by Jon Hellevig for The Saker Blog
Introduction and Executive Summary
The United States runs the by far biggest and most bloated healthcare sector in the world when measured as a share of the total economy. Its annual value was $3.7 trillion, amounting to 17.9% of GDP (2018). That is nearly double the average of developed Western countries (as a share of GDP). The enormous expense does not buy Americans any better health than the Europeans get for half the price, in fact the health outcomes are far inferior in the US. In life expectancy, the US has fallen down to 33rd place, even overtaken by Cuba.
Exorbitant prices on drugs, medical treatment and health insurances are crushing consumers. Half of working age American adults have either no insurance at all or only an inadequate insurance and therefore risk being financially ruined for any kind of medical treatment – even just checking in at a hospital and leaving the same day could land you with a five-figure bill. Studies have shown that two-thirds of Americans are not able to afford a $500 unexpected cost for medical emergency, a sum which will not get you even past reception at an American hospital. According to the American Cancer Society, 137 million Americans suffered medical financial hardship in 2018. They then had to resort to borrow a total of $88 billion only to cover their necessary medical expenses. Medical bills are now the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.
In a unique study covering the entire US healthcare sector, Awara Accounting https://www.awaragroup.com/ has dug into the problems of the US pharma and healthcare industries, and the findings are shocking. The Awara study shows https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/us-healthcare-system-in-crisis/ that in addition to the original sin of corporate greed, the exorbitant costs of the US healthcare system stem from layers upon layers of distortions with which the system is infested. Each part of the healthcare industry contributes to what is a giant monopoly scam: the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, group purchasing organizations, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, and even what should be impartial university research. And on top of that, there’s the government as a giant enabler of monopolized corporations running roughshod over the American consumer and patient.
But it is worse than that. All the monopolists (in official parlance, oligopolies) are in turn owned by the same set of investors in what is called horizontal shareholding. The same some 15-20. investors have the controlling stake in all the leading companies of the entire pharma and healthcare industry.
That’s not all. Two of the investors, BlackRock and Vanguard, are the biggest owners in almost every single one of the leading companies.
Furthermore, BlackRock is owned by Vanguard, BlackRock’s biggest owner being a mystical PNC Services, whose biggest owner in turn is Vanguard. Vanguard itself is recorded directly as BlackRock’s second biggest owner. Moreover, BlackRock and Vanguard are the two biggest owners of almost all the other 15-20 biggest investors, which most are cross-owned and together own the entire US pharma and healthcare sector. Ultimately, then we might have the situation that the whole healthcare sector and Big Pharma are controlled by one giant oligarch clan (and the very real people who stand behind them), one single interest group of oligarch investors.
Besides, it’s the same for the entire US economy. Those two investors control almost all major US companies.
Incredible? Read on, the evidence with charts and details is below in the text.
Now, this means that we are not exaggerating when we talk about an oligarch takeover of the US pharma and healthcare industries. It’s real. And very real people suffer for real.
As far as we know, this is the first report to reveal this mind-boggling extent of monopolization and concentration of ownership in US pharma and healthcare. This monopolization is fast approaching Soviet levels, with the same lethal consequences.
Another particularly important thing in the Awara report is that the US healthcare crisis and global comparisons serve as a marvelous case study to show what is wrong with neoliberalism and how the so-called free-market is not necessarily better than a mixed economy. At the very core of the US healthcare crisis, is the American ideological precept that healthcare must be a private corporate for-profit business – never mind any level of predatory monopolies. But compared with European countries the US loses hands down on every parameter. European life expectancy and health outcomes are far better at half the cost. In a European-style system all citizens have nearly equal access to general health services without having to incur financial hardship in a medical emergency. It has then been clearly shown that, the European mixed system of universal healthcare with public insurance and public hospitals, coupled with government regulation of drug prices and their availability, works best. And there’s a lesson for the wider economy, too.
Yet when you mention government regulation, price controls and universal healthcare, US politicians from both parties and most analysts (of the type that make it into mainstream media) pull out the socialism card. But this is not a question of the free-market vs. socialism. There can be no such question because, first, a mixed economy is not socialism. And, second, there is no free market in the United States any longer. What used to be a free market aka Capitalism, is nothing but a crony capitalist monopoly ridden system almost exclusively controlled by an ever more consolidating group of oligarchs. The choice is not between socialism and capitalism, but between a real market economy and the present oligarchy.
[Note. Wherever the original Awara Accounting study on US healthcare https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/us-healthcare-system-in-crisis/ contain the source references and links, they have as a rule not been duplicated here.]
A Healthcare System Run Amok
Drug prices in the United States are the highest in the world, American prices for prescription drugs being two to six times higher than those of the rest of the world. Prescription drug prices in the US increased nearly 100% in only the past six years. Before that, between 1997 and 2007, drug prices had already tripled.
