True Health Care Reform: Better Preventive Care

By James Edwin Gibson

President Trump is promising to improve health care. Obviously the health care plan passed during President Obama’s term has numerous flaws, including its making health care coverage more expensive for millions, if not most, when the money spent on government subsidies is included. Though I am skeptical of Trump’s plans, I strongly believe we need health care reform.

I would love to see what I consider "true health care reform,” or at least something close to it. I am confident that true health care reform is attainable. We can enjoy better health and live happier, longer lives while spending less money on health care than we do now. 

How? The key is to take better care of our health. Let’s seek to prevent most health problems, so it won't be necessary to try to fix them. 

In many (most?) cases, the best modern medical science can do (despite its marvelous advances) is to either treat symptoms or to provide medications and other treatments that help our bodies' own systems heal us. Let's seek to avoid getting sick so that we don't need professional medical treatment. 

People talk about the importance of health insurance. Indeed, health insurance can be extremely valuable. But the happiest and healthiest people are often those fortunate enough to avoid needing to seek professional medical care—regardless of the health insurance coverage they possess or their lack thereof. I am very grateful for my health. 

Below I suggest some specific steps that I consider part of quality preventive care:

 1. Tobacco
One step is for everyone who uses tobacco products to quit the tobacco habit. Tobacco use contributes to many illnesses and deaths. Take advantage of one or more of the many programs that exist to help tobacco users quit.


2. Alcohol
A second step is to avoid abusing alcohol. You are probably already aware that a huge number of traffic fatalities are due at least in part to alcohol intoxication and that alcohol contributes to many deaths resulting from various diseases.


3. Prescription Drugs and Illegal Drugs
A third step is to avoid abusing prescription drugs and illegal drugs. The number of deaths, injuries, and illnesses caused each year from abusing drugs is far too high. Please only use prescription drugs when necessary and in appropriate dosages. Avoid using illegal drugs, except in case of a medical emergency—if such a medical emergency is possible.

4. Diet
A fourth step is to eat a nutritious diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, etc. Many illnesses can be prevented, cured, or have their severity reduced by a proper diet as I see it. Note that I am not a medical professional or a dietician and cannot give medical advice or professional dietary advice. 

5. Exercise
A fifth step is to get adequate exercise. Just walking around one's neighborhood seems to be beneficial. I enjoy walking my neighborhood, taking nature hikes, and bicycling.

I don't think it is necessary to join a gym or do strenuous exercise. But again, I am not a medical professional and cannot give any medical advice.

6. Rest/Insomnia
A sixth step is to get adequate rest. Allow for eight or nine hours daily for sleep—or whatever is appropriate for your individual needs. 

7. Stress
A seventh step is to avoid excessive stress. Walking can help alleviate stress in many cases.

Nature hikes or quiet walks in a park help me relieve stress. They enable me to get away from the source of the stress and often provide me the peace of mind to rationally decide how to deal with the stressful situation when I return to it.

Getting in a quiet place and praying—often accompanied by prayerfully reading a spiritually uplifting book—often has benefited me. Prayer and meditation can help.

Also, in a lot of cases, situations that cause unnecessary stress can be avoided.

8. Risky Behavior
An eighth step is to avoid unnecessary risky behaviors.

Fun doesn't have to involve big risks, but for many people their most dangerous times are their leisure hours. We all could do a better job of avoiding unnecessary risks.

9. Water
A ninth step is to drink adequate water to stay hydrated and flush impurities from one’s system. Water is the number one component of the body. Water is the drink we need most. Water meets our needs much better than coffee or carbonated soft drinks.

10. Education, Books, and Medicines
The tenth step is learning more about health care, acquiring one or more books on health care, and obtaining medications for use when needed. Buy at least one quality book on health care that contains tips on first aid and basic home treatment of diseases and injuries. Remember, the Internet is sometimes inaccessible, due to electricity outages or other problems.

It is also a good idea to keep some basic first aid items on hand in your home.

There are currently no manmade cures for many illnesses and injuries. Even the best medical professionals with the best equipment cannot restore one’s health in some cases. Therefore, I hope and pray that we all seek to take better preventive care of our health. And, yes, I believe in prayer.

As a Christian I am a firm believer in prayer. I feel that many times prayer has resulted in "miraculous" healings for various people, when medical science failed them. But I also firmly believe that skilled medical professionals are a gift from God to help treat various ailments. And, I feel that preventing illnesses and injuries from occurring (or reoccurring) due to engaging in good preventive health practices is far better than having to treat them.

This piece being submitted to Craft News Report on March 30, 2019 is virtually identical to a piece submitted to Google Blogger earlier the same day. The Blogger piece was condensed from a chapter in the author’s book True Christianity: It May Not Be What You Think. The author has also written similar articles for other websites in past years.

Copyright © 2019 James Edwin Gibson. James is the author of the books True Christianity: It May Not Be What You Think (2014, second edition 2015, third edition 2017) and Several True (I Think) Stories: Can Truth Be Stranger Than Fiction? (2016, second edition 2017). You may contact James at regarding this column. James thanks his friend Paul for publishing it on his website, thanks you all for reading, and hopes you all enjoy God’s blessings!