no need to visit doctors or take expensive medicals tests. They don`t even need checkups or perceived authority figures to tell them what they already know. Unfortunately, most Americans are currently nowhere near a state of vibrant health. This is partly their fault in failing to take responsibility for keeping themselves healthy. But the greater fault lies in the fact that Americans have been victims of an ongoing undeclared war by their government and corporate leaders who have conspired to keep them in a state of disease. To achieve vibrant health for everyone, we as a people must be willing to take responsibility for ourselves and realize we have helped create the world in which we live by silently going along with such a war. To do this requires much courage and change. Here are some starting points:
Restore the quality of food
Hippocrates made the need for high quality food quite clear when he said "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." He realized that health rests in the hands of nutrition, and that all the medicine anyone could ever need is contained in food. However, Hippocrates never envisioned the factory farms of today that produce nutritionally depleted food grown in starved soils under farming methods that are an insult to the earth. He had no knowledge of pesticides and genetically modified seeds. It is no coincidence that our modern health crisis parallels the disappearance of clean nutritious foods.
When Americans ate a diet consisting primarily of unprocessed whole foods produced on family farms, the disease rates were a fraction of what is seen today, and health care costs were much less. We have allowed our right to eat healthy food to be stolen from us by greedy people. It`s time to use our dollars to take back this right. By buying only high quality whole foods grown organically on local small farms or in our backyards, we are saying no to the corporations that want to exploit us. When we do this we are also sending a powerful message to our families and friends that says health comes first. The more that people have to sacrifice to afford high quality food, the louder is their message.
Geoffrey Canada, currently working wonders in the Harlem Children`s Zone, realizes the importance of nutrition in raising healthy children and the importance of making it a priority even in families living at the poverty level. He is shown in the current CNN special Black in America Part 2 going door to door in his school`s community, seeing bags of junk food and fast food wrappers and asking the parents where are the apples and bananas. Canada understands that it is up to each person to try to shape the world in which he lives rather than blindly accepting life as it is defined by others.
Make health promoting food available for everyone
To have a healthy nation, access to nutritious food including fruits and vegetables must be available for everyone. This means all people working for a living in the U.S. must be paid salaries that allow them to afford health promoting foods. All jobs are important to the running of an organization, otherwise they wouldn`t exist. The person who cleans the toilets deserves to be paid a livable wage. Certainly education and talent should be rewarded, but not to a degree that makes it necessary for other workers to make ends meet by feeding their families low quality processed food.
The real median household income level in the United States for the year 2007 was $50,233. Compare this figure with the approximately $15,080 annual income for a family with a single wage earner working a full time job paid at minimum wage. This is likely to be the family that frequently eats cheap processed carbohydrates with little or no nutritional value because it is all they can afford. No matter how highly they place health on their priority list, this family does not have ready access to nutritious foods including fruits and vegetables. This is also the family least likely to have health insurance. Approximately 12.5 percent of the U.S. population falls into this category. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/rele...
Provide a safe water supply
Having access to clean and safe water is a basic human right. This means water that is not contaminated with fluoride. It is widely known that fluoride has the greatest affect on fetuses, infants and children because it is a neurotoxin that compromises the developing brain. Fluoride has long been implicated in bone cancer, and there are new findings that show fluoride may lead to debilitating skeletal fluorosis. http://www.naturalnews.com/024855_fluoride_w...
As much as 90 percent of the fluoride added to drinking water is in the form of hydrofluoric acid, a compound of fluorine that is a chemical byproduct of of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing. Fluoride is the active toxin in several rat poisons. It is carcinogenic industrial waste claiming to be a health product, and it is being foisted on an unsuspecting public. In reality, all the benefit from fluoride goes to the manufacturers while the public is left holding the bag for its impact on healthcare costs.
Right now there are over 1750 professionals from the medical, scientific and environmental communities calling for an end to water treatment with fluoride, but their call is falling on deaf governmental ears. If we are to be a nation of healthy individuals, the drinking water that comes from our faucets and the water we bath ourselves and our children in must be free of fluoride. Only the relatively well off are able to have water filtration systems installed in their houses. The rest of the populace must use water as it comes from the tap.
Insist on products that are free of hazardous chemicals
If we are to become a healthy nation we must refuse to spend our hard earned money on food, personal care and household products that contain chemicals that are hazardous to health. A quick read of the labels before you buy will reveal which manufacturers have the best interest of people at heart and which are only concerned with their bottom lines. If there is a substance that`s not recognizable, it is probably a chemical. Many chemicals used in these types of products are directly carcinogenic or indirect causes of cancer by their depressive actions on the immune system. Check out the degree to which a chemical is a health hazard at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php?n...
Teach what is really worth knowing
Germs make you sick and doctors make you well. That`s what most children leave school thinking in the U.S., because our schools place a greater emphasis on teaching things like what the major export products of ancient Egypt were than on teaching how the human body works and what to do to keep it healthy. Yet knowledge about how the body works and what it takes to keep it in top condition is also a basic human right underwritten by nature. We must insist that schools teach this knowledge if our goal is truly to be a healthy populace.
Students and adults too must be taught the full significance of homeostasis and the fact that the body will affect its own cure when given the support it needs. We must learn that treating symptoms is not the same thing as curing disease. It`s easy to understand our confusion, since we are constantly bombarded by ads for patent medicines that mask symptoms and never hear a word about natural cures. But the truth is that only natural remedies are capable of producing disease free, healthy people. Prescription drugs produce only people sliding further into disease. Natural remedies support the body and help it achieve homeostasis. Prescription drugs tear down the body and ultimately create a condition where returning to homeostasis becomes impossible.
