What We Must Do to Get Healthier and Reduce Healthcare Costs

Aug 20, 2018 by

America’s improving economy is masking two worrisome trends that if left unchecked could undermine not only this progress but the future our republic: (1) our $22 trillion and counting national debt; and (2) our decline in personal health despite enormous increases in healthcare spending. Government policies regarding the safety of our food, medicines, vaccines, environment and even electronics oftentimes work against one another or are flat out wrong.  

While improved efficiency throughout government is needed to reduce our debt, a good place to start would be to contain the rising cost of healthcare, which has more than doubled the rate of inflation for many years. We must find cost-effective ways to improve public health through more enlightened governmental policies and personal lifestyle changes with respect to what we eat, what we do, what we plant and what we sow. In other words, government must steer while citizens must row. Health and affordability of healthcare are matters of national security, solvency and satisfaction.  

While politicians debate how to fix our increasingly expensive yet ineffective and inefficient healthcare delivery and payment system, there is wide agreement on the following: 

Healthcare is consuming an increasing portion of our national economy as the population ages and the huge Baby Boom cohort born between 1946–1964 retires. The U.S. currently spends 18% of GDP on healthcare, compared to 11-12% of the country in second place. By 2025 healthcare will become a fifth of the U.S. economy. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated that total healthcare spending grew by 4.6% in 2017, reaching nearly $3.5 trillion. CMS estimated that U.S. healthcare spending would reach about $5.7 trillion by 2026, a 63% increase in only ten years caused mostly by an aging population on Medicare.  If the U.S. could cut the average annual increase in healthcare spending by just 2% from this estimate (less than half), we could trim $70 billion a year from the federal debt or close to $1 trillion over ten years with compounding interest. Imagine what we could do with these savings:

✓ Pay off a good chunk of the national debt and vastly reduce its rate of growth

✓ Ensure solvency of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare 

✓ Rebuild our infrastructure (water, transportation and energy systems), 

✓ Reverse environmental degradation and adapt to climate change

✓ Help employers provide renewal education for workers to keep up with technological change

✓ Military/cyber preparedness. 

• Medicare is becoming insolvent. The main trust fund of Medicare, our major governmental healthcare program, is on track to be depleted in 2026. Congress can no longer kick this can down the road. To make Medicare solvent, government must either reduce benefits, negotiate with providers to make some benefits cheaper (like drugs), delay eligibility for some benefits or increase tax revenues dedicated to Medicare. Some would make government responsible for healthcare and control costs through governmental limits on prices, income-scaled taxes and decisions on the type and amount of care for each diagnosis. Today’s more prevailing view would not extend Medicare beyond seniors while delaying or even reversing the onset of trust fund depletion through robust economic growth with more people working and paying their Social Security/Medicare taxes. Another option is to slow the rate of healthcare cost increases through better public health policies and personal lifestyle practices which is the point of this article.  

• U.S. healthcare is the most expensive in the world, whether it’s doctor visits, drugs, hospital care or surgical procedures. Indeed, the recent mid-term Congressional elections suggested that the major concern on the minds of Americans is the rising cost of healthcare and coverage of pre-existing conditions. Healthcare expenses consume such a large portion of household income that most have difficulty keeping up with increasing rent, utility and (healthy) food costs. Others lament that even with their new tax cuts (from the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) they might not have enough left over to contribute to their favorite charities now that the new law has more stringent limits on what one can deduct. 

• Paradox: despite higher costs per person, the health of the U.S. population is declining. With healthcare costs continuing to rise at roughly twice the rate of inflation each year, we should be getting healthier, right? Actually, compared to other industrialized countries we have become the least healthy. The U.S. ranks poorly on health indicators such as mortality, infant mortality, healthy life expectancy at age 60 and obesity.  

