Monday, September 28, 2009

Bill Maher Should Be America's Surgeon General!

By Donald B. Ardell

Bill Maher, my choice for Czar of REAL Wellness if such an office ever becomes a top position in the Executive branch of government, has condensed in one NEW RULE a central idea I have been promoting for at least 30 years in a dozen books, 74 printed newsletters, 503 weekly electronic newsletters and about 500 speeches. Sheesh—I wish I had a sense of humor and could write hilarious copy that cuts to the quick in the Maher manner.

In my first book, High Level Wellness: An Alternative To Doctors, Drugs and Disease (Rodale, 1976), I wrote: "Modern medicine is a wonderful thing but there are two problems: people expect too much of it and too little of themselves." If we all expected more of ourselves, that is, lived wisely aided by positive choices that enabled high levels of fitness while foregoing the common high risk behaviors (smoking, excessive alcohol intake, fat and sugary low density foods, sedentary living, etc.), we would not need a $2.6 trillion per year medical system to attend to avoidable maladies.

Of course, Maher gets to the point faster with high hilarity.

Here is Bill Maher's latest NEW RULE. Every paragraph is funny AND true at the same time, and it sweeps away all the BS contained in tens of thousands of ponderous position papers produced by policy experts on the right, left and middle concerning health system reform—and that's only in the last few days.

After each of the following paragraphs of Bill Maher's NEW RULE commentary, in quotes, you will find additional brief remarks from me.

New Rule: You can't complain about health care reform if you're not willing to reform your own health. Unlike most liberals, I'm glad all those teabaggers marched on Washington last week. Because judging from the photos, it's the first exercise they've gotten in years. Not counting, of course, all the Rascal scooters there, most of which aren't even for the disabled. They're just Americans who turned 60 and said, 'Screw it, I'm done walking.'

How come next to nobody has been pointing this out? It's as if the emperor has no clothes but nobody notices that he's not only bare nekked—he's corpulent, as well. The emperor in this case is the American people—and those complaining about the medical system need to reform their own health. To Bill Maher, I say what is often said as an expression of enthusiastic approval downunder: "You beaudy." 

Maher's New Rule continues:

These people are furious at the high cost of health care, so they blame illegals, who don't even get health care. News flash, Glenn Beck fans: the reason health care is so expensive is because you're all so unhealthy.

Just so. Therefore, one would expect our new president, a leader with good sense and good values and excellent advisers, to find a way to emphasize the vital role of personal responsibility at every turn. Would YOU not expect that? Incredibly, he does not do so. Why not? President Obama, a model of good living and committed to exercise (albeit a closet struggling-to-quit light smoker), surely knows the importance of exercise and wise lifestyle choices that lower health risks and, more important, boost quality of life. What is going on? How can this be explained? It's a wonderment, is it not?

More from Maher and his wonderful New Rule:

Yes, it was fun this week to watch the teabaggers complain how the media underestimated the size of their march, 'How can you say there were only 60,000 of us? We filled the entire mall!' Yes, because you're fat. One whale fills the tank at Sea World, that doesn't make it a crowd.

Brilliant, truly smack on. Alas, if you are not a celebrated comic with your own show on HBO, you really can't get away with pointing out that folks are fat, let alone making unflattering analogies about fat Republicans and others with a Sea World whale.

Maher on the obvious (in other words, the emperor's nudity): 

President Obama has identified all the problems with the health care system, but there's one tiny issue he refuses to tackle, and that's our actual health.

Mr. President! Please start talking about this.

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