If all the ad space currently used to promote prescription drugs was given to educating people about how to support their bodies the way nature intended, the U.S. could become a country of healthy people in short order, causing health insurance rates to plummet.
Included in the human health curriculum should be instruction in anatomy and physiology, and the basics of proteins, vitamins, minerals and herbs. The special compounds found in fruits that are so necessary for good health should be explained. Food selection, grouping, and the importance of digestion should be taught, as well as disease processes and how to avoid them. When students begin to graduate feeling knowledgeable and empowered to take charge of their health and well being for the rest of their lives, spiraling health care costs will be a thing of the past.
Many children receive both their breakfasts and lunches at school, and some even get their dinners there. But school meals are usually completely lacking in nutritional value. With the exception of processed orange juice drinks, fruits and vegetables are seldom seen. School meals should be recreated to set an example of healthy eating and to make sure children receive the best nutrition possible on earth to foster their healthy growth and development. When children are energized by a diet of health promoting foods they will be more willing to engage in daily fitness activities both inside and outside of school.
Many disease processes that get their starts during the years children are sitting in school desks for up to 10 hours a day could be circumvented by an experiential curriculum in which children learn by doing. To further knowledge, empowerment and understanding, school activities can be integrated into the community rather than kept separate. Students who are taught to think and problem solve in real situations are more likely to turn into adults who are able to keep themselves healthy.
It is important to realize that schools do everything to rob children of real, useful knowledge and empowerment with their mandate to produce dumbed-down non-thinkers who will fit nicely into positions as corporate and government drones. Financial education is seldom taught in schools because keeping young adults ignorant of financial matters puts them in a position to be exploited as they were in the recent mortgage fiasco. No person with even the most basic understanding of how money works would have signed up for an interest-only mortgage. A basic understanding of finance is critical to creating a secure place for one`s self in the world. Since money is the number one cause of stress, becoming a truly healthy society will elude us until there is freedom from exploitation and until people are able to hang onto the money they earn and use it for their own benefit and health.
Forget the overtime and get a good night`s sleep
Working 55 or more hours a week is associated with poor health. Dr. Paul Landsbergis from the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine has noted that several studies of myocardial infarction and two studies of hypertension have shown an association of these diseases with long work weeks. He sees recent trends in the organization of work affecting workers` health by "increasing stress-related illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders, by increasing exposure to hazardous substances and violence on the job." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January, 2003)
The Japanese call it karoshi. It means death from overwork, and it has been rising at an alarming rate in Japan. Strokes and heart attacks from overwork killed 147 Japanese workers last year. Once recognized, karoshi did not lead to immediate change. Instead, acceptance of long working hours and toughing it out remained the norm. But this may be changing, at least in Japan. A recent ruling by the labor bureau actually listed the cause of death for a Toyota employee as overwork, making his family eligible for benefits. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content...
In the U.S. extended work weeks are still on the rise, and there is as yet no word in the English language that means death from overwork. During the current "financial crisis" which has resulted in staggering unemployment rates, people here have felt the need to suck it up too, as employers try to squeeze extra labor out of them.
Anthropologist T. S. Wiley cites a pile of research showing that the reason overwork leads to poor health and death is because it robs people of a good night`s sleep. In her ground breaking book Lights Out she documents that nine hours of uninterrupted sleep is required to complete the full melatonin, prolactin cycle so necessary for a fully functioning immune system. When people sleep less than that amount, the immune system becomes compromised and is unable to protect against diseases such as cancer. People who work long hours still need time for commuting, chores, quality time with children, exercise and relaxation. They don`t have much time left for sleeping.
A psychologically healthy nation does not demand that its people work themselves to death. If we want to create a healthy population that makes insurance easily affordable by everyone, we need to end corporate tyranny over our work force and return work to its proper place as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Put an end to bio-weaponry build up
A nation that is careless with the health of its people will forever have escalating health insurance rates. Recent designer diseases such as Lyme, AIDS, West Nile, and Legionnaires that have accidentally or purposefully been released from bio-weaponry labs such as Plum Island and Fort Detrick have done much to escalate the cost of health care.
Bio-engineering and warehousing of pathogens has created the potential for these pathogens to be released into the environment where they can infect people and set the stage for expensive but deadly vaccination programs to be initiated. A March 11th, 1979 episode of the television show 60 Minutes covered the massive vaccination program foisted on the public supposedly as a response to the 1976 swine flu outbreak. The CDC subsequently admitted that the virus originated at the Fort Dix bio-facilities, according to Dr. Ghislaine Lanctot quoted in a Kurt Nimmo article. http://www.infowars.com/canadian-doctor-h1n1...
Army criminal investigators from Fort Meade are currently looking into the possibility that disease samples of H1N1 are missing from the bio-lab at Fort Detrick, the same lab from which the 2001 anthrax strain was released. (Fort Detrick disease samples may be missing, Fredrick News Post, April 26th).
Michael Carroll`s, Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government`s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory was released in 2004. The book explores the insidious connection between the Department of Homeland Security`s bio-lab at Plum Island and the newest inexplicable diseases. It presents a compelling mound of evidence that Lyme was created at Plum and unleashed on the American public using ticks as its vector. The deadly outbreak of West Nile virus and its connection to Plum is also documented. In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control admitted that Lyme disease was a "potential bioterrorism agent". http://www.lyme-rage.info/bwsept06.html
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About the authorBarbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
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