Not as well-known as these common indicators is that male sperm counts in North America, Western Europe and Australia have declined by over half from 1973 to 2011 reflecting a sharp decline in male health (probably female as well) and requiring many more procedures (usually expensive) to enhance fertility. Although researchers did not examine causes of the decline, they believe it is the result of environmental and lifestyle influences, including prenatal chemical exposure, adult pesticide exposure, smoking, stress and obesity. In contrast, no significant decline was seen in South America, Asia and Africa, although far fewer studies have been conducted in these places. 

• Medical insurance is no longer affordable for many, despite covering more low-income people and those with pre-existing conditions. Premiums and deductibles continue to rise, whether for plans with or without government subsidies. Patients must often delay or skip medical visits to remain solvent. Worst off are those without employer coverage such as the long-term unemployed, self-employed, those who work for very small companies and sick people with average incomes but high deductibles. Even with employer coverage millions of workers must devote a continually increasing part of their paycheck for premiums, deductibles and co-pays.  

The Headwinds 

Debt. Unusually strong economic, demographic and social forces have come together to make it difficult for Congress to design a healthcare system that is at once effective, accessible and affordable. First and foremost, the U.S. national debt is $22 trillion, which has doubled in the last decade and continues to grow. Exacerbating this crisis is personal credit card debt that has increased to the dangerous level that it was just prior to the 2008-9 Great Recession. The combination of unprecedented national and personal debt if left unchecked could well result in the greatest financial meltdown in history leading to a devastating worldwide depression and popular rebellion.  

Aging population. The aging of the huge Baby Boom generation (born between 1946-1964) is the primary reason why so much of our personal and national spending is going to healthcare. Even as the economy improves and more people obtain family wage jobs, our rapidly increasing population of seniors is putting tremendous financial pressure on Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid, of course, provides healthcare and related social services to low-income people who cannot afford insurance. In most states Medicaid has become the largest portion of the state budget, which will grow even faster as our senior population grows with increasing incidence of chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, addiction to pain-relieving drugs and mental health and cognition problems.  

Illegal immigration. Contributing to rising Medicaid expenditures is the free medical care federal and state governments provide to an estimated 13 million illegal immigrants and their 5 million native born children. Several estimates double this number. 

Sicker youth, addictions and mental illness. Nationwide, among our youth, the increasing incidence of chronic and usually lifetime conditions such as autism, attention deficit and other neurological disorders is also increasing health costs. Same with opioid addiction that has already killed and hospitalized tens of thousands, destroyed families and put tremendous pressure on our social service systems. Moreover, we do a terrible job treating youth mental illness, witness the alarming amounts of teen suicides, reports of all types of bullying, school shootings, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and addiction to social media just to name a few. 

Long-standing yet misguided federal healthcare policies. Certainly, Congress and the president must act quickly to resolve the worsening crisis of unaffordable health insurance for millions. In so doing we must contain healthcare costs and make the system more effective and efficient so that our collective health actually improves given the vast amounts we are spending.  

Policy Solution. To assist these efforts, we must roll back certain public policies and laws that are driving up healthcare costs. Moreover, we citizens must quickly change lifestyle habits that are literally killing us and making us sicker. 

For starters, let us acknowledge that the U.S. population is the most medicated, vaccinated, wireless connected, overfed and fattest on earth, and one of the least fit. We consume most of the world’s barbiturates, anti-depressants and other drugs both legal and illegal. Kids and young adults are so engaged in social media that they get little exercise and have difficulty focusing their attention as well as relating and empathizing with others. More than half of our high school graduates do not have sufficient mental or physical capacity to enter the military. Children from countries with far less resources are healthier and more fit than most of ours.  

Governmental policies that are killing us and making us sick  

What are these and how could we change them to improve public health while bringing down healthcare costs?  

1. Allowing Drugs on TV. We keep losing periodic wars on drugs because we never seem to attack the root cause – the nation’s dependence on legal drugs. It’s a marketing bonanza that’s turned America into a medicated mass who has been brain-washed into thinking that taking pills will make everything better―even for ailments you might not have. Not only is there a correlation between the amount of money drug companies spend on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising and the drug brand patients request from their physicians, but the data shows DTC advertising rapidly converts people into patients. 

