I’m really thrilled that Obama/Biden won the election for many reasons. We need an overhaul, no doubt and this Democratic ticket, I think, has what it takes to turn things around. Polls show that the economy is the #1 priority for most Americans, but US healthcare in the last decade has left our most valuable resourcepeople – uncared for and unwell, so for me, it’s my top issue. Here are some of my ideas about healthcare reform: 

  • First, I think exercise should get tax breaks. Obama – don’t tax fitness classes, gym memberships and services. And when corporations spend money on fitness centers, give them MORE tax breaks as incentive. 
  • Second, fitness programs should get partial/full insurance coverage! Preventive medicine is where it’s at!
  • Third, we need to assess prescription medications and be less quick to dispense them. On the flip side,  herbal remedies (which are cheaper and have fewer, if any, side effects) need to be considered by the main stream. 
  • Fourth, school kids need to up their activity levels. We’ve put this on the shoulders of “gym teachers” but all teachers can get their students moving and budget has little to do with it. Put on some music and dance! In my neighborhood, the kids walk to school – a great way to start the day. 
  • Lastly, the FDA needs to be CLOSELY MONITORED. I ask you, why won’t the FDA put a “stamp of approval” on Ginger tea being good for digestion (which it is!), but it will allow HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP to make it’s way into ketchup, peanut butter, pretzels and other random things, no problem.  I think it contributes to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity in this country. We don’t realize how much corn-based sweetener we consume (it’s everywhere ladies!). 

Do you have any ideas? I’d love to get a working list going and bring it to congress. All suggestions that could lead to a healthier America! Let’s be proactive and think outside the box!



9 Responses to “Hope!”

  1. Cathyanne Nonini Says:

    Hi Ellen,
    I am 53 and follow your workouts regularly as they are gentle but effective – thank you.
    As to legislation, my husband is in the Idaho Legislature. Our former governor had a plan several years ago – for anyone who joined a weight loss program and lost and maintained weight, they received a $200 rebate – it was great and many people participated. Blue Cross of Idaho participated, as healthier people keep insurance costs lower. Unfortunately it did not continue – this would be a good idea to reintroduce. I think if there was also an annual accounting and a continued rebate, it would be motivating.
    Again, thank you for your wonderful DVDs. Will you be making a new one soon? Low impact, please.

  2. Andrea Says:

    Hey Ellen, I just wanted to let you know that I am a middle school physical education teacher in MN and I use all your videos as part of my exercise curriculum. I love them, and my students think they are a great hit too! I even have my boys do the videos and I just wanted to let you know that you do a great job explaining all of your moves and keeping people really engaged throughout the entire workout. Thanks for all you do and keep making videos!!

  3. Catherine Says:

    I am a college student, and I know that all those ideas about Obama may seem great and all, but what most people don’t realize is that Obama is pro-abortion!!! When you look at the over-all picture, life is the most important issue when looking for someone to be president of this country. When looking at all the issues of what a president will and will not do, when he speaks about life – a true president should hold it as a beautiful and sacred thing, and not to be taken lightly. We should not be supporting someone who supports death. Life is a beautiful gift from God, and no person has the right to take that gift away from someone else (abortion). This program called ‘Body for Life’, isn’t it – and so I would think if we respect our bodys enough to exercise every day and take care of them, then we would respect life enough to defend it and not support a president who supports death (abortion)!

  4. N Says:

    To the person saying Obama is pro-abortion- there is a HUGE difference between being pro-choice and being pro-abortion.

  5. Sharon Says:

    I too really enjoy your programs-in fact, my favorite exercise routine of all is the one on FitTV, Pilates Sculpt. (is that for sale? Please say yes! I would buy it today!)

    I would fully support the tax breaks on gym memberships, and I would love to see more insurance companies helping w/ the cost of exercise programs. Ours (Blue Cross Blue Shield) offers SOME reimbursement, but not enough to cover in full.

    As for Obama, I do hope he brings positive changes, but I also agree w/ Catherine. To N-the difference is, I’m sure, not best debated HERE. I will say, though, that if you’re NOT for something, it should be reflected in your actions. Obama HAS said he is for abortion. I lose respect for him for that alone.

