UPDATE: article re-edited on September 30, 2010.
Apparently, the use of scare tactics works well for a population whose minds have been hijacked by the corporate-controlled media establishment. For instance, a few years ago, President Bush and his neo-con clan used the WMD scare tactic in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. More scare tactics were used to pass the unconstitutional Patriot Act. (1) (2)
A few years later, as the financial system got stuck in the game of musical chairs, Henry Paulson and the Federal Reserve bank used the “too big to fail” scare tactic in order to justify the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which opened the door for the unconstitutional passage of TARP.
As we all know, the banking cartel labeled “too big to fail,” is much bigger today, while Fannie and Freddie have no real future in their current form. Meanwhile, financial reform has been a complete joke. (3) (4)
Even media celebrities have used scare tactics as a way to convince Main Street that they must own gold, as these hacks land huge endorsement deals. (5)
The same approach of using scare tactics has also worked exceptionally well for the healthcare industry. Whenever republicans want to attack proposed changes to America's uncompetitive, mediocre, wasteful and costly healthcare system, they scare Americans with warnings of socialized medicine.
However, the facts reveal a much different picture than that painted by politicians and others who have been bought off by the industry. As the data reveals, the vast majority of developed nations with universal healthcare score higher than the U.S. in the most critical measures of medical care. I have discussed these discouraging realities on many occasions. (6) (7)
Whenever democrats offer solutions to America's broken healthcare system, they focus on big government. This too favors the industry because it adds more tax dollars for the medical-industrial complex to siphon off.
Either way, the fundamental problems found within the U.S. healthcare system are not being addressed. For instance, politicians never mention the need for drug price caps as a manner by which to curtail healthcare inflation, nor do they mention the need to refocus medical delivery on prevention. It is widely known that more than 60% of all healthcare expenditures in the U.S. arise from preventable medical conditions.
Finally, politicians certainly would never propose jail time for CEOs whose companies have been found guilty of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid (tax payer fraud). As the dotcom charade and the current economic fiasco have confirmed, the U.S. has become a nation where CEOs are immune from criminal prosecution. (8) (9) (10)
Moreover, Washington remains determined to protect the excessive profits of the medical-industrial complex because they have bought off virtually every politician in the nation. We see a similar alliance between Washington and other industries, as expressed by what’s known as free trade. This destructive and highly unfair strategy has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs over the past several years. (11)
Regardless of the position held by democrats or republicans, the fact is that the healthcare industry dictates healthcare policy. As a result, the industry has created a path of unsustainable healthcare economics at the expense of tax payers. Yet, as the data shows, tax payers fund the majority of annual healthcare expenditures. Thus, tax dollars account for a large bulk of the profits enjoyed by the medical-industrial complex. (12)
The industry exerts its relentless control over Washington by spending more money than any other industry in lobbyist activities and donations. Using some 2100 healthcare lobbyists, or 3.8 per congressman, the healthcare industry is able to get just about any bill passed it chooses. As additional rewards for their loyalty, the industry provides politicians with very lucrative jobs. (13) (14)
But the real secret about healthcare in America isn't about bribes to politicians. This activity has become accepted behavior in America's fascist government, cleverly disguised as a free-market democracy. (15) (16)
The real secret is that America already has socialized medicine. The only problem is that most of the benefits from this tax payer system are being funneled to the medical-industrial complex rather than the people.
As I discussed in America's Healthcare Solution, tax payers account for nearly 60% of all annual healthcare expenditures, at around $1.3 trillion. This comes out to about 10% of GDP. This amount alone is adequate to fund a universal healthcare system similar to those enjoyed by nations in Western Europe.
But that’s just the tax payer portion of healthcare expenditures. In total, America spends about $2.3 trillion annually on healthcare, or 18% of GDP.
So where is this extra $1 trillion going? Fraud, medical waste, excessive profits and ridiculous compensation, such as the $1.7 billion retirement package awarded to the former CEO of Unitedhealth. (17)
When paid-off politicians and media celebrities discuss universal healthcare, they focus on the most extreme case (such as that seen in Canada) so as to scare you into thinking that universal healthcare will be worse than America’s current system, which by no means resembles free market healthcare. (18) (19) (20) (21)
These industry-sponsored hacks, politicians and other industry sellouts never mention the fact that the U.S. spends twice as much as peer nations on healthcare, while delivering lower overall quality. They never talk about the 1 million personal bankruptcies in the U.S. each year due to medical-related injuries, despite the fact that most of these individuals had full health insurance. As you might imagine, medical bankruptcy is unheard of outside of the U.S. Finally, these sellouts never mention that the U.S. leads the world in medical errors, placing physicians as the third-leading cause of death. (22)
While Canada’s healthcare system certainly has its flaws, the fact is that everyone is provided with medical care regardless of income or employment status. Canadians are also generally pleased with their healthcare system. Furthermore, Canadians have a longer life expectancy than Americans, as do the citizens of most other developed nations.