Policy solution. Ban drug advertising on TV, as it was prior to 1997 when many restrictions on such advertising were relaxed. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow drug advertising on TV. This ill-considered legislation gives Pharma too much power, and they have abused it. Laws must be passed to reign them in. This will be a bitter fight since Pharma has many lobbyists and virtually owns big media by contributing some 60-70% of their advertising revenue. They also contribute generously to political campaigns. 

2. Dangerous vaccination schedule for infants and children and willful ignorance of discoveries from cellular biology that question vaccine safety. Diseases addressed by vaccines are not equal in terms of their benefits or threats they pose to public health. Several vaccines have been proven to not confer immunity for a large percentage of the population, and most U.S. adults do not get booster shots to prolong the immunity they might have gotten as children, thus questioning the existence of “herd immunity”. 

Despite accumulating evidence that health is endangered by over-exposure to vaccines and their toxic aluminum adjuvants and mercury-derived preservatives, the medical profession continues to stand by the number of vaccines it recommends for children, soldiers, foreign aid workers and immigrants. Thanks to Pharma’s heavy lobbying we have become the most vaccinated country on earth. But we are far from being the healthiest. If vaccination promoted health, we wouldn’t have the sickest children of any American generation since World War II and of any industrialized country today, and the U.S. wouldn’t be leading the world in the incidence of chronic diseases among its elderly such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, addiction to pain-relieving drugs and cognition problems.  

The number of recommended vaccines for young children in the last half century has expanded dramatically. Specifically, J.B. Handley in his 2018 book How to End the Autism Epidemic, indicated: 

• In 1985, children routinely received 23 doses of seven vaccines: diphtheriatetanus-pertussis (DTP), oral polio (OPV) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), and the autism rate was between 1 in 5,000 or 1 in 10,000 (depending on the data source).

• In 2017 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that infants and children receive 49 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6, and there are estimates that 1 in 35 children develop autism. 

Neither the 1985 nor 2017 recommended dosage has ever been proven safe. A major factor contributing to increasing public skepticism about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines is that almost all the studies cited by CDC have been conducted or funded by vaccine manufacturers, a clear conflict of interest. Perhaps it is not accidental that the studies are of insufficient duration, usually only a few days, to pick up deleterious effects in many children. Thus, it is not surprising that epidemiological studies typically cited by CDC are often flawed statistically or designed to obtain a result favorable to the vaccine industry. Whistleblowers from both vaccine manufacturers and the CDC have indicated that leaders of these organizations have forced their researchers to manipulate study designs and the data they produce. Determining how much would likely require independent audits and Congressional hearings.  

Compared to epidemiological studies to assess vaccine safety, more reliable evidence comes from studies conducted by cellular biologists. Since the mid-2000s dozens of peer-reviewed studies by cellular biologists and bio-chemists indicate that immune activation events in the brain of a child are actually what causes autism in a vulnerable subset of children. The emerging science, which largely has been developed in other countries, shows how aluminum, whose sole purpose in a vaccine is to hyperstimulate the immune system, can in certain vulnerable kids, create a persistent immune activation event that inflames the brain. Handley concludes,  

That simmering inflammatory event, if it happens during critical phases of brain development, can cause a child to head into autism. 

Policy solutions. Politicians know the population has been brainwashed to believe without reservation that vaccines are good for you, the more the better. To counter this and protect children from too many unnecessary vaccines too early in life we should ask Congress and the President whether they would be willing to:  

✓ Order the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct a definitive largescale study comparing the health of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated groups of different ages. The federal government has yet to conduct such a study, never mind that autism has been the Nation’s fastest growing disability over the last 25 years (currently 1 in 36 or 2.8% of U.S. children). Two private studies with large samples cited in Handley’s book showed that the general health of children who were entirely unvaccinated was much better than of children following the CDC’s recommended schedule. One study compared vaccinated vs. unvaccinated home-school children; the other was conducted by an Oregon pediatrician who observed thousands of his patients and compared the incidence of chronic disease and brain abnormalities among those who were entirely unvaccinated with fully vaccinated patients. 

