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Public Health is Under Attack

Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

The non-partisan nature of good public health policies seems to have gone by the wayside over the last few years. It seems to me that whenever the Republicans are in charge across the states and the counties, public health is being hurt.


A recent example is the denial of needed health care for a pregnant woman in Texas whose doctor told her that the fetus she was carrying had a fatal abnormality and that her health and ability to become pregnant again were at risk if the pregnancy continued. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that even though the fetus could not survive and her health and future ability to deliver a healthy baby were at risk, she could not have an abortion because of the radically restrictive anti-abortion bill passed by the Republican-controlled Texas legislature and signed by the Republican governor.


Another example is all the negative blow back from those who are purveyors of anti-vaccine misinformation, resulting in many people getting sick, and some dying, from preventable diseases. There are people and powerful organization that refuse to accept that good public health rules and regulations can help protect us from disease and death.


On the local level is the group called “We the Parents” who tried to take over school boards and mostly failed.  They did later take over the local Republican Party.  These people need to be called out for what they are doing, which is making it more likely for people to get sick and some to die.


I think what bothers me the most about the current Republican party is that they don’t argue the facts but demonize the physicians and public health officials that are trying to protect us all.  A good example of this is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is among America’s best experts on infectious diseases.  If Republicans had heeded his advice many people would still be alive. 


The life expectancy in America is going down, especially in rural America where Republicans are mostly in charge.  Citizens of the USA are worse off in our general health than the other major first world nations, even though we spend more money per capita than most wealthy countries.


What we need to do to improve this situation is vote the Republicans out of office, especially in rural areas where the problems are the worst. It is not that Democrats are all good with the best ideas and plans, it is just that Democrats are more likely to be problem solvers using scientific consensus to manage the health problems in not only cities but in rural America, maybe especially in rural America. 


If you want to live in a healthier country, vote Democrat at all levels of government.  I wish that Republicans would get their act together, but it does not look like that this will happen anytime soon. Vote Democrat for a healthier community.


Kenneth J. Orlich


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