Filed Under:  Columns, Opinion

The Hard Truth – Medical madness and you

8th October 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Min. J. Kojo Livingston
Contributing Columnist

Yesterday, for the first time I can recall, I was turned away from medical service at my neighborhood clinic for failure to make the new co-pay.

It was a scheduled appointment with my doctor for a general checkup. (“But they say Black men don’t get checkups.”) Yeah, right. As I was saying, the lady at the desk could not tell me exactly how much the co-pay would be, just that it would start around $130 and probably go higher with any tests that had to be run.

Since I have never had to make a co-pay before, I did not come prepared to spend that much on that day. I walked away pissed off, not at the lady who was doing her job, but at a system that says that health care is a privilege that only the rich should enjoy. I remembered that Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal had tampered with the State Group Insurance program which covers my family. As we already know, anything Jindal touches turns to crap…unless it’s for the very rich.

It really hit home. I thought about all the people who have no insurance or limited insurance. I thought about the people who don’t like going to the doctor anyway, (until they have no choice) and the new, valid excuse that they have for not going now. I thought about those who will have to wait until there is an emergency to see a doctor. I thought about all those preventable diseases that will go undetected until it is too late.

This I began to curse about this system. I said words that cannot be repeated here about the evil, diabolical intentions of the people who are in charge of this system. I vented to myself as I drove home and pondered how my commitment to self-determination could be applied to this situation in a practical way. “What do I have to do to ensure that Black people have adequate health care?” It felt like a ton of weights were on my shoulders.

But I also saw a positive side.

First, knowing that medical care will virtually cease to exist for anyone with a net worth under six figures will force many of my people, the leaders in chronic, diet-related diseases to alter our lifestyles. Most of the diseases that are killing us today are caused by what we eat. Sedentary lifestyles are a secondary contributing factor.

Soul food is death food. It didn’t kill us during slavery because we did not eat that much of it and we worked it off quickly. Also meat was never a big part of our diets, it was more of a treat than a main course.

Deep-fried foods, in­cluding fish and potatoes, are clogging our systems and running up our blood pressure. Refined sugar and salt are attacking us from within. Processed foods of all types are hiding dangerous chemicals that are ruining our internal organs.

Black folks are going to have to get on the vegan train to prevent or lessen those trips to the doctor that are going to equal a house note if Republicans have their way. I suggest reading and viewing “The RAVE diet” book and video and the increasingly popular “Forks Over Knives” video and website. Of course you have our own folks like Dr. Laila Afrika and Queen Afua who have their own works on healthy diets for Afrikan people.

We’re also going to have to get off our butts. This digital/entertainment age has got people sitting when they should be walking. We spend more time sitting looking into some kind of screen than we do dealing with the real world. This leaves us without a way to work or burn off some of the harmful elements we ingest each day.

Also we are going to have to give greater consideration to natural herbs and foods that heal. There was a time when this knowledge was the norm in our communities, but we have given that knowledge up in favor of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that are being re-called all of the time.

Every day on TV you hear announcements from attorneys telling you that you can now get paid if some FDA-approved drug gave you cancer or killed your loved ones. Even when they try to get you to buy a drug for, say depression, they have to spend more airtime telling you how many ways it can hurt or kill you.

There is no reason to trust the prescriptions that we are being given each day. The Food and Drug Administration, FDA is controlled by food and pharmacy industries. That’s why they allow pharmaceutical companies to experiment on millions of customers before declaring something unsafe. That’s also why the same FDA is trying to outlaw natural remedies such as chaparral and burdock. They want to make vitamin C a prescription drug and harder to access because it works.

In short, they are some evil $%%#@&*(@##$, to use a technical term.

We must take charge of our own health. We must, en masse, take steps to prevent disease and make ourselves healthier people. We should all begin growing food and bartering or sharing it with our neighbors. You can grow greens, peppers, cabbage, onions and much more in your own yard or in a pot, planter or bucket. Home grown raw food is the best source of nutrition and preventive medicine you can get. Whether you eat it whole or make a smoothie, getting a large number of servings will improve one’s health.

We can recycle Black dollars by growing our own food. Every tomato you grow is one less dollar going to the big grocery stores. It is also something you can sell or barter.

Then we are going to have to invest some of that money we save into our own clinics and hospitals that work with those who are unable to pay.

The other potential bright side of the healthcare crisis is the likelihood that people will get fed up and do something drastic to turn things around and make the system accountable.

Until then, and even after then, we must take charge of our health. It really is a matter of self-determination or death…

…and That’s the Hard Truth!

This article was originally published in the October 8, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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