Accept J.B. Handley’s recommendation to reduce the current vaccine schedule to three vaccines given after 12 months of age – DTaP, Hib and Polio – and the MMR vaccine after three years of age. Moreover, make the MMR available as three separate shots (as they do in Japan). Continue the accepted but all-toooften ignored protocol that vaccines should not be administered to children who are sick or taking powerful medicines like antibiotics. 

Eliminate the federal vaccine court and return plaintiffs to a normal process of being able to sue vaccine makers for injury. This is how it used to be prior to 1986 legislation, and the loss of checks and balances has been highly damaging. 

J.B. Handley’s book provides a detailed account of how vaccine manufacturers and the CDC have colluded to hide the autism epidemic caused by giving too many vaccines to American children without any regard for the vulnerable subset who are at grave risk from vaccine reactions. Every state is now facing skyrocketing special education enrollments and dramatic increases in chronic health problems among its children. 

Although people welcome the elimination of scourges such as smallpox and polio, it is not yet clear on the extent to which vaccines helped eliminate them. Much more likely contributors to fewer complications from infectious diseases are improved standards of living, clean water, refrigeration, sewage disposal, less crowded living quarters and hygiene practices. Importantly, the data show dramatic declines in mortality from infectious diseases occurred well before the introduction of vaccines against the disease in question.  

Nevertheless, most would agree that we’re probably better off if people didn’t get highly contagious diseases such as measles, chicken pox and the flu. Yet 99.9% of Americans who contract these diseases recover. A few hundred or even thousands of cases around the country is far less a threat to our health security than the hundreds of thousands on the autism and attention deficit spectrums that an increasing number of scientists suspect results from overloading vulnerable infants and toddlers with environmental toxins including vaccines. Less than quarter of children with autism ever recover causing considerable emotional and financial distress to their families to say nothing of the billions taxpayers must pay for their care once their parents are no longer able ($2-$3 million per adult with autism over their lifetime). 

The foregoing suggests our government is wrongly insisting on giving too many vaccines for too many diseases that are not that dangerous. In return, we have this massive explosion in chronic disease. It’s a trade. We’re slightly reducing certain acute illnesses, yet the explosion of chronic illnesses is costing the public dearly.  

The nation needs a realistic risk-reward conversation. Vaccines are portrayed as offering instant protection from whichever disease a person gets vaccinated. The truth is more complicated than that.  

Policy Solutions 

✓ Move vaccine safety from the CDC to the new Vaccine Safety Commission (VSC) proposed by the President during his election campaign. In 2006 two members of Congress proposed legislation that would remove vaccine safety from the CDC, which currently has responsibility for both vaccine safety and promotion, an inherent conflict of interest. Subsequently, the number of vaccines recommended by CDC has grown along with the enormous financial interests in vaccines by their manufacturers and pediatricians. Yet the health of U.S. children keeps on declining relative to other industrialized countries that administer fewer vaccines.  

In 2014 CDC research scientist and whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, admitted to manipulating a 2004 sample they followed that would have shown a statistically significant correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism in African-American boys in Georgia. The study’s four co-authors put the relevant documents in a large garbage can at the behest of CDC officials. Yet Thompson kept hard copies in his office and sent them to a Congressman who has yet to persuade his colleagues to hold hearings with Thompson.  

With so much corruption and conflict of interest, it is time to transfer vaccine safety from the CDC to a new commission (VSC) appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The VSC would recommend vaccine protocols for different groups based on studies it would conduct, authorize or evaluate. Placed initially in the Office of the Secretary, the VSC would be staffed by epidemiologists, molecular biologists, chemists, clinical physicians, psychiatrists and others with specialized training and experience. For the sake of the country’s health and financial stability, science has got to get this right!

