Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2121, July 11th, 2012

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.
Dr. Joe Leonardi and Wil Toole. 



With the Health Care bill still being debated, this week’s “Write On Wednesday” has two points of view. Both are friends of this site, Dr. Joe Leonardi and Wil Toole. First up, Doctor Leonardi. 
I know my good friend Dave has been going on and on and on about the recent health care reform bill. I think he has probably written more about it than he has about the tearing down of St. John the Baptist, However, it is time to realize that the battle concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), informally referred to as Obamacare, is officially over. Yes it is. If you are for it celebrate. If you oppose it --- get over it. Any person with even a passing knowledge of U.S. politics understands that once a bill is passed, signed into law and then upheld by the Supreme Court there is nothing left to do. I know there are republicans who are vowing to repeal the law --- please, get real. There isn’t a spine in the U.S. Congress, especially on the republican side. This is a big financial boon to large insurance companies who contribute wads of cash to both parties, not a single politician on either side is going to rock that boat. Additionally, if Governor Romney wins, does anyone really think that he is going to drop the plan for which he drew up the blueprint? The most disturbing fact is that whether this reform stands, is unlikely repealed, or is replaced with a national universal plan, the cost of health care will continue to escalate exponentially and eventually bankrupting any system. Because, what gets lost in all of the debate is the reality that today’s medical doctor spends relatively little time curing disease. Most of the conditions that are crippling the American system are not caused by infectious agents. The bulk of what the modern medicine man and woman takes care of are the result of poor lifestyle choices, and until that is addressed, the cost will continue to rise, no matter the yarn any politician or pundit attempts to spin. Most chronic diseases in this country can be attributed to tobacco, alcohol or obesity. Either alone or combined, these three controllable variables are primary factors driving up the cost of health care. No matter what rhetoric anyone uses to pretty it up, until these three issues are given their due consideration, the costs will continue to climb. When it comes to controlling spending, the Affordable Care Act is as stupid as, and even less effective than, placing a bandage on a gunshot wound to the heart. The information on smoking has been out there for decades and for some reason beyond any explanation, people continue the activity. I discuss alcohol from time to time, because it can go hand in hand the topic with which I am very familiar --- obesity. Obesity is the big one. It is a growing problem, not only in the United States, but worldwide, my last interview was for a website based out of France. I write for an international website on the topics of obesity, health, wellness and fitness and I am often asked to give interviews on the same topics. The problem is not complex, but it is difficult for many people because: - The U.S. government has had a food policy that for decades has encouraged the production and consumption of the very foods that make us obese. - Dr. Ancel Keys’ silly conclusions influenced Senator George McGovern's panel which eventually led to the starch-laden food pyramid, that in turn gave rise to numerous low fat, fake food substances, which instead of lowering heart disease has increased it. - The U.S. government has given erroneous information about obesity management. - It is not all government, the media has helped; everyone from the pudgy purveyors of food pornography at the food network to local beer hawkers at WILK, promote the purchase and consumption of waist widening and health destroying products. There is much more, but perhaps the most important is the shunning of self-responsibility. No matter what the influences are, the fact is that we control the type and amount of food we shove down are gullets and the amount of exercise we put out. Unless there is an underlying medical condition, obesity should not be having the impact it is on today’s population. We live in a country were children as young as eleven are now type II diabetics. That is not only unbelievable, it should be unacceptable. Obesity and obesity related issues will cost upwards of 300 BILLION dollars and that figure is only going to grow larger. Unless the epidemic of obesity is addressed and conquered, all the reform in the world is not going to do a damn thing. As it stands now, doctors are being transformed from professionals who treat disease into nannies who simply give a spoonful of medicine in an attempt to manage the self-inflicted chronic diseases that ail their patients. Is there some fantasy world where a government reform act is going to stop this? Not likely. Even Mayor Bloomberg's silly soda size ban, if put into effect, will have zero impact. It is up to us to educate and be responsible for ourselves. All of this effort has been applied to the wrong portion of health care. It is time to stop focusing solely on care, and put the emphasis on health if we want to do anything meaningful for our fellow citizens.  
