Obesity and The American Healthcare Shell Game
Obesity is the target of the American healthcare system this year, the bullseye for public indignation and the current detour from the true reasons for the high cost of ignoring well over the official figure of approximately 43 million uninsured men, women and children.
There is an age-old street game, often called Three Card Monte or the shell game. Using a pea supposedly hidden under walnut shells or cards theoretically in the deck, the whole goal is to misdirect the victim’s attention from the real action and separate him from his money. The pea isn’t there, neither is the card so winning is impossible – it’s all a scam.
Every year, Americans are deliberately distracted from the issues of highest concern by one that will deflect dollars and thoughtful deliberation. This year, it’s their fat neighbors and their chubby selves. If you can be made to feel guilty or given someone else to blame, you might not notice that you still have to pay a family’s ransom for medical care or do without.
The count of uninsured Americans is like the count of the unemployed, it never reflects the true figure. Unemployed data only includes those who apply for or receive funds to tide them over. Millions never apply or are turned away when they do. Those not on the rolls are conveniently invisible. The same dubious head count takes place among the medically uninsured.
In both cases, the true figures are so much higher, they might raise the national level of insecurity and righteous anger, were they actually known. Better to focus on our full-bodied figures than our swollen economic statistics, especially in an election year. Drug companies, insurance corporations and medical associations fund political campaigns. Their interests are primarily to meet their own needs, not ours.
Why is obesity not the high card in Canada’s healthcare card deck? According to Why Canadians are healthier
it’s because they have medical care from cradle to grave. Canada doesn’t blame its citizens for their ills – it simply meets and treats them. Canadians live longer, with fewer health problems and their economy thrives, too. The UK and other nations also provide for medical needs and do so without shaming their patients.
"The United States is the only advanced industrial society in the world where a patient's ability to pay determines access to health care." says D. E. Joranson, MSSW, Pain Research Group, University of Wisconsin Medical School. Now, that is shameful - the wealthiest nation in the world and perhaps the most selfish.
Blame is an effective distracting device, whether in a personal argument, political campaign or for corporate profit. If you can make the innocent feel guilty, you can turn the focus of attention away from the real issue. Yes, our weight does matter, if it affects our health. Starving children in Africa prove that – some are reduced to eating insects to survive. Somehow, that critical issue doesn’t rate as much indignation and involvement as what Americans are eating.
There are some real health and social issues related to lupus and nutrition. Please read The Fat Fights - Part 1 - The Straight Skinny
and check out The Fat Fights – Part 2 -The Wolf Weighs In
. The vital basics of our nutritional needs are covered in Lupus and a Wolf-Wise Diet
. All these articles are here, in Lupus NewsLog's Articles With Attitude.