My feature article in last week’s Health Tip #675 titled “Why Health Care Reform Must Be Repealed” generated lots of mail. Most responses were positive, but a few were quite critical. An example of each…
“Great article that hits the Health Care problem right on the head. Health will never come to the people of these United States until people learn to take responsibility for their own individual health. Health can never, nor will it ever, come by way of a government controlled Health Care plan. Keep up the excellent work.”
“Dearest Reverend, without Health Care Reform, millions of low-income Americans would no longer get the help they need and without which they would die. Without Health Care Reform, many others with pre-existing conditions would cease to get help after they run out of money. I hope you care about them – Jesus does. Rev. Malkmus, I beg you, when you write your articles against the poor, consult with Jesus.”
This one concerns me…
To be accused of “writing articles against the poor” concerns me. I am a champion of all people regardless of social status, spending hours sharing with numerous individuals how they can improve their health by simple diet and lifestyle changes.
I Know What It’s Like To Be Poor
As I look back on my life, I was poor according to the world’s standards. I never realized I was poor, nor did I ever expect anyone to come to my rescue. I was raised in a home that was fiercely independent and would never consider a handout or expect anyone else, including government, to take care of us.
I grew up during the depression days of the 1930s. I never received an allowance nor was I ever paid for chores done in my home. Beginning at age 8 I did chores for neighbors to earn money for haircuts and started earning money for my own clothes.
The only clothes my parents bought me were underwear and socks for each Christmas. Those were my Christmas presents each year. The rest of my clothes were provided as hand-me-downs by a neighbor who had a son just a little older than I.
Between ages 12 to 15 I delivered 80-100 newspapers by foot after school for $4.00 to $5.00 per week. This gave me money to start buying my own clothes and start a savings account. For recreation we played stickball as time allowed with a broom stick and a tennis ball.
From ages 16 to 18 I worked behind a soda fountain and delivered prescriptions on bicycle after school and on Saturdays for $16.00 per week. During my Korean War tour of duty in the United States Navy my salary was $99.00 a month.
My first pastoral salary was $35.00 per week plus a parsonage. In the nearly 20 years I pastored various churches my salary was never more than $150.00 per week plus housing. Still, I never took food stamps or enrolled in a government program to help pay the bills while supporting a wife and four children. We also tithed our income.
When I started Hallelujah Acres in 1992, I had just lost my home and everything I owned in a fire. Having only enough money to build a block basement with a tarp over the top to keep out the rain, a wood stove for heat, and a 5-gallon bucket for a toilet, I started life anew.
My ’86 Mazda pickup escaped the fire and I used it as collateral to borrow $1,000 from the bank to start Hallelujah Acres. With that $1,000 I paid the rent for a month for an 11-foot wide storefront, purchased some tables and chairs along with produce for the restaurant and a few products to sell.
Rhonda and I lived on our tips (approximately $25.00 weekly) in those early days. Then we wrote some books for which we received royalties. From these proceeds we tithed to our church, built a nice home, and owned reliable automobiles.
Since Hallelujah Acres had its beginning, we have never taken a salary or even a bonus from Hallelujah Acres. All that we do here at Hallelujah Acres we consider a ministry to help others.
We have poured all profits back into Hallelujah Acres in order to continue taking God’s Health Message to everyone — including the poor. I have never charged for my monthly Saturday seminar nor for the nearly 700 weekly Health Tips I have written. And we’ve been sending out a FREE magazine for 17 years.
I know what it is like to be poor. But I also have learned that we don’t have to remain in a sick condition. Rather than depending on someone else (including government) to provide my needs in both the physical and financial area, I have learned that through effort on my part, my financial position, living conditions, and health can all be improved.
Sadly, government now attempts to convince people that they are victims and that others are responsible for taking care of them. Health Care Reform is a case in point.
Why Health Care Reform Endangers The Poor
Health Care Reform takes the responsibility off the individual and places it upon others. If others pay health care costs when a person becomes sick, what motivation is there to eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle?
I look around me today and see that regardless of income, most Americans are overweight (over 70%). Yes, and the poor are just as overweight, and sometimes more so, than those with higher incomes.
The government, through welfare checks and food-stamps provide the poor the money needed to buy unhealthy foods, which cause the poor to become sick. Food stamps can be used to purchase the unhealthiest of foods.
Then, after the poor get sick because of their subsidized unhealthy diets and lifestyles, the government comes to their rescue by paying the costs of medical procedures. This cycle never never makes anyone well. It keeps people dependent upon government for their health care.
There is nothing in the Health Care Reform law that encourages people to take control of their own health through a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Health Care Reform Does Not Include Prevention
Those who accused this editor of not having compassion for the poor totally misunderstood my motive. I want all people to be well. We as a country will never experience wellness until we stop depending on government to take care of our physical problems.
If Health Care Reform is not repealed, the ultimate end will be a continued decline in the health of the poorest Americans and the bankrupting of our nation. The only hope and solution is to eliminate sickness through educating people how to so eat and live that they don’t become sick in the first place. Health Care Reform does not provide a dollar toward this end.
It Gets Worse…
Using our medical system can be hazardous to the health of the poor and rich in America. One-third of the deaths in America each year are not caused by the physical problems people experience. They are caused by medical procedures and drugs used to treat people with sickness caused by a bad diet and lifestyle.
The more people rely on drugs the greater the potential for new physical problems developing as a result of adverse reactions to prescribed drugs. Every drug is liver toxic. They produce an adverse reaction within the body for which other drugs are then prescribed. (Source: “Physicians’ Desk Reference Manual”)
It’s a vicious downhill cycle. So what’s the solution? As I have said so many times, the solution is prevention. Let’s teach the people of our land how to so eat and live so that sickness never manifests in the first place.
Without sickness, there would be no need to pay the bills of those who go to doctors for treatment. Health care costs would almost cease. Costs for health care would be limited to accidents. This is the only area the medical community excels in.
Government’s True Responsibility
The founding fathers of our nation set up a government that would protect the people of these United States not only from foreign invaders, but also from its own government. That’s why they drew up a Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Constitution was not designed to be a living, moving, changing document.
Today, government is taking over areas of our society it was never designed to. Government’s primary role was to protect the citizens from interference from outside forces. It was designed to ensure a free society (as the Pledge of Allegiance states) “one nation, under God” and with “freedom and liberty for all” so that all could pursue their dreams and achieve.
When government requires the people to become dependent on government for its health care, the people lose their freedom, and become slaves to the higher power.
For the health of the American people and the health of our nation, Health Care Reform must be repealed!