The first word in the Constitution of the United States is “We.”
“We the people of the United States, in order to…” begins the Preamble, and it lists six cardinal principles as reasons for uniting: 1) Form a more perfect union; 2) Establish justice; 3) Insure domestic tranquility; 4) Provide for the common defense; 5) Promote the general welfare; and 7) Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…“do ordain and establish this Constitution.”
On its face, that’s a pretty good beginning.
“We the people…” it says. Not “We the White people.” Not “We the rich people.” Not “We the corporations.” Not “We the hospitals.” Not “We the doctors.”
It says “We the people”–an inclusive term; a plural term. Not “I the King.” “We the people…”
An important component to “the general welfare” of “We the people” is the health of the people. But in this country, we are reminded by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that people have been led into and trained in a lifestyle that is really a “death-style” and it paves our way toward early and unnecessary death.
There is tremendous profit for the hospitals, the doctors, the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and other corporations which promote the death-dealing lifestyles that many of us lead. While there are huge profits in the corporate boardrooms, there is massive bankruptcy and financial stress in the living rooms of individual citizens. Half of the 2 million bankruptcies each year in this country, are a result of unaffordable health costs.
There is tremendous opposition from those powerful and wealthy institutions to anything that approaches a “We the people” model which “promotes the general welfare.” As a result, this super-wealthy country of power and plenty ranks 16th in the world for life expectancy for women and 22nd in the world for men.
Even when legislation such as H.R. 676—the “Medicare For All, National Health Insurance Act”, authored by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan—comes along, with provisions to address the lack of access to health care for millions of people in this country, despite its overall wealth, these same forces, these “merchants of death” do everything in their power to prevent solutions to the health care crisis in this country.
There are successful national health-care models, if people in this country would only choose to emulate some of them. In Britain, France, and Canada—wealthy allies of this country—film maker Michael Moore reports in his brand new film SiCKO that residents in those wealthy countries all have better access to health care than in this country.
But one of the best health-care delivery examples is also to be found here in the West, but it is not a rich country. “Cuba is a very poor country,” said Mr. Moore recently. The 47-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba “has made life very difficult for them, and yet in spite of that they are able to put together a healthcare system that guarantees they have a better life span than we do, a better infant mortality rate and more doctors per capita. They’ve done quite well with what they have.”
In his film, Mr. Moore takes three emergency first-responders from New York’s Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001 to Cuba for health treatment, which insurance companies denied them in this country. All were treated. All sing the praises of the Cuban model.
While suffering from a punishing embargo imposed by the U.S., Cuba has managed to raise an army of medical personnel, who have gone all over the planet–particularly throughout African countries–fighting, not with weapons, but with medicines, not to suppress people, but to eradicate disease. In addition, Cuba now trains hundreds of doctors every year from all over the world, including from U.S. inner-cities, tuition free in Cuban medical schools!
We commend the people of Cuba for their sacrifice, and we salute their tremendous success all around the world.
But even as we wrestle with the bureaucracies, the principalities, we understand and have been taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that our pantries, and our refrigerators, can literally be our medicine cabinets.
“Real health insurance comes from the diet. When we change from eating that which was unclean to eating that which is clean,” Minister Farrakhan said January 4, 2000 in a statement for the book “National Agenda: Public Policy Issues, Analyses, and Programmatic Plan of Action 2000-2008,” convening the Million Family March.
“One of the first things that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad enforced on us was cleanliness. He said cleanliness is not next to Godliness; it is Godliness. So just helping our people to see the need for, and get involved in the practice of being clean, will start them on the road to health and sanitary conditions.
“The key is providing the people with an internal force of enlightenment that allows the people to give basic health needs to themselves and, what the government does is to provide people with health care should they need it,” said Minister Farrakhan.
As the Founding Fathers of the United States of America declared in the Preamble to their Constitution, concerning the “general welfare,” health is central to a high quality of life. Good health requires both preventative measures and curative programs. Central to preventative measures is healthy food and health eating.
Health is not simply the absence of disease. Health is defined as a human right.