Ted Nugent, Patient Compliance, and Jerry Lewis
06-26-2007 | alignmap.com
Ted Nugent On Compliance and Healthcare Policy
Appearing on the Glenn Beck Program on CNN Headline News this week, Ted Nugent (AKA Great Gonzos, The Motor City Madman), the hard rock guitarist-singer with a long list of hits, including "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang", "Fred Bear", "Cat Scratch Fever", "Motor City Madhouse", "Paralyzed", "Great White Buffalo", and "Wango Tango," offered his take on national healthcare and personal responsibility in a single phrase:
If you don't care about your health, how dare you ask for healthcare
Nugent elaborated, suggesting that, for example, the first step for smokers obtaining healthcare would be to stop smoking.
Ted Nugent Offstage
For the past decade, Nugent has been an outspoken proponent of a politically conservative point of view, emphasizing his anti-drug, anti-alcohol, and pro-hunting beliefs. He supports the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids (which combines a curriculum of hands-on hunting, conservation, archery and a strong anti-drug message aimed mainly at underprivileged inner-city children), the National Field Archery Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the National Rifle Association.
Commentary: Celebrities And Their Healthcare Causes
I've long lamented, primarily as a rhetorical technique, that no organization has dedicated itself to increasing public awareness of and raising funds for research into medical noncompliance although it is a healthcare problem of epidemic proportions. Similarly, no celebrity has associated himself or herself with or served as the spokesperson for such a movement.
This is hardly a trivial issue. As Arthur L. Caplan points out in Cause célèbre - Why every disease needs a celebrity
A growing number of celebrities are using their star power to raise funds and awareness for an array of diseases. Julia Roberts is pushing for federal dollars to fight Rhett's syndrome. Supermodel Christy Turlington raises awareness on emphysema. West Wing star Brad Whitford is the voice for autism. And, of course, Jerry Lewis has been hosting his annual Labor Day telethon for muscular dystrophy for 37 years. ... The problem is simply that there are not enough celebrities doing what Lewis, Roberts and Fox do. Some diseases, such as alpha-1 antrypsin disease, Canavan disease, bulimia or lupus, have no celebrities willing to go to the mat for them. Some ailments are just too stigmatized or uncool to attract celebrity support. It is hard to imagine J-Lo or Jennifer Aniston leading a march on Washington to demand more research on urinary incontinence.
Well, noncompliance isn't an illness, but it surely qualifies as a cause, and it clearly lacks the celebrity spokesperson it needs. Perhaps Ted "The Atrocious Theodocious" Nugent is the man for the job.
While "If you don't care about your health, how dare you ask for healthcare," may be a tad oversimplified, most one line slogans dealing with messy political, bureaucratic, and medical issues are likely to suffer from that flaw. And, there is something compelling about the notion of sentient adults taking responsibility for their own health in keeping with their role in a workable healthcare system. If nothing else, one knows where Ted Nugent stands on a given question.
Besides, take a look at the second verse of his best known single, Cat Scratch Fever:
The first time that I got it
I was just ten years old
I got it from some kitty next door
I went and see the Dr. and
He gave me the cure
I think I got it some more
The guy is stricken with a childhood disorder, goes to the doctor, gets cured, and then has a recurrence. No more than a minor rewrite would be required to create an anthem to the need for adherence to treatment.
Heck, if a guy wielding a semi-hollow Gibson Byrdland guitar, a crossbow, and a deer rifle recommended I follow my doctor's orders, I'd pay attention.