✓ Seek reversal of state laws that prohibit children from attending public school if they do not get all of their shots (e.g. California, Mississippi, West Virginia; many others require vaccines but offer religious or medical exemptions). Backers of these laws cite evidence derived almost entirely from researchers employed by companies who manufacture vaccines. And flawed epidemiological studies (e.g. poor/biased sampling or insufficient follow up time to ensure vaccine safety) are rapidly being superseded by cellular biology studies that are providing evidence that many vaccines harm a significant subset of people and oftentimes confer immunity for limited time or not at all. 

✓ Replace the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) with an autism task force located in the Office of the President or the Office of Management and Budget. In its 10+ years of existence the IACC has failed miserably on all fronts – research, family support and special education — and should be disbanded when it is up for Congressional renewal in 2019. Highly qualified individuals who have been critical of government policy are rarely selected to serve on the Committee, or they are simply outvoted. The new presidential task force would finally declare autism a public health emergency and become responsible for overseeing autism-related activities in all federal agencies. The task force would be responsible for policy and preparing the annual federal budget for autism-related activities in these agencies, and it would evaluate agency performance in conducting these activities. 

3. Failure to warn public of too much exposure to electro-magnetic radiation (EMR). Electronic fields and waves are emitted in varying degrees by microwaves, cell phones, WiFi routers, cell phone towers, smart phones, smart meters, cordless phones, computers/laptops and IPADs. EMR hotspots include airports, shopping centers, schools, areas close to high tension wires and cell towers, workplaces and apartment buildings with lots of WIFI connections and electronic security devices.  

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) and information-carrying radio waves alter the chemical structure of certain brain proteins and prevent our cells from detoxifying. Inability of cells to detoxify is especially serious for young children and those recovering from illness. Indeed, exposure to high EMR levels increase recovery times from disease and are strongly associated with sleep disorders, neurological disorders such as attention deficit (ADD and ADHD) and autism, cancer, heart disease, DNA damage, tissue damage, learning and memory deficits, reproductive system changes in animals and humans and even allergies. 

EMR has become that much more dangerous with the advent of the “Internet of Things” (ioT) that is starting to use 4G/5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRA) in residential zones. Many believe this technology is a proven health, safety and liability hazard. For example, since 2004 California’s Firefighter’s Unions has been entering substantial evidence into the public record that cell towers on or near fire stations caused brain abnormalities in every firefighter examined. 

A recent 2019 Senate hearing with telecom executives exposed that their industry has not yet conducted a study on the effects of 5G on human health. How is it possible that the FCC hasn’t seen to it that this new technology is safe before facilitating the widespread implementation it wants (to catch up with China), especially given the well-known health hazards of less powerful EMR-generating systems that we hold in our hands every day?  

Moreover, scientists confirm that social media and electronic games are addicting. Whistleblowers from companies like Facebook and Google have indicated that the companies have known about this for years yet covered it up since such addiction was good for device and app sales and advertising revenue. Social media executives have promised before Congressional committees that they will curtail these addicting features. Indeed, most of these same executives absolutely limit or curtail social media use among their own children. 

Cognizant of these FACTS a few countries have tried to limit exposure of young children to cellphones (brain cancer), and they don’t put recreational parks and bicycle trails underneath high-tension wires or place cell towers on the grounds of elementary schools like many U.S. communities do. Also, Europeans are more willing than Americans to turn off at night their cell or smart phones, computers, TVs and security systems in order to enhance their sleep and general health. European parents and schools also are more disposed than Americans to limit face time with electronics and push kids outside to do sports and socialize with friends. 

How come we Americans are so ignorant of the dangers of EMR? Two reasons:  

(1) we are profoundly ignorant of physics, as the vast majority has never taken a course in it. In 2012-13 only 39% of U.S. high school graduates earned at least one credit in physics. In 2016 two of five high schools, mostly small schools with small budgets, did not offer physics. Recruiting qualified physics teachers is difficult, with renewal certification requirements more stringent than for other subjects; and   

(2) the electronics and telecommunications industries spend more on lobbying government than any other industry including the powerful pharmaceutical industry.  

