By Jessica Rettig, Washington Whispers
President Obama's gotten a lot of flak lately for overthinking big national issues like healthcare reform and the troop surge in Afghanistan. Yet maybe a large dose of thoughtfulness is just what it takes to better his—and the nation's—health. That, at least, is the view of physician Deepak Chopra, spiritual healer and the author of over 55 fiction and nonfiction books.
According to Chopra, consciousness can have a direct effect on the physiology of the body and can even transform a person's genes to prevent disease and prolong life. Over fab lobster risotto at a party held last night at Washington's Teatro Goldoni to promote his latest book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, Chopra talked about the president, personal health, and even the pending healthcare reform legislation working its way to the House floor this week.
"I think that the debate is not about healthcare reform; it's about insurance reform," he said. "Those are two separate things." Clearly, he's a fan of some kind of reform that would limit excessive testing and drug prescribing done by doctors partly concerned about getting sued. "We spend $100 billion on cardiac surgery that is not necessary. We spend $700 billion on tests that are not necessary. Eighty percent of the drugs we use are of optional or marginal benefit, which means it wouldn't make a difference if you take them or not," said Chopra.
When asked about Obama, the author and blogger said he loves the president and believes he is very well intentioned. Yet he worries that the prez will be overrun by special interest groups, or Washington's "mafia," as he called them. "I think [Obama's] centered. He doesn't get easily swayed or reactive, which are all great spiritual qualities," he said. "But, I think, because he is a politician, he has to be mainstream."
Deepak Chopra poses with U.S. News intern Jessica Rettig after a dinner honoring the author at Teatro Goldoni in Washington, DC.