Thursday, January 27, 2011

The State of OUR Union...

Tuesday evening Todd, Ginger and I cuddled up on the couch to watch the President address us, our country.  Regardless of your political stance and preferences, being involved and informed is important but above all, being respectful towards each other and our leaders has always been critical in my political point of view. [I can't imagine the challenge it is being the President, regardless of party affiliation. Being the President of the United States is a huge honor and one I have great respect for - Republican, Democrat, or something else, I will not be the person you'll hear "bashing" a President for any reason.]

Face it - we don't all believe, think, see or smell the same. Politics are no exception.
In President Obama's address he said this quite early:

"Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation.  What comes of this moment is up to us.  What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.  (Applause.)
      I believe we can.  And I believe we must.  That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us.  With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties.  New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans.  We will move forward together, or not at all -– for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics."

FYI - This post is not to discuss politics either.... I just had a few things to say and point out about what MY version of "healthcare reform" might be! :)

 As everyone of you know, I'm a healthcare worker, a total health advocate and "junkie". I truly WANT the best health for each and every person in the United States. It's a topic of discussion that I am quite passionate about. As I see it, and like President Obama said in his address, America's health crisis is a challenge bigger than politics.

President Obama has taken a big step to start change in our healthcare systems. I can't and I won't say I know all the in's and out's of the proprosals, but I do know and believe that changes do need to be made. Yea, insurance access is good and stuff... but to me, the "issues" I care most about haven't been discussed (or I've missed it) beyond The First Lady, Michelle Obama's platform on childhood obesity.

If I could make some changes [and I would if I could!!], mine would be along the suggestions of our FOOD supply and policy, and to our MENTAL/BEHAVIORAL HEALTH "system" (or lack there of if you ask me).

In a nutshell (I'm trying to make it a small shell), I believe that an overhaul of our mental health system would change TONS within the whole system. We can alleviate the demand, resources and wait times (for those admitting for assistance and those in the waiting rooms) of our Emergency Departments.... which would drastically change how the REST of the hospital works and runs. But also, by providing ADEQUATE assistance to individuals with psychological needs and substance abuse problems.... we could decrease repeats through the system and hopefully, the end result would ultimately create a healthier (mentally and spiritually) person/society.

Yea, that's big wishing, but hey.... you've got to start somewhere! :)

Now, as to my really BIG IDEAS! *grin*

- Support our Farmers once again
- WIC and other governmental support for food should allow and cover ONLY real food and those GREAT for the body - good ole broccoli, mangos, lemons, cabbage, root veg, bananas, spinach, whole wheat and hearty breads, milk alternatives (soy/almond/rice/etc), etc. Skip the processed crap that's "cheap" and convenient... I just don't understand how was as tax payers can sit back and fund programs that only make health issues (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc) WORSE and in the short and long run... cost us MORE in healthcare costs (b/c duh! - if you need help providing food for yourself and your family, you're probably getting help with your health coverage as well)!!
- Let people plant their own personal gardens (no HOA laws prohibiting this!!); we're not feeding the neighborhood
- BMI checks and requirements for insurance coverage and assistance  - no, I don't think you should be denied coverage b/c of your weight, but how much coverage and assistance you get, yes! Obesity is a serious epidemic in our society and extreme measures I think are needed to help "cure" it. (I'm not sure there is enough intrinsic motivation amongst our culture to change this but I believe that a "monetary" motivation of sorts will help reduce our nations belt line.)

(okay.... now get ready for it... my favorite!!)

- Prescriptions for PHYSICAL ACTIVITY! (FYI - there's a whole campaign for this moving up!)- For physicians to Prescribe exercise just like they currently do w/medications, PT, OT, Speech Therapy, etc. This too follows you on your medical record and if non-compliant... it will also show (in the patients numbers).
- Reward those of EXCELLENT health! I'm not sure how we'd do this... tax break, coverage cost break, a free lottery ticket.... not sure, obviously, but I think it's a motivating factor to help our nation TAKE CARE OF ITS SELF!!

And, like President Obama closed his speech, "we do big things". We, the people, need to do big things! Big things for US!

We're American's. We were founded by hard-working and determined individuals. When did we become so lazy and unmotivated about life's BASICS and the only life we have been given to enjoy?! Really...?