While you might find yourself waiting a few months for a knee operation in Canada, you won’t be waiting several hours to be seen in the emergency room, as in the case frequently seen in U.S. hospitals. If you live in the U.S. you should ask yourself why you never hear mention of this by the media’s designated experts. You should also ask why these hacks never mention the common problem of waiting for months to be seen by physicians in the U.S., or being told that the physician no longer takes new patients.
Why haven’t you heard about the 1 million annual medical bankruptcies, the fact that Americans pay far more for prescription drugs than every other nation, or the fact that America leads the world in medical errors? You should realize by now that the U.S. has a highly-controlled media monopoly which has been bought off by the fascist regime. The poor coverage of the financial crisis by the media confirms this. Recall that not one single journalist won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the biggest financial crisis in at least 80 years. (23)
Rather than provide an accurate assessment of universal healthcare from the full spectrum of America’s peer nations, such as the UK, Western Europe and Japan, the “doctors of deception” focus their attention on Canada. For if Americans truly realized how well universal healthcare has worked for the developed world, they would storm Washington demanding a similar system, especially given that tax payers already provide adequate funds for such a system. That would enrage the very powerful and wealthy medical-industrial complex, threatening to curtail some $1 trillion in waste and excessive profits generated each year from America's healthcare system.
Instead of being informed with facts regarding the reality of their healthcare system, Americans are told lies. This keeps them in the grasp of the medical-industrial complex.
Instead of demanding real healthcare reform, angry and frustrated Americans join rallies headed by corporate hacks like Glen Beck and others, who disseminate lies and create distractions from the core problems facing this nation. And Americans wonder why their living standards decline year after year, without realizing they are ultimately to blame. (24)
Of the $1.3 trillion in annual healthcare expenditures arising from tax payers, two-thirds or about 6.5% of GDP is spent on public healthcare (Medicare and Medicaid; the remainder of tax payer healthcare dollars, or 3.5% of GDP goes towards health insurance tax subsidies such as employer-based medical insurance). This amount alone is sufficient to provide universal healthcare in South Korea. Thus, the real secret is that America's healthcare system is largely a socialized monetary system for the medical-industrial complex. As gatekeeper for the drug and device industry, the FDA plays a pivotal role in this healthcare gravy train.
You might recall Bush’s Medicare Part D in 2003, otherwise known as the prescription drug benefit plan. This law was passed during one of the most controversial gatherings ever to take place in Congress. Even 60 Minutes aired a segment criticized the ridiculous and arguably illegal nature of the proceedings. (25)
Similar to Part D, Obama's healthcare reform law benefits the medical-industrial complex far more than the people. (26)
Amidst the grandstanding activities displayed by bought-off criminals in Washington, the American people have become fooled by propaganda delivered by the corporate media conglomerates. As a result of the lies and misinformation delivered by the media, most Americans have no idea about the real problems embedded within their flawed healthcare system, so of course they are oblivious as to the solutions. We see the same situation regarding the nation’s economic problems.
When the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) was passed in the early 1990s, things changed for the worse. This Act authorized payments in the form of drug application fees to help fund the FDA. As part of this law, drug makers were permitted to advertise their drugs on TV, radio, magazines and even in medical journals (New Zealand is the only other nation in the world that permits drug advertisements).
While there are certainly other forces at play, it’s safe to say that drug advertisements have accounted for a large reason why Americans are over-medicated. Instead of real medical problems prompting Americans to seek out their physician, the TV has become America’s diagnostic physician, implanting messages that you are depressed, you have a sleep disorder, an ulcer, or some other condition that in many cases represents normal fluctuations of physiology, or else may be treated by altering your diet.
Because of time constraints placed on U.S. physicians by managed care organizations, rather than perform an adequate diagnosis or engage in a program of counseling, in most cases physicians send you away with your drug of choice so they can quickly move onto the next patient. What this means is that the health insurance industry is actually dictating medical treatment. And the drug companies play a central role in their business plan.
In America, the legal route to becoming a junkie is quite simple. All you have to do is tell your physician you have back pain, display the typical symptoms seen in ADHD, anxiety and many other conditions. You can find this information by watching drug commercials or searching the Internet. Thereafter, you’ll be able to get high on pharmaceutical-grade amphetamines (Ritalin and Adderall), opiods (hydrocodone), psychoactive agents (Xanax) and many other drugs commonly abused. America’s epidemic of prescription drug abuse has even reached children. This should be where the real war on drugs is focused. (27)
While the healthcare system is the main culprit of this epidemic, the FDA has also played a large role. Over the years, tax payer funding to the FDA has not kept pace with budgetary needs. As a result, fees from drug makers have continued to comprise an increasing amount of the FDA's annual operating budget.
Because the pharmaceutical industry funds a large portion of the FDA's annual budget and accounts for the majority of annual funding increases, this government agency views the drug industry as its boss.
As you might imagine, the most influential boss of any mafia is always the one who has the most power and who pays out the most money. This explains why the largest drug makers have very little resistance getting drugs approved which have very little efficacy and are often dangerous.
You see, the largest drug makers not only fund the FDA to the largest extent, they also provide 7-figure jobs to their most loyal patrons from Washington. Washington’s mission is to keep the public healthcare system funded sufficiently to add to the profits of the medical-industrial complex, all while ensuring medical treatments get approved.
