Kennedy Wants to Make America Healthy Again

Kennedy Wants to Make America Healthy Again
American Values 2024 | May 23, 2024

“The path to recovering the robust health Americans enjoyed a couple generations ago does not lie in more medicine. It is food, a non-toxic environment, and lifestyle.” — Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,

Unfazed by the profit-driven connection between how unhealthy food creates the need for (overpriced) healthcare and drugs, Kennedy will drill down on the major driver of healthcare costs, and more specifically, Medicare. The amount spent on the nation’s chronic disease epidemic is more than a trillion dollars a year and accounts for at least 93% of the Medicare budget.

Big Pharma’s top 50 companies have “a $4.7 trillion in market capitalization,” according to a January 2024 Visual Capitalist article. And the United States is the largest pharmaceutical consumer in the world. A graph by Statista shows the US at 42.6% of the market, far outpacing China, the second place holder on that list with a meager 7.6%.

But Kennedy believes that by addressing what is happening to the food supply and what people eat, we can systematically reverse the poor health of Americans and stem the flow of obesity and its associated illnesses.

The National Diabetes Statistic Report of 2022 says that 37.3 million Americans have diabetes. According to a December 2023 Fortune report, nearly half of all Americans either have diabetes or are borderline.

The last time Americans were this unhealthy was, well, never.

On the other hand, President Biden’s plan is to open access to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to tens of thousands of new migrants, and still with no single-payer option in sight. Trump’s plan, if he’s reelected, is to go back to slashing away at the already underperforming ACA.

Note: the word “affordable” means it is for people who can afford it, which excludes the millions of people who cannot.

And even for those who do manage to get some form of paid insurance through an overly complex process, a Common Wealth Fund (CWF) survey in 2023 found that their access to healthcare is still hindered by high costs of premiums and services. Translation: people will put off going to a doctor because of the expense, and it’s worse for the working poor. “For marketplace enrollees and low-income individuals with employer plans,” the survey found, “nearly a quarter reported allocating 25 percent or more of their monthly budget to health care costs.”

Kennedy will be able to make healthcare more affordable for every American in part by slashing the US military budget, which funds 800 military installations across the globe. Here again he stands against Biden and Trump: the two-party system works hand in glove, as evident in the bipartisan passage of last month’s $96 billion foreign aid bill.

Despite all the performative two-party pontificating, Biden continues to expand the American military presence and weaponry in Ukraine, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East with very little resistance from the red team. War is their agreed upon theme song, and it is effectively downgrading Americans’ vision for the future.

As reported in The Hill, a recent YouGov survey found that 61% of Americans expect WW3 in the next 5 to 10 years. During the Trump Administration 5 years ago, a YouGov poll revealed that Americans feared a new world war could happen in the next 40 years. It’s as if Biden’s policies have been an accelerant poured onto the nation’s discontent. He is consistently moving the needle in the wrong direction, leading us toward military conflicts abroad, while inspiring angry protests at home.

Kennedy’s plan for the military industry? Cut the DoD budget in half to $500 million dollars. It should go without saying that such a dramatic reduction in military spending will diminish the level of US sponsored wars.

And, in sync with his ideas on how to make Americans healthy again, Kennedy wants to hold the corporate agribusiness accountable for its crimes. It uses more chemicals in farming than at any other time in history, consistently diminishing the soil quality and increasing the need for more pesticides and herbicides.

In 2023, the University of Michigan published a “U.S. Food System Fact Sheet,” reporting, “Large-scale family farms and industrial nonfamily farms account for only 5% of farms, but 63.8% of production.” On the subject of pesticides, “From 2007 to 2012, pesticide use increased by 10% while herbicide use increased by 20% from 2010 to 2014.”

While small, family farms make up 89% of the number of food producing farms, they only produce 17.8% of the food. As larger agriculture production dominates what Americans eat, Americans have become progressively sicker and fatter.

Kennedy, and his running mate Nicole Shanahan – whose kickboxing workout on her X feed is a good match with Kennedy’s shirtless pushup video – have something else at the top of their agenda. Rather than spend trillions on forever wars, they are making a healthy populace their central issue.

At 70, Kennedy is the picture of fitness, despite his own physical, emotional and mental challenges with addiction, spasmodic dysphonia, and a now deceased parasite in his brain. It’s as if all of these setbacks have made him stronger. Because he is on track to becoming the model for how to overcome and rise above very personal and intimate struggles, and the importance of physical fitness.

Imagine having an American president who is young enough to be physically and mentally fit, and old enough to be wise in ways that can be brought to bear on some of the toughest issues the country has ever faced.

Anne Keala Kelly is a media consultant, political strategist, documentary filmmaker, journalist, author and commentator with 24 years of independent production and grassroots organizing experience. Her work focuses primarily on Indigenous peoples’ activism and rights to sovereignty.

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