Love them or hate them... but you must admit, I make some great points and I have some great ideas! :)
Get up friends! Get moving for something. Let's help our country by helping OURSELVES FIRST!


  1. Pam Hall
    I like the idea of the gov't paying only for honest-to-goodness, wholesome food to those on WIC, etc. I'd also like to see all the hormones, additives, preservatives, etc., taken out of our foods. (But, of course, if that were to happen, w...e'd have a whole other set of problems to deal with.) I think it's entirely possible that our obesity epidemic is due, at least in part, to all those hormones, additives, preservatives, etc., not to mention the genetically-modified foods that we all consume every day without even even being aware of it.

    I also like the idea of a Rx for physical activity...any good ideas of how compliance with that could be assured without "Big Brother" monitoring our daily lives?

  2. Jessica Warner
    I totally agree, imagine how much healthier as a society we would be if we weren't stuffing all of that cr#p down our throats! Never mind fast foods and junk food, its the plain old stuff that you get at the grocery stores, that if you're n...ot informed enough, is just as toxic and unhealthy to our bodies. But it is more expensive because the gov't has cut great deals/subsidies with the larger farming & cattle/dairy industries to mass-produce produce on-demand. Fruits & veggies are available year round instead of seasonally, beef & poultry are juiced up so that they don't get sick & mature quicker - all to meet our "must have it NOW!" mentality. The ironic thing is that if we all started to eat real, whole foods, we would actually become more healthy and then less dependent on the system in the end...

  3. Pam Hall Even when we eat whole grains and fresh fruits/veggies, the pesticides and herbicides that were used by the farmers/growers are still on the grains/fruits/veggies. If the farmers didn't use the pesticides/herbicides, though, the yields would be FAR lower and the produce would prolly also have a lot more "bug holes" in it. Are we really willing to pay (a lot) more for truly organically-grown products???

  4. Jessica Warner in my case, I'm single and have no kids, so I can afford to be a little picky about where I shop and what I buy, but with people with families and tighter budgets the options are more limited... its about choosing your battles I guess. For me, I've decided that I'm staying away from GMO-products as much as possible and meats & poultries that are as free from the hormones & antibiotics as are available short of running out to the farm and butchering them myself, lol.

  5. Pam Hall Good luck in staying away from GMO products. According to the USDA Economic Research Service (, 93% of all soybeans grown in the US in 2010 were genetically engineered. Take a look at the products you is EXTREMELY difficult to find products that don't have soy of some sort in them (even if it's just soy oil). The American ppl are being used as guinea pigs, and most of us don't even know it!

  6. Jessica Warner I don't have the links, but if I'm not mistaken, its pretty much the same situation with corn too
    January 28 at 9:44am • LikeUnlike

    Paul Clawson If you are eating processed foods there is a 99.9% chance you are eating GMO.
    January 28 at 9:47am • LikeUnlike

    Paul Clawson Though if you are eating processed food, the sugar, salt, and other garbage that is included is likely a much much greater threat to your health than any GMO is.
    January 28 at 9:49am • LikeUnlike

    Pam Hall ‎'re right...that link I gave above also gives stats for corn and cotton.

  7. Brandi Inman
    I love your points, except the idea of WIC covering soy milk. If children are being fed healthy foods, not McDonald's everyday, they need the fat in (whole) milk to develop brain cells until they are 4-5 years old. I drink skim now, but w...ill buy whole milk when I have babies. Organic milk? I'm all for that, but not soy. It's a proven fact (which most people are unaware of) that soy acts as the hormone estrogen in the body. Next time you are at a pharmacy or somewhere that sells herbal supplements, check out the products used to treat menopause. That's right, soy is the key ingredient. This is something that should be taught to everyone, but especially people who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or have small children. It's even more important that we don't feed little boys soy milk. Just some food for thought. :) I am definitely all for a healthier US. :) Have a fabulous day at work!See More
    January 28 at 12:42pm • LikeUnlike

    Brandi Inman One more thing: Most of all, I believe in education. We need to educate people regarding healthy eating habits, teach them how to exercise, and educate them on what's bad/good for them. We need to educate people so they have the choice to be healthy or not. I find that most people really don't know what's healthy and what's not. There are MANY other points that our education system is lacking in, but that's a whole nother soap box for another time.
    January 28 at 1:04pm