This brings me to an article I ran into that discusses the outrageous cost of many cancer drugs. The drug featured in the article is Provenge, an anti-cancer agent for prostate cancer made by Dendreon (DNDN).
When the drug was approved by the FDA, shares of DNDN soared. Prostate cancer currently ranks as the leading cause of cancer in U.S. males. However, rates are about to skyrocket even further over the next two decades as some 36 million male baby boomers age.
As the article discusses, lack of alternatives for certain forms of prostate cancer has allowed Dendreon to charge $93,000 per year for the drug, despite the fact that it has only been shown to extend life by 4 months. But that’s okay since Medicare pays the bill. If you choose to use your private insurance instead, don’t fret as they too cover the costs.
Private insurers really have no choice but to pay the costs of this drug since the FDA has designated it as a vital medication. So as you can see, in this case the problem with the world’s most costly healthcare system does not lie with the health insurance mafia, but with the legal drug trade referred to as the pharmaceutical industry. The industry has been quite successful in buying off Washington to ensure no discussion of drug price caps takes place. The health insurance industry has its own impressive track record of success in Washington as well. (28)
By holding FDA officials in their hip pocket, drug makers can charge essentially whatever prices they want, but only in the U.S. All other nations set limits on drug prices using the financial power of a universal healthcare system. The drug industry has even been successful in thwarting all attempts by Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate for drug prices.
Can you imagine what a drug maker might charge for a drug that represents the only treatment option for a certain form of a disease? In Dendreon’s case, try $93,000 a year.
Rather than erect relevant hurdles for efficacy and survival rates, the FDA basically passes any drug that has not been shown to immediately kill humans, although sometimes they screw up. In many cases the FDA approves drugs with less obvious but nonetheless severe side effects because its drug-testing and reporting mechanisms have gradually become inadequate and outdated. As it stands today, there are hundreds of drugs on the market that should never have been approved.
If the FDA can’t even do an effective job keeping harmful drugs out of the market place, the agency certainly isn’t in any position to conduct adequate risk-benefit studies.
Apparently, Washington’s feels that the FDA should not be concerned with critical issues such as cost-benefit. Instead, they leave that up to America’s “free-market healthcare system.” As a result, tax dollars furnish a large portion of the massive profits generated by outrageously priced drugs, many of which come with deadly side effects.
At the end of the day, the lack of price controls for medical goods and services creates a system of waste while encouraging fraud. Remarkably, U.S. tax payers end up subsidizing the costs of prescription drugs for the rest of the world despite the fact that many of these drugs are developed in the U.S. by tax dollars. Far worse, when you permit drug companies to charge any price they like for a drug for which there are no other treatment options, you have created a form of legalized extortion.
Americans deserve a better, more affordable healthcare system. They deserve a system that will enable them to better determine their health and treatment options. Finally, they deserve a healthcare system that emphasizes wellness and prevention, while providing adequate resources to help patients and consumers achieve these goals.
American physicians deserve a more modernized and efficient healthcare system so they are better able to treat patients and effect better clinical outcomes instead of spending most of their time buried in paperwork and bureaucracy, while being told how to treat patients by insurers.
I spent three years researching and writing America's Healthcare Solution in order to provide the truth about the most costly and troubled healthcare system in the developed world. In writing the solution to America’s healthcare crisis, I drew upon my work in the venture capital industry after having worked as a primary architect of several healthcare IT and telemedicine projects.
In my view, this book is even more relevant than America’s Financial Apocalypse because it offers something for everyone.
Whether you are an American concerned about how you will pay for healthcare costs, a politician or consultant searching for the most comprehensive single resource on U.S. healthcare, an investor or entrepreneur looking for opportunities in telemedicine and healthcare IT, this is a book you should read.
My solution to America’s healthcare crisis does not mandate a system of universal healthcare, otherwise labeled as socialized medicine. In fact, my solution actually empowers a system of free-market healthcare; something not seen in America for several decades. Whether healthcare in the U.S. becomes universal or free market, my solution will be the fundamental driver of improved health statistics and affordable medical access.
I invite you to have a look at some excerpts from America’s Healthcare Solution on this website dedicated specifically to this book. It’s the only promo the book will receive for obvious reasons.
If I did not feel this book was so important, I would have never committed three years of my life to a project I knew in advance would never see bookstore shelves. As this point, you should understand why. It’s the books you see supported by the media and its publishing partners that fail to provide you with absolute benefit because the media is a paid-off whore to corporate America and Washington.
Most people write books to make money. You won’t ever make money from a book unless you are in the media club. You must have the marketing support of the media, otherwise no one will ever know about your book. And if you want the media by your side, you have to stay clear of addressing fraud and deception seen in corporate America because they buy the ads and commercials. This is how the media makes its money.
Being in the media club means you have sold out to corporate America. That means you will never get the truth from these individuals. I have been banned by the media and publishers because I speak the truth. I have no agendas and I cannot be bought off. I invite you to join me to learn the full truth about America's healthcare system.
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