Policy solutions. The following public health policies would seem overdue: 

✓ EMR audits in public places – Require schools, hospitals, shopping centers and parks to determine and publicize hotspots that residents especially young children and individuals recovering from illness or injury should avoid. In the case of hospitalized patients, collect and analyze data to see whether avoiding hotspots helps patients recover. 

✓ Help residents acquire affordable, convenient devices to ascertain EMR hotspots in their homes and public places. 

✓ Label EMR output of telecommunications devices and security systems to ensure consumers that these are within federally prescribed safety limits.

✓ Independent controlled studies to ensure safety of 4G/5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRA), especially in high density residential and commercial zones.

✓ Expand opportunities to study physical science in middle school and physics in high school, ensuring solid grounding in electricity and electronics.  

4. Unproven safety of GMOs and lack of labeling

Genetically engineered foods (GMOs) make you sick, destroy the soil we depend on for food and are creating a health and environmental disaster that likely will have repercussions for generations to come. Some 90% of the following crops in the U.S. are genetically modified: corn, soy, sugar beets, alfalfa, and canola. They wreak havoc with the digestive systems of humans and other animals. Sixty-one countries require labeling of genetically modified foods but not the U.S. Twenty-seven countries have banned GMOs including two-thirds of the European Union. Although the European Union recently reached agreement with the U.S. to purchase more of our soybeans, their agribusinesses are unlikely to buy our soybeans so long as 90% of it is GMO. They are not about to destroy their produce and meat industries and further pollute their soil, water and air to satisfy some trade imbalance. Besides, even organic (non-GMO) soy isn’t so great for you.  

Policy solutions 

 The U.S. should ban GMOs until they are proven safe, just like most of Europe. At the very least, the federal government should insist on labeling GMO foods so consumers can make informed choices. Unfortunately, this labeling requirement did not make it into the 2018 farm bill passed by Congress. Shoppers should carefully read labels and research online to avoid purchasing foods that are suspect. 

5. Lack of regulation of proven carcinogens like herbicides containing glyphosate in our food 

GMOs and herbicides are devastating honeybee populations, destroying soil microbiology, polluting rivers and oceans, and contaminating the food supply. Especially dangerous is the widely used herbicide containing glyphosate, the chemical originally developed to descale pipes, boilers and metals. It causes cancer at parts-per-trillion concentrations yet is found in 75% of processed foods and in the bodies of an even higher percentage of Americans. Many European countries have banned glyphosate (the active ingredient of weed killers like Roundup) and GMOs because of their deleterious effects and the lack of research to confirm their long-term safety. Monsanto, the producer of Roundup, recently lost a $289 million lawsuit (reduced to $78 million) to a school groundskeeper for causing cancer. 

Two years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly raised the limit of glyphosate allowable in food crops, selling out the public by doing the bidding of several biotech firms. The result is that eating cancer-causing poison is now considered “safe” by the EPA — the same incompetent, corrupt government regulator that knowingly allowed the children of Flint, Michigan, to drink lead in tap water month after month without warning the public.  

Policy solutions 

✓ For starters, ban glyphosate and other known carcinogens from herbicides and set a reasonable upper limit standard for their presence in U.S. foods and supplements.  

✓ Conduct large-scale epidemiological and cellular biology studies on the health and environmental impacts of consuming various types and amounts of genetically modified (GMO) foods. 

6. Misguided governmental encouragement of factory farms. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) … 

• Produce meat, poultry and pork that pollute our bodies with animal growth hormones, antibiotics (that spread antibiotic-resistant pathogens into our food), pesticides, toxic sweeteners, artery-clogging fats, and synthetic chemicals. 

• That produce or purchase GMO feed grains (e.g. corn, soy) to fatten their animals contribute enormously to topsoil destruction, erosion and desertification by tilling, monocropping and not using cover crops to replenish root systems and organic matter in the soil. All of these degenerative practices dramatically decrease the nutrient content of food (which has been a boon to the food supplement industry). 

• Seriously pollute our water and destroy our soils, forests, wetlands, and biodiversity, especially during wet natural disasters (floods and hurricanes).