Dr. Joe Leonardi, D.C. is the president and CEO of Leonardi Chiropractic Wellness Office, PC and BetterLife Seminars by Fat Then Fit Now, INC. He is the author of the life changing book Fat Then Fit Now; A Life Beyond Weight Loss. He is a contributor to, has a B.S. from University of the State of New York and his Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College. He is an adjunct faculty at Luzerne County Community College teaching Anatomy and Physiology. He has acted as the team chiropractor for the Arena Football League 2’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, the semi-professional football teams the Scranton Eagles and the NEPA Miners, the women’s roller derby Coal City Rollers and has provided chiropractic care at powerlifting and strong man events. He has made numerous television, radio and internet appearances to discuss the topics of fitness, wellness, obesity, childhood obesity and how childhood obesity relates to bullying. 
And the truth be known. There is much being said about the Affordable Health Care Act, (Obama Care) and there is much fist waving and chest thumping by Republican leadership and conservative talk show hosts. It seems that the FOX organization has devoted itself to overturning the Health Care Act. The fact that 30 million Americans will be thrown out of health care at the very same minute they succeed plays no part in their effort. The fact that the pharmaceutical written Medicare "donut hole" is being eliminated and we as individuals are saving hundreds is not even considered. Babies born with birth defects are no longer considered to have "preexisting" conditions and there are no maximums that actually kill people with catastrophic illness are not considered. So what then is the driving force behind killing this Health Care reform? The answer is simple but never mentioned by the Republicans or FOX news. It is the 80/20 rule. Insurance companies are now required to spend 80 cents of every premium dollar on health care. The remaining 20 cents is for administrative costs. That means there will be a strong decline in CEO million dollar pays and company bonus programs for top management. It means that executive memberships in fancy private clubs and country clubs will not be paid for with our premium dollars, corporate jets will be a thing of the past. Any part of that 80 cents not spent on health care must be refunded to plan holders. This my friends is the true reason why the Affordable Health Care Act is under attack. Just ask yourself why anyone would want to eliminate the preexisting clause? Why would anyone want to eliminate the maximum lifetime coverage on any policy and why would anyone want to stop insurance companies from refusing coverage and dropping people from coverage?  It is time for the 99% to wake up and show Speaker Boehner, House R Leader Erik Cantor and Senate R Leader Mitch McConnell the door. It is time to send Congress members such as Lou Barletta back to his private business and out of public business. It is time for Americans to wake up to the fact that the Republican led Congress which voted two years in a row to eliminate Medicare as we know it that we are mad as hell and not taking it any more. Tell the Republicans that we the people have rights and expectations and regardless of how they twist what they are doing, we know what we need and deserve. Take note, The World Health Report 2000, Health Systems: Improving Performance, ranked the U.S. health care system 37th in the world. Google it for yourself and then ask why? Please keep in mind this is not about the health care that is available, it is about the health care that is available to all citizens.  You have two choices, you can sit and wait like sheep about to be slaughtered or you can stand up and make Congress aware that they have kicked a sleeping dog and we will remember them on election day. 
Wil Toole is a former City official in Pittston, ran for the Luzerne County Council and has contributed various ideas on public policy in person and through the media. He is a resident of Dupont and is retired as his personality and energy will allow.


At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work key-stoning Dr. Joe Leonardi photo so he looks like an Auschwitz death camp resident. Kudos!

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a contrast. Fit self reliance versus a life long proponent of bloated bureaucracy

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Aggie95 said...

the obamatax was projected to cost 900 billion and it barely saved us money at that how much will it save us at 2.6 trillion .... nearly 3 times the price given us when they passed it the CBO projects it to cost 2.6 seems the way liberals do math they will probably be telling me it will save three times as much ..... ya'll were lied to and others ....not so much ....we knew obama was standing their asking us to pull his finger ....we declined ....ya'll didn't

At 8:30 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

What a contrast. Fit self reliance versus a life long proponent of bloated bureaucracy

At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, Mr. Toole's comments are right on the mark.

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we need to help the uninsured?

At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki, please point out to your readers and myself where in the Constitution it states that Americans MUST buy health insurance, as well as where in the Constitution it states that Americans MUST give the uninsured insurance. Because gosh darnit, I've read that old document stating my rights and freedoms as an American, and I have yet to find that passage of which you speak.


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