Like everyone else, I have a world view that is based on my experiences. My experiences have been
unusual and have made me a harsh critic of health and welfare in America. First, I have taken medical
treatment only six days in the last thirty years. Despite this lack of doctoring, I am substantially more
vigorous than most American 68 year olds. Second, I've actually been on welfare, and seen the
treatment of welfare "clients" firsthand.
Most Americans equate health with health insurance and health care. In fact, doctors and medicines
don't make you healthy. The best they can do is remove the symptoms of your ill health ("cure" you of a
specific disease) or moderate the worst symptoms of your ill health ("manage" your specific disease).
And judging by the number of people who fall over and die each year from heart attacks and strokes, it
is common for people with health care to be in very unhealthy conditions.
The bottom line is this, doctors and medicine can not make you healthy. There is only one way to get
healthy and stay healthy, good habits and good food choices. Most Americans would prefer a magic
bullet, but if you want to cheat death for many years, the only answer is good habits and good food
You already understand the good habits; daily exercise, enough sleep, weight control, minimal use of
drugs and alcohol, and organizing your life to minimize stress. As a Christian, I would include daily
Your food choices should include all of the nutrients your body needs every day. (There are two articles
on this website which suggest good food choices. See No. 104, "Kitchen Medicine" and No. 105, "Why
Diets Don't Produce Long Term Results, And What To Do Instead.")
Because Americans equate health insurance and health care with health, we have a comprehensive
federal health plan for poor people and retirees. Three health insurance programs: Medicare, Medicaid,
and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), together accounted for 21 percent of the federal
budget in 2010, over $700 billion. It is expected to be 23% in 2012.
By contrast, Canada provides all of its citizens with a modest health care system that pays 90% of
scheduled fees. The schedules of maximum covered expenses and 10% co-payment keep down the
cost. Affluent Canadians go to private doctors who charge more, poor Canadians go to clinics that
charge only the scheduled fees and waive the 10% co-payment.
One obvious result of this total coverage is that life expectancy in Canada is two to three years longer
than life expectancy in the United States. Also, no one goes bankrupt in Canada over medical bills, but
tens of thousands of Americans go bankrupt from medical bills every year. Finally, because there are
schedules of allowable fees in the Canadian plan (which the AMA lobby blocked in America) and the
insurance companies have been excluded from the Canadian plan (which the insurance lobby did not
allow in America), the per capita cost of insuring all Canadians is substantially less than the cost of
insuring only old and poor Americans.
The cost of the federal medical program is a budget strain at 21% of the budget and will get much worse
when all Americans are covered. The stress of watching the federal government mishandle its programs
is bad for the nerves of Americans. This is particularly true of medical systems that are designed to
please drug companies, insurance companies and the AMA. The best solution I can think of is sending
these programs (and the taxes collected for them) back to the States, with the hope that their need to
balance their budgets will result in bare bones programs (like Canada's) that cut out the insurance
industry and curb the drug companies and the AMA.
There is another good habit that I believe is critical to longevity. Never allow yourself to be seduced
into taking a medicine for the rest of your life. Find the food or foods that will alleviate your symptoms
and add them to your diet instead. Why?
Drugs are tested on people who are basically healthy and who don't take multiple medicines. (The drug
companies need good results.) The side effects of taking multiple medicines are uncertain, however it
is known that some medicines in combination produce dangerous side effects. The more drugs you
combine, the more you chance endangering your health in ways that could be lethal.
Let me give you an example. When I was pregnant in my forties, I was anemic and my doctor browbeat
me into taking iron pills. I took them for four days, but they seemed to interfere with my concentration.
On the fourth day, I suddenly realized that I was driving the wrong way; I was in the curbside lane of a
four lane street. Enough iron pills, I thought. I went through my library of nutrition books and discovered
that I could replace iron pills with a handful of dried apricots and raw almonds taken several times a day.
(The other two times that I took medicines in the last thirty years: an IV when I experienced shock-
blindness after natural childbirth, and an over-the-counter medicine for a bad headache.)
Many Americans control their blood pressure or triglycerides or cholesterol with pills. But diet is a much
better long term solution. Such a diet is proposed on this website. (See No. 104, "Kitchen Medicine" and
No. 105, "Why Diets Don't Produce Long Term Results, And What To Do Instead.")
Similar diets are proposed by health professionals. I've excerpted two of them here.
These kinds of diets tend to cure all sorts of conditions. To find the specific natural cure for your
condition, search "diet for what-you-have." Finishing this subject, if you are a Christian soldier and you
develop chronic digestion problems, I suggest that you carefully read No. 103, "Surviving Poison."
Satan has not retired.
I said earlier that I had been on welfare. I was too broke to buy food and had a young child. Her father
George Roden was a political prisoner. I got food stamps and AFDC (Aid For Dependent Children). At the
time I had organic orchard and gardens, I owned my 6 acre farm outright and also my car, a Volvo
approaching 20 years old. So I was in better economic condition than most welfare recipients.
Nevertheless, I never had enough money. I bought secondhand whenever I could, we were
vegetarians, I had a shade-tree mechanic friend who maintained my Volvo for 10% to 20% of what a
garage would charge. I never went out, I stayed home with my children. But by month end, I was always
broke. And there were welfare social workers, who saw that I was tanned and slender (from hard work
outdoors) and looked healthy (from good food and good habits), and accused me of things like picking
What I understand from my welfare experience is this. The welfare benefits were insufficient for the
necessities of life, even for a highly motivated and disciplined clean living woman in her forties with the
ability to grow and preserve food.
In the inner cities, the situation of a young undisciplined mother on welfare must be much worse. Social
workers try to insure that welfare recipients have no legitimate undeclared income, they directly reduce
benefits dollar for dollar. So welfare recipients must engage in criminal behavior directly, as in
prostitution, or indirectly, as in hidden payments from "my baby's daddy," who earns his living as a
Fifty years of welfare has created a criminal sub-culture in America's inner cities. While I sympathize with
the situation persons on welfare are in, pushed toward crime by a system that offers them few other
options, and I don't think drugs and prostitution should be illegal, I can't condone criminal behavior. To
do so would be disrespectful to the many people in the inner cities who lead good Christian lives.
The solution to the welfare problem can only be jobs. If there are no jobs for welfare recipients, they
can't get off welfare. If there are jobs, free day care including three meals a day for preschool children
and free school meals and free after school care including a meal for school children, could take the
place of child welfare payments for children. Adults in good health could have their benefits limited
unless they are in school. But this would only work if there are jobs.
How do we restore the jobs America has sent overseas in the last few years. Close every tax loophole
that has allowed the rich keep their money to invest in America because, for the last decade, the rich
have not invested in America. Replace the loopholes with a low tax rate for income derived from
investment in American manufacturing and a low corporate tax rate for profits from goods manufactured
The American people have a basic understanding that healing the country comes down to restoring
good jobs. They should take that understanding to the polls next year and kick out the politicians who
don't have a simple and straight forward plan (like mine) to bring manufacturing jobs back to America.
See No. 128, "Crazy Like A Fox" for the conspiracy that has brought America to economic ruin. This is the
hidden agenda of some politicians! For the good of the country, if they try to confuse you with hype,
vote them out!
Amo Paul Bishop Roden