Notorious cases abound, like Mylan Pharmaceuticals raising the price of its Epipen by 450% since 2004 by exploiting its 90% monopoly market share. It could cost $600 to buy that pen for treating acute allergic emergency although the manufacturing cost would be as low as $1.
The extent of price gouging really hit home when it became known that the drug maker Gilead sold its Sovaldi (a medication used for the treatment of hepatitis C) on foreign markets for a fraction of the cost it charged domestically in America. The drug was sold in the US for $1,000 per pill, amounting to $84,000 for a full 12-week regime, while in India it sold for only $4 per pill when produced there by a Gilead licensed.
But being hospitalized in the US is the real killer. There are horror stories galore of astronomical charges for medical care: A patient bitten by snake being charged $68,000 for lifesaving antivenom, $160,000 for a hip joint replacement, or a million or two for cancer treatment. As if drug prices were not high enough, hospitals profiteer from applying enormous markups on medicine dispersed to patients in care – as well as on medical devices and all the common items used – that’s on top of the in itself outrageous costs for the hospitalization. Like a hospital charging $13,702 for one injection of 660 mg of Rituxan, the cancer drug, which the hospital acquired for $3,000. Or getting a cut of $30,000 by charging $49,237 for a Medtronic neurostimulator for which the hospital’s outlay was $19,000. Even the smallest items can be blown up to cosmic proportions by the hospital money scam, when patients are charged $134 for a saline solution which can be bought online for $5, or $7 per every square cotton pad used to sterilize the skin prior to an injection.
Hospitalized 32 days for pneumonia one patient got a medical bill of $474,064, including $132,000, or more than $4,000 a day, for routine blood, urine and other laboratory tests, on top of being charged $2,293 a day just for the room-and-board, in total $73,376. Notwithstanding the already exorbitant room charge, the patient was charged colossal amounts for care which should normally be included in the hospital room charge, like $94,799 for the routine supplying of the patient with oxygen and testing the breathing. Included were also multiple charges of $134 per day for supervising oxygen inhalation.
Oh, you would think that is not a big problem, because Americans have insurances. Think again. About 10 % of Americans – 27 million people – have no health insurance at all. Worse yet, among those formally insured, it is estimated that 45% of all adults are inadequately insured. Another study puts the number of Americans without adequate health insurance at 52 million.
There is also an increasing age gap in insured employees. Recent college graduates have been less and less able to find jobs that provide health insurance. The share of young college graduates who have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage fell from 61% in 1989 to 31% by 2012.
The healthcare death spiral is complete when you consider that on top of monopoly prices on drugs, and monopoly prices for hospital treatment, the insurance companies take their monopoly cut as well. They have raised health insurance premiums by 242% from 1999 to 2016, whereas nominal wages over the same period increased only by 60%.
This chart shows how much faster health insurance premiums have risen than inflation and in the past two decades:
Failing health insurance
Insurances are no longer adequate as their quality has in the last two decades been steadily deteriorating with rising deductibles, copays, coinsurances, and annual or even life-time limits on coverage. Pre-existing conditions could deny insurance altogether, or it could seem that the person has a health insurance, while the person is denied treatment for that essential disease.
The below chart shows how the annual deductibles across all health insurance plans have tripled since 2006. (Secondary source Zerohedge https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/us-healthcare-costs-are-exploding-heres-why )
What happens is that you could have an insurance on which you pay regular premiums, but which then is refused by the hospital when you need it for an emergency. Consider the case of Sean and Stephanie Recchi. They had been paying $469 a month (20% of their income) for a policy that would cover $2,000 per day of hospital costs. Probably in every country in the world except in the United States, the $2,000 per day coverage would have been more than enough for even the most serious condition, but the administrator at the hospital Sean Recchi turned to informed point-blank: “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance.” Being denied the coverage the Recchis had already paid for they had to cough up $83,900 upfront for the entire treatment.
The case of Rebecca and Scott S. gives another sad example of how defunct some health insurance coverage has become. They had an annual payout limit of $200,000 – not a small sum anywhere in the normal world – but still they were told they owed $402,955 for Scott’s treatment after the payment from their insurance policy was deducted. (Scott had been in the hospital for 32 days pneumonia). – Sovereign Valentine, 50, a personal trainer in Plains, Montana was billed $540,841. for 14 weeks of dialysis care at a Fresenius clinic. Valentine’s insurer covered $16,241 out of that, but the clinic billed Valentine for the unpaid balance of $524,600.
