One of the overriding issues in America is health care. It affects virtually every aspect of domestic policy, including politics, business, the economy and personal lives of Americans from the poor to the very rich.

Sadly, in this current political season the answer seems to NOT be on solutions other than offer us more of the same with so-called “universal coverage” for everyone. In other words, the system we have now sucks, so everyone should suffer through it equally. When I discuss this, my Conservative and Liberal friends respond with something like, “What do you mean? We have the best health care system in the world!” But still, both sides simply approach the problem as an insurance problem instead of a public health issue. Too bad.

In my mind, the problem with health care in America is that the entire paradigm is flawed. From birth, we’re indoctrinated into the disease model and that drugs can prevent or cure any malady. In other words, we must prevent and fight disease.

So, we start babies off with “their shots”. While I believe vaccination should be a matter of choice, the number and types of shots recommended for babies and toddlers really is an assault on their developing immune system and is downright scary. Then throughout their early school years, many kids are “diagnosed” with ADD/ADHD and given narcotics grade drugs to force them to sit still so they can do better in school. And then (ironically) complain about athletes taking drugs to enhance their performance. Strange.

As we enter adulthood, we’re convinced that giving birth is a traumatic and dangerous event that must be handled strictly in a medical setting. Why aren’t women in modern America told that giving birth is a natural, beautiful thing for which they were uniquely designed. Instead of empowering women to do what they were naturally designed for, we scare them into compliance with a pathological, allopathic model of childbirth.

Further into adulthood, Americans are checked routinely for cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and a host of other chronic conditions. And when measures creep outside established norms, they’re put on medications to force that particular reading to what the doctor thinks is right. Unfortunately, every drug has a side effect. And, we Americans hardly ever ask our doctors “What is in this drug?” or “What are some potential side effects of this drug?” or “How will this affect me with the other drugs I’m taking?” Instead, we simply comply.

Then as we enter middle age, we start seeing problems like liver and kidney failure, congestive heart failure, etc. and become regular visitors to the local hospital. As the drugs either no longer work or our bodies start to shut down from weird symptoms that can’t easily be classified, we begin to “doctor shop” to find someone who can come up with an accurate diagnosis.

Eventually, we end up in a nursing home being given dozens of different drugs and put through untold numbers of tests until our bodies finally give in and give up. From birth to death we are taught to fear and fight fever, vomit and diarrhea. And because our focus is on disease, we create disease. Two of the largest and most profitable industries in America just happen to be insurance and drug companies. have you noticed all the new “diseases” being advertised on TV, like “Restless Leg Syndrome”, GERD and a host of others? And, have you checked to see how much money those industries invest in advertising and political lobbying?

So, what’s the solution? Well first, we must recognize that our entire premise is wrong from the start. Just like our education system and tax code, we need a whole new way of thinking. Maybe it was Einstein who said “No problem can be solved with the same level of thinking that created the it in the first place”.

Instead of a system that makes someone else responsible for finding or preventing a disease; or your employer (or worse, the Government) paying for your “health” insurance; or expecting Medicare/Medicaid to pay for your dying care, we should give individuals responsibility for their own health.

In a wellness paradigm, you start with the premise that you’re supposed to be healthy! Instead of sitting around watching TV, eating junk food and smoking cigarettes, we encourage folks to exercise, stay fit, eat better and do those things that keep them healthy and out of harm’s way. Instead of a mangled care system that minimize the time you spend with “a” doctor, you find the doctor that’s right for you and develop the kind of relationship that makes you healthier and gives you greater control over your health and your life. When I was young, President John F. Kennedy asked that all schools adopt physical fitness as part of their regular curriculum.

After all, this is STILL America, “home of the FREE and land of the BRAVE”! The American pioneer spirit has always been responsible for our strength and prosperity. We should get rid of this “plantation mentality” where the Government or an employer should take care of us. As one writer wrote, “you are endowed with the seed of greatness”. By realizing and pursuing that greatness in every aspect of life in America, we can restore our nation’s health and vitality and reduce our dependence on drug makers and insurance companies.

Live the very best life you can. Don’t give your freedom and power to anyone!