    So many of us here agree that the body should be treated, the WHOLE body. Why, then, would that exclude babies? Just food for thought.

    Btw, most Aunt Millie’s brand loaves of bread are free of the HFCS. I try to avoid HFCS, too. Oh, and Target’s “Archer Farms” is a great, inexpensive organic line, too. My boys LOVE their organic fruit strips!

  6. Amanda Says:

    I completely agree with Ellen! I am so excited about the changes that the Obama/Biden team are proposing. As someone who has been recently laid off due to this awful economy and who has family and friends in the military, I have been inspired by Obama to work harder and take responsibility for my role in my successes and failures. It will not be easy, but we will be more economically responsible, create stronger alliances and will become more tolerant and less afraid of those that are different. As far as the pro-choice/pro-life issue is concerned, I do not believe that anyone should choose a candidate based on this or any one issue alone. I am sure a lot of voters take that action, and it is very unfortunate. If you voted for Bush or any other candidate based on the abortion issue alone, then you are missing the opportunity to look at the bigger picture, the bigger issues that affect us all. Under the Bush administration, this pro-life president did not take any steps to overturn or make it more difficult for a women to get an abortion. Roe v. Wade will never be overturned. Imagine if it was…you would have women getting illegal abortions in some back alley with a coat hanger and a dirty mattress. Bush is responsible for the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers and countless Iraqi civilians in this so called war on terror. Those soldiers and civilians were someones children who died for a lost cause. The money that has been spent on the war could have created jobs, re-build New Orleans, build schools, college scholarships, prevent physical and sexual abuse towards children and countless other productive programs that are now terribly under funded. I support our troops, and hope they all get to come home soon, but we need to take care of home first, commit to fighting the real enemy (Afghanistan) and learn from our mistakes instead of hanging “Mission Accomplished” signs on air craft carriers. I wonder how much that sign cost?

  7. Lynda Says:

    I work in healthcare, always have. I’ve seen both sides – I’m currently at a hospital and working with lowering the price of supplies (so your hospital bill doesn’t cost so much), been at a doc’s office, insurance company, third party administrator, genetics lab, managed care PPO. I’ve seen healthcare from lots of angles. In the end, the root cause of the rise in healthcare costs is not hospitals gauging patients, or insurance companies trying to overcharge premiums (not saying either doesn’t happen). The root cause is that we’re not taking care of ourselves, our poor health is out of control, and we don’t have incentives to better ourselves except our own free will and discipline. Anybody look at Healthy People 2010??? Next year is 2010, folks! I think we might just be worse off than when we started! So rather than Obama forcing small businesses to fund insurance, or McCain wanting to give people a tax break to buy their own insurance (which his break wouldn’t have covered for many people), why not give us a tax break for keeping our BMI in a healthy range??? Let’s let our Primary Care docs vouch for us and sign off on it, thereby creating more demand for this set of docs, which is virtually an endangered species! Insurance companies would probably support this, so they can go back to being catastrophic plans and not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix problems that could have been prevented. Win Win Win!

  8. Lynda Says:

    And another thing – why not require all businesses to have a wellness program? It could be as simple as subsidizing health screenings, and allowing room for stretching before work? Something, anything to keep us moving at work so we’re not staring at a computer screen all day! Or require any employer with a vending machine to have at least a certain % of healthful options in that machine? OK, off my soapbox. Sorry, trying to plan a pitch to my own organization… 🙂

  9. Jennifer Says:

    Ellen – I love your workouts, but please lay off the pharmacology. Herbal medications have LOTS of side effects, not to mention frequently interact with medications and other supplements. Not to mention, the regulation of the herbal supplement market is poor, so you cannot be sure exactly what is in the supplement you are taking. And supplements from China can have heavy metals like lead — certainly not the healthy.

    As a physician, I am all for limiting prescribed medications to what is truly needed. But herbal supplements in place of prescriptions are certainly not the answer.

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