Personal health is more than just a personal problem. It is a national security concern that collaborates with ethical complications for limited government and principles of compromise. It is so simple to neglect our personal health in our world of omnipotent technology, entertainment, and outright busyness. Excuses, however, are as old as time. “I am too busy.” “I am too tired.” “I have better things to do.” We hear these phrases every day, but little do we hear about individuals proactively changing them. It is this corrupt cycle of pessimism that has driven the United States to have some of the highest percentages of overweight and obese individuals in the world with equally alarming rates of diabetes, hypertension, and lethargy to match. “The U.S. is by far the fattest country in the world, with a whopping 38.2 percent obesity rate,” Thomas Spoehr of the Heritage Foundation writes. If it takes a president to call real attention to a drug epidemic excessively evident in most localities, then who is it going to take to call heed to this general public health epidemic? Here are three reasons why you need to care about healthcare, health, and their effects on society.

Health is a national security concern

The concept of limited government raises a greater question as to just how limited it should be. Most can understand, particularly constitutionalists, that the main function of government is national defense. Not only do we lack defense of our own individual well-being, but we have reached a tipping point where we may have to compensate military standards for inclusivity. The Heritage Foundation recently published an article on the lowering of military requirements for enlistees not as physically capable of reaching them. This is nothing short of an absurd condition that clearly deviates from the fundamental importance of national defense. We should not lessen our national security in the name of social justice’s consent. The recent publication blatantly tells us, as aforementioned, that personal health is more than just a personal problem. The standards of our military cannot be in flux solely because public health is inconsistent.

Our healthcare system challenges democratic principles

The recent publication also talks about the proposal for illegal immigrants to join the military in exchange for citizenship. This is the utmost meddlesome compromise of principled beliefs on one issue just to ‘solve’ another one. Spoehr questions, “Overlooking the challenges of conducting background checks on this population, what type of statement does it make when we cannot find sufficient number of qualified volunteers among an overall population of 323 million that we must resort, effectively, to foreign mercenaries to defend our country?” It speaks volumes that our so cherished limited government could potentially undercut principles of independence in the free market by implementing what is essentially gridlock of standards. Increasing our military numbers while undercutting a Republican campaign promise for immigration reform serves as a continuity that picking and choosing partisan battles is acceptable, rather than finding a solution. Given the massive composition of our national economy stemming from healthcare, should not preventative care have a stronger role in looking to cure the root of the problem, rather than throw money at inefficient bodies, particularly self-interested politicians?

Healthcare as a ‘right’ undermines our actual rights

Healthcare is not a God-given right. Quite simply, it is a service. We cannot guarantee the performance of a service. It is a rather slippery slope to invest in a system where we incrementally suspend our freedoms of one of the largest sectors of our economy. What can be encouraged however is the idea that we all need to care a little more about healthcare. While initially, medical and pharmaceutical industries bank on our, in many instances, self-induced health problems, long-term impacts of obesity, the acceptance of unhealthy lifestyles, and immense monetary deficit will have diminishing returns for our free market and economic success of the current period. The dialogue of incorporating new ‘rights’ inherently delegitimizes those of the Constitution. Guaranteeing healthcare, housing, an income, among other things, destroys the importance of personal responsibility. By legitimizing social movements for the addition of new rights assigned by the government, it makes big government even bigger. Not to mention, our debt. With the recent passage of the massive spending bill, Congress is simply encouraging financial instability. First, they failed in repealing Obamacare. Now they continue to support programs that further dig our financial grave even deeper, burying ourselves under the monetary upper hand of our lenders. While most can agree Obamacare demonstrates disaster for the medical free market, where are proposed solutions? Rather than throw money at the problem, fixing the root of a literally and figuratively unhealthy program is essential. There is a market to be capitalized on here. It will only be effective if we start to care about it.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” We need to fight for our freedoms, including a strong military to defend them, not idealistically invented ones justified by social justice sans rationale. Healthcare needs to leave its cronyism behind and our country needs to make a lifestyle change across the board- or we all may have to suffer the consequences.

Kelly H