Interesting things can happen when I channel surf. The heavy snow kept me indoors last Friday. Therefore, I took a break from my writing and turned on my television in the afternoon. That is something I rarely do. Seeing no good movies on for a wintry day, I turned to public television and was surprised to see Senator Rand Paul on the Dr. Oz show. Too interesting not to watch, I thought. Not only is Rand Paul a senator from my home state, he is also running for the Presidential nomination on the Republican ticket. After watching the interview and then hearing Dr. Oz extend an invitation to anyone running for President to come be interviewed on his show, I understood and found myself supporting this idea.
Why would I think a Presidential candidate get afternoon time on a medical show? The reason made perfect sense to me. Since President Obama instituted the Affordable Health Care Act known as Obama care that included the individual mandate forcing private citizens to carry health insurance in response to the concern over “health care” in our country, anyone running for President should have a forum where he/she can take a stance on what each believes needs to be done regarding the health care crisis in this country. None of the monitors of the series of Presidential debates have posed these questions. Someone needs to do it.
This crisis will not be solved by providing “sick care;” it will only be addressed if the government finds a way to help people address the health care issues of this country that are creating such a burden on the American taxpayer – prevention rather than intervention. There are three concerns as I see it and only one of these was addressed to my satisfaction in the interview – obesity, drug addiction (legal and illegal) and dirty air and water. The one that was discussed in length was drug addiction.
When asked about this, Senator Paul said that drug addiction was a health care problem not a criminal problem and I have to agree with that. I do, however, believe that all the areas of drug addiction (both legal and illegal) should be addressed. If this is done, another concern about the corruption in the pharmaceutical industry will be addressed as well. Senator Paul also talked about dealing with pre-existing conditions as one of the facets of Obama care that he saw as beneficial. I was disappointed that Dr. Oz did not take a more proactive stance about changing the health care law to do more with changing lifestyles to deal with the biggest problem facing our country today – obesity. Cigarette smoking still contributes to lung and heart disease but it is slowly being replaced by obesity and a sedentary life style. I would have liked to hear what Senator Paul thought about how the current health care law provides measures for this problem. The other problem that was not addressed was dirty air and water.
The current crisis in Flint, Michigan should help people in this country understand the dangers that exist to our health from air and water pollution. Any health care law that doesn’t address clean air and water is no more than a stop gap measure and blaming one governor in Michigan without thinking about the dangers that are present in our own water and air is not going to be effective in solving the problem. I see toxic cigarette butts filling our drain systems everyday. Any legal actions to promote better public health need to begin here where the diseases are prevented in the first place. And since this is my blog, I believe these should begin at the local level. However, until this can occur and so long as the federal government is going to legislate my health care, I applaud Dr. Oz’s invitation to all those running for President to answer these questions the media refuses to ask.