• CAFO meat and dairy operations contribute to global warming by discharging huge amounts greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and oceans, outpacing even multinational oil and gas corporations in greenhouse gas emissions. 

• Create microparticles that pollutes our air as the nitrogen fertilizer they use releases ammonia as it breaks down and combines with pollution from diesel and petroleum combustion when it reaches industrial areas.

• Spawn new diseases (e.g. bird flu) resulting from filthy conditions in which these animals are raised.

• Contribute to illegal immigration (who else would accept low wages to shovel cow, pig and chicken excrement all day?)

• Feed insufficiently tested genetically modified grains to cows, pigs and chickens thus contributing to their disease and probably ours.  

We condone all this in the name of being able to buy a cheap hamburger, hotdog or chicken sandwich. We eat this stuff at our peril (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer) while our elected officials look the other way thanks to generous campaign contributions if not direct bribes from the food industry. And we the people pay for it through higher healthcare and environmental cleanup costs to say nothing of a diminished quality of life. In 2018 Hurricane Florence caused such major flooding in North Carolina, for example, that most of its rivers and farms became polluted with animal feces spilling over from the state’s many factory farm waste lagoons. This extreme pollution remains an economic and public health catastrophe. And we taxpayers pay for the cleanup while our property and health insurance rates skyrocket.  

Policy solutions 

It would take courageous political leaders to phase out these factory farms and provide subsidies instead to small farmers who are willing to practice state-of-the-art conservation with rotation of crops to replenish soil nutrients and produce safe, nutritious food that is not laced with growth hormones, toxic chemicals and pesticides. The loss of small farms and nearby towns constitute a national tragedy. Why do we have to travel to France or Italy to see the enormous economic, aesthetic, health and environmental benefits of providing financial assistance to small farmers whose very livelihoods depend on rebuilding soil fertility and biodiversity and who are doing their share to restore climate stability by returning carbon to the soil? 

Summing up 

Dr. Mike Adams, a scientist with an ISO-certified lab that tests food and food supplements, opines: … if we don’t stop the mass chemical poisoning of our world — and of ourselves — we will of course destroy ourselves in the process. That’s why I’ve dubbed humanity a “suicide cult.” In the name of corporate profits, humans are poisoning their food (pesticides), their minds (psychiatric drugs), poisoning their agricultural soil with glyphosate and genetically engineered crops and even poisoning their children (toxic vaccines).” 

One of Tocqueville’s observations that seems appropriate is this: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” The French nobleman could not see 180 years into the future, but his observation carries more meaning today than perhaps ever before! 

Postscript – What can Americans do right now to improve their country by tweaking their lifestyle? 

While advocacy to end governmental anti-health policies is important, we can also alter our lifestyles to promote health and bring down our family costs of healthcare. Here’s a partial list that is consistent with recommendations by health gurus such as Dr. Joseph Mercola DO, Dr. Oz, Dr. Mike Adams, Dr. Michelle Perro MD, Dr. Daniel Amen MD, Dr. Dietrick Klingheart MD, Dr. Lee Cowden MD, Dr. Zach Bush MD, Dr. Andrew Weil MD, Jeffrey Smith, J.B. Handley and so many more: 

What you eat:  

Sugar. Vastly reduce sugar and alcohol intake to decrease inflammation in your body and fight chronic diseases such as cancer.

Healthy diet. Eat more fresh vegetables and less meat, if possible organic, in order to avoid toxins such as preservatives, food colorings, pesticides, antibiotics, animal growth hormones, chemical fertilizers, drugs and GMOs. Even if you’re trying to eat well, the big food companies sneak an amazing amount of pure junk into the “healthy” food supply. Read the labels carefully. Foods and supplements (oftentimes contaminated with heavy metal fillers) from China are especially suspect, as is Pacific Ocean seafood contaminated by the ongoing Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan.

• Microwave foods much less or not at all since the waves kill the nutrients. • Processed food. Consume much fewer boxed, canned, processed and starchy foods, especially those with corn syrup or canola oil.

