I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. But my credentials are valid and hard-earned. I am an employer and a parent: a vague distinction that at times borders on redundant. Nevertheless, these roles essentially mean that I have what some would refer to as, “skin in the game.” And as an employer and parent—read: taxpayer—the proposed healthcare reform coverage will undoubtedly fall squarely on my shoulders and millions more like mine.
First off, let’s look in the mirror. We are not a healthy nation. As the Obama administration and Congress attempt to jam healthcare reform down the nation’s throat, it’s time we admit how much fast food, antibiotics and drugs have already been crammed down America’s collective esophagus. An endoscopy of America’s gastrointestinal tract would reveal heaping junk piles of chronic disease-causing particles that are inexplicably FDA-approved. Many of our illnesses are self-imposed. We live in a toxic world, caused by industry and careless living. True to American form, we look for an easy answer.
We have become a drug-dependant nation living under the guise of higher health consciousness. The majority of healthcare funds spent in the United States are allocated toward prescription drug coverage, chronic disease treatment and end-of-life care. Congress is feverishly debating healthcare reform to offer coverage to every American and increase access to prescription drugs.
Drugs come in all forms. Some are “performance enhancing,” either in bed or on the baseball diamond. They can be “generic,” “mind-altering” or “life-saving.” So, by placing the word “prescription” in front of the word “drugs” it somehow legitimizes America’s insane dependence upon substances. At the end of the day they are what they are: Drugs. And over time, they will make you sick.
Before we attempt to reform the largest healthcare system in the world, Congress and the White House must take an enormous step back from the process and begin looking at the root causes of illness in America. We have lost the ability to manage our lifestyles with basic common sense, opting instead for legalized drugs that are mass marketed with reckless abandon. Most of the commercials for the pharmaceutical industry heard on the radio or seen on television spend more time rushing through disclaimers of the various side effects than they do on the benefit of the advertised drug.
To combat these contradictions, the pharmaceutical companies enlist their lobbyists to twist Washington and propagandists paint the American healthcare system the color death. Some even point their fingers due north toward America’s attic, aka Canada, as a potential solution to our healthcare crisis.
But here’s some truth.
The Canadian healthcare system is far from perfect. My entire family hails from the Great White North and I have seen what happens when poor western eating habits and reliance upon pharmaceutical treatments collide with an attempt to provide equal healthcare to an entire nation. My aunt died waiting for the Canadian system to administer routine testing that, at the very least, could have extended her life well beyond the precious little time she was ultimately granted. At the very least, the widespread availability of diagnostic tools and resources in the United States makes our system potentially superior to most other nations.
In fact, it is the liberal use of dangerous chemical agents in our food supply and the overuse of prescription drugs designed to maintain “wellness” that gradually push our bodies into premature decline, thereby necessitating these sophisticated diagnostic tools that would otherwise only be used in extreme cases.
All the proposed healthcare reform will accomplish is to increase our access to the very things that are making us all ill. Unfortunately, because citizens and business owners don’t have lobbyists on staff, we’re ultimately the ones who are going to pick up the tab for America’s drug habit.