Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. A dream of equality that has yet to be realized. Our country is slowly working toward that dream, but we are still so far away in so many ways.
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
My personal belief is that part of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness includes health and healthcare. Health is the foundation to life and the pursuit of happiness. One of the most important features of a good health care system is affordability and access to care.
Unfortunately, the United States has one of the most expensive healthcare systems and the return for the investment does not match the cost. There are too many unhealthy people in our country and the number keeps increasing. Income inequality contributes to healthcare inequality. Low-income areas have food deserts, less access to nutrient dense foods, and lack of access to healthcare, which leads to poor health outcomes.
It becomes a vicious cycle of illness, poor job performance/unemployability, and food insecurity or foods lacking nutritional value. Lack of good quality food also means the children of low-income families have lower performance in school (which could be the difference between a better paying job in the future or minimum wage and poverty). Many of these families must make the choice between paying for food or medicine or housing and often cannot afford all three. Meanwhile, big corporations and their CEOs (including those in the healthcare sector) are making big bucks keeping people sick and on chronic medications. The whole system is set up to keep the low-income workers sick (and poorer) with chronic health conditions. This means that low-income workers continue in the cycle of poor food, poor health, and high debt and inequality.
Therefore, one of the solutions to providing a level playing field in healthcare is to fix food insecurities. Access to whole, nutritious foods is important for overall health. Fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality meats (free-range, grass-fed, etc.), ancient grains (quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum, or amaranth), and healthy fats are usually too cost prohibitive. The cheapest foods are also some of the unhealthiest. That needs to change.
I have a dream that one day insurance companies across this country will cover prescriptions for nutritious foods and reduce chronic health conditions. I have a dream that everyone can provide their children the foods they need to feed their growing brains. I have a dream that school lunches would be filled with nutrient dense healthy fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality meats. I have a dream that our country can be cured from our sugar-laden, carbohydrate empty caloric foods and eat the kinds of foods that create health rather than disease. I have a dream that any medications you would need to take can be personalized to your unique needs and genetic profile.
I have a dream that all people can have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that healthcare is a right and not a perk.
Join with the Earth and each other, to bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air, to renew the forests, to care for the plants, to protect the creatures, to celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars, to recall our destiny, to renew our spirits, to reinvigorate our bodies, to recreate the human community, to promote justice and peace, to love our children and love one another, to join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery, for the healing of the Earth and the renewal of all life. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is your dream? Let’s come together to make these dreams a reality.