• Toxic aluminum. Since aluminum is a toxin that provokes severe inflammatory response in the body, do not use aluminum cookware or foil to heat up food. Aluminum often resides eventually in fat tissue in the brain that exacerbates chronic diseases such as autism and Alzheimer’s.

• Take Vitamin D daily to ward off cancer and promote general health, especially if you are black and live in the northern U.S. with minimal exposure to sunshine in the winter.

• Make water at room temperature your beverage of choice. Ice water kills digestive enzymes, so avoid it with meals. Hospital patients, especially, should indicate their preference for water at room temperature. Sadly, the default for hospitals is ice water.

• Plastic containers. Drink out of glass or paper containers and avoid containers with Styrofoam and soft plastic, especially for hot drinks. 

What you do: 

• Engage in vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Walk more in pleasant surroundings. Yoga is great to increase flexibility, core strength and ability to relax so long as beginners are supervised by qualified experts.

• EMR hotspots. Walk and bicycle away from high tension wires, cell towers and places that have been designated by trustworthy authorities as hotspots for electromagnetic radiation.

• Sleep 6-8 hours per night and follow a routine. Turn off or unplug electronics in your bedroom at bedtime. Put your TV elsewhere. Shut off your cell phone or digital assistant at bedtime.

• 5G cautions. If a high-speed greater capacity Internet afforded by the new 5G (fifth generation cellular wireless) networks appeals, protect your family by purchasing a reliable device that can detect electromagnetic radiation (EMR) hotspots in your home or where you work. Though still under development by the large carriers, 5G has been known to emit far more EMR than the previous four generations of wireless. Until more is learned about 5G health dangers, find and avoid EMR hotspots especially for the most vulnerable – the very young and those recovering from illness or injury.  

• Social lifestyle. Text and telephone less. Get outside and socialize more. Meet and converse with people from outside your normal circles.

• Holistic medicine. Before taking prescription drugs, ask a doctor who practices alternative or holistic medicine for a second opinion. Possibly, s/he will recommend herbs, vitamins or other supplements that will do the job at less cost and long-term harm to your body. Even though drugs paid for by insurance might result in less out of pocket, why risk long-term problems with your liver, heart and other organs?

• Pesticide and herbicide dangers. Know what is being sprayed in your community to kill weeds and mosquitos. Many of these chemicals are carcinogenic, so avoid them. Young children and children with neurological disabilities are particularly susceptible to weed killers containing glyphosate like Roundup. 

• Vaccines. Find a doctor who will limit and space out the number of vaccines given to your children. Some experts such as J.B. Handley recommend the ones to continue and not continue. Adults should be wary of flu vaccines since some if not most do not confer immunity and actually increase the odds of your getting the flu. 

If millions of Americans would do even a fraction of these things, they would make America greater by becoming healthier, happier and more solvent. Go for it!!! Do something for your health and your country!  

Suggested readings: 

J.B. Handley, How to End the Autism Epidemic, Chelsea Green Publishing, Vermont and London, U.K. 2018, 289 ps. 



https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/04/06/shutting-down-the-vaccinedebate.aspx?tm_source=prnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=2019 0406Z1&et_cid=DM278361&et_rid=586311636  

https://www.ageofautism.com/2019/01/dr-richard-moskowitz-md-on-antivaxxers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ageofa utism+%28AGE+OF+AUTISM%29 


https://www.thenation.com/article/how-big-wireless-made-us-think-that-cell-phones-are-safea-special-investigation/. https://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto-roundup-cancer-trial  


https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/03/24/regenerative-foodandfarming.aspx?utm_source=prnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_camp aign=20190324Z1&et_cid=DM276774&et_rid=574350147 

Barry Stern consults in the field of education and workforce development. He is a former federal, state and community college official, director of educational programs both in the U.S. and developing countries, college and high school teacher, and hospital administrator. He writes guest editorials and articles in the fields of education, career development, health, social services and foreign policy.

Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

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