President Donald Trump underwent a four-hour health exam last Friday. He had a team of 12 doctors involved. And, despite findings that he is overweight, has high cholesterol, is sleep-deprived and needs more exercise, his primary physician says he is in excellent health. Most importantly, according to his physician, Trump’s cognitive health is “normal.”
So why, a reporter asked, can Trump be considered in such great health when, at 71 years old, 6’3″ and overweight at 239 pounds, he still eats McDonald’s often and gets very little exercise other than from playing frequents rounds of golf? “It’s called genetics,” his physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, explained. “I don’t know. Some people just have great genes. I told the president if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.”
Like many Americans, Trump can elect to follow or ignore the advice of physicians who strongly encourage him to eat better and to exercise more. The American taxpayer ensures that he is given great health care despite his choice to ignore the advice of his doctors. And so, it makes sense why he wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act because improving the quality of health for most Americans means nothing more than having “good genes.” The rest will take care of itself.
But most Americans are not so lucky and they don’t have access to great health care. Neither do they have 12, or even one doctor to oversee their health care annually. Past presidents knew this and realized the value of good health care for themselves and for all Americans. The dilemma of improving the American health care system and providing access to affordable health care was at the top of their agendas leading to a successful effort by former President Barack Obama who successfully passed the Affordable Care Act.
Thanks to the fast food-eating, diet soda-drinking, overweight Trump, the clock is turning backwards, causing many Americans to become confused about the availability of affordable health care. Ignoring essential, life-saving health care advice while denying others access is clearly not a sign of someone with good cognitive health, despite Trump’s doctors’ findings.