Government Can Be Good for Your Health

You’re a red-blooded, self-reliant, independent American. You don’t want government intruding into your life, and I don’t blame you. But there’s something you need to know: You want socialized medicine — not for the diseases it can cure, but for the millions of premature deaths it can prevent.

Originally published 2005

In the online Mother Jones magazine, Steven Hill wrote a great follow-up article on hurricane Katrina, called Government is Good For You. (Steven, who wrote the seminal book on election reform (Fixing Elections) is also a founding member of Fair Vote–an organization that seeks to restore true democracy put people back in charge of government.)

His point in that article was that government exists to help people after a disaster like Katrina. That is its proper function. This article takes that argument one step further. It says that after you examine the facts, you also want socialized medicine — not because the medical system will be improved, but because your health and your chances of living a long, disease-free life will dramatically improve. You’re also likely to be much thinner.

I spent 5 months researching a book that details the connections between health, obesity, the American food supply, medicine, American corporations, and the American political system. (Much of the book is written, but it is still a long way from complete.)

What I found was troubling to the point of depressing.

You see, I have been publishing the TreeLight Health website since 1998. I’ve been interested in health for a lot longer, but it was around then that I began to put two and two together. I inaugurated the site with a paper that was Google ranked #1 for 5 years: What’s Wrong with Partially Hydrogenated Oils? That paper began an investigation that eventually culminated in researching the book. Here, in a nutshell, is the thesis of that book.

  • There are ingredients in the American food supply that cause obesity and long term health damage.
  • Two of the most severe are partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.
  • In the last 30 years, those ingredients have become part of virtually everything that Americans eat.
  • During the same 30 years, levels of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes have skyrocketed.
  • Like cigarettes, those ingredients are long term poisons that are inevitably destructive.
  • Like cigarettes, those ingredients do not kill quickly, which allows the consumer to be a “profit source” for the corporation for a very long time. (They are similarly addictive, as well, causing an insatiable desire to eat.)
  • When the inevitable diseases accrue, the American medical system rushes “to the rescue”–and the American consumer pays for it.

Foes of socialized medicine like to point out that “America has the best health care system in the world.” The short outline above may give you some idea as to why that statement is true. In the first place, American wealth is being drained into the medical system by systemic diseases. Out of a million and half bankruptcies declared in 2004, more than half were caused by medical emergencies — and half of those had medical insurance! In the second place, Americans have the best health care system in the world because they need the best health care system in the world — and they’re paying for it.

Now let’s consider countries that have socialized medicine — countries like Canada and European countries. In those countries:

  • Partially hydrogenated oils are illegal.
  • High fructose corn syrup is illegal.
  • Bovine growth hormone in dairy products is illegal.
  • Genetically-engineered foods are illegal. (Here in America, we can’t even get them labeled.)
  • Dumping the Alzheimer-producing by-products of aluminum production into the water supply (“fluoridation”) is not done.

There is much more to be said on each of those subjects. Much more to be written about the harmful health consequences of each practice. But the important point in this message is that when the government is in charge of health care — which means, by extension, that all of the taxpayers are paying for it — then the government is motivated to remove substances which are provably harmful in the long term.

In America, on the other hand, there is no such motivation. People don’t fear long term consequences for themselves. It’s not in our nature. And when they get sick, it is mostly they who foot the bill. There is no moral outrage, because it sneaks up slowly, and everyone seems to feel that they could have avoided it, if they had been more prudent.

But the fact is, these poisons are nearly impossible to avoid. They are ubiquitous in the American food landscape. The words spoken by  Walter Willett, Head of the Harvard Medical Group, in the 2000 Harvard Health Study were never more true: ” We live in a toxic food environment.”

We live in a toxic food environment. Share on X

Learn more: Why You WANT Socialized Medicine

Copyright © 2005-2017, TreeLight PenWorks

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