Already as such healthcare costs make a big dent in the family budget, but as soon as there is an emergency it can entail financial ruin. In fact, two-thirds of Americans are not able to afford a $500 unexpected cost for medical emergency or for anything else. A recent study found that only 29% of workers earning up to $40,000 annually could pay right away a surprise medical invoice of $500 for acute treatment. Still with an income between $40,000 and $75,000 only 49% could cope with it. Even with an income in excess of $75,000, 30% could not handle it. A shocking 2019 study by researchers from the American Cancer Society discovered that 137.1 million Americans suffered “medical financial hardship in the past year.”
To get treatment, Americans therefore have to resort to loans and in 2018 alone a total of $88 billion was borrowed by households to cover medical costs. And when credit runs dry, the next stage is bankruptcy as medical bills are now the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.
Overall, the increase in household healthcare spending has in the last decade far outstripped the increase in the general inflation, and wages out-of-pocket expenses leading the pack:
Global comparison of life expectancy and healthcare expenditure
Anybody but the most diehard free marketer or pharma lobbyist would admit that the US pharma and healthcare markets are in deep trouble. Yet with global comparisons, there is no hiding that the US healthcare system is in crisis. The United States runs the by far biggest and most bloated healthcare sector in the world when measured as a share of the total economy. Its annual value was $3.7 trillion, amounting to 17.9% of GDP (2018). That is nearly double the average of developed Western countries (as a share of GDP). But this does not buy the Americans any better health, far from it. While spending superbly more than any other country, the United States ranked only 27th in the world for its levels of health care according to a University of Washington study. A common measure for a global ranking of healthcare systems is the country’s life expectancy. On this parameter, the United States ranks only 33rd in the world – just behind Cuba. And worse yet, while the trend is globally improving, US life expectancy has been falling for the past three years.
The below table ranks countries by life expectancy with indication of their respective total healthcare expenditure as a share of GDP, private and public spending in total.
The higher life expectancy among the top ranking countries – achieved at much lower cost than in the US – testifies to the success of their mainly public universal healthcare systems. The total healthcare spending (as referenced above) of the top countries was at the level of 9-10% of GDP, compared with 17.9% for the US. This while countries like South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore achieved yet much better results for a third of the total expenditure.
Looking at these figures, one observer summed it up like this: “Remember there used to be all those articles about how people in Europe live longer than Americans because they drink red wine and eat more olive oil and bull like that? Turns out it was universal healthcare all along.”
There is no end in sight for the ordeal, as healthcare costs are predicted to continue their precipitous rise, as shown in below table. (Secondary source Zerohedge https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/us-healthcare-costs-are-exploding-heres-why )
The neoliberal free-market captured by the oligarchs killed it
What’s particularly important in the Awara report is that the US healthcare crisis and global comparisons serve as a marvelous case study to show how the so-called free-market is not necessarily better than a mixed economy. At the very core of the US healthcare crisis, is the American ideological precept that healthcare must be a private corporate for-profit business – never mind any level of predatory monopolies. But compared with European countries the US loses hands down on every parameter. European life expectancy and health outcomes are far better at half the cost. In a European-style system all citizens have nearly equal access to general health services without having to incur financial hardship in a medical emergency. It has then been clearly shown that, the European mixed system of universal healthcare with public insurance and public hospitals, coupled with government regulation of drug prices and their availability, works best. And there’s a lesson for the wider economy, too.
Yet when you mention government regulation, price controls and universal healthcare, US politicians from both parties and most analysts (of the type that make it into mainstream media) pull out the socialism card. But this is not a question of the free-market vs. socialism. There can be no such question because, first, a mixed economy is not socialism. And, second, there is no free market in the United States any longer. What used to be a free market aka Capitalism, is nothing but a crony capitalist monopoly ridden system almost exclusively controlled by an ever more consolidating group of oligarchs. The choice is not between socialism and capitalism, but between a real market economy and the present oligarchy.The data in this article and its references clearly show to what extent the oligarchy controls the US markets.
In addition to the already mentioned system constraints, a functioning healthcare system requires tight government control on the pharmaceutical industry with regulations of drug prices and their availability. When these are not in place, we get the insanely outrageous situation with drug prices in the United States. In European countries, the governments tightly control the drug markets. Most governments cap prices with maximum permissible prices that companies can charge for prescription drugs. The European governments also wield market power in their capacity of the biggest medicine buyers by negotiating prices. While price caps are not even considered on the US market, the Congress has in a further effort to protect the oligarchy outright prohibited the government from negotiating prices even in the one field where there would be plenty of reason to do it, in its capacity of administering the federal government run Medicare prescription drug plans, which accounts for 29 % of all spending on prescription medicines.
The self-imposed ban on negotiating drug prices was codified in connection with the Congress approving and President George W. Bush signing into law in 2003 an otherwise crucially important reform program – known as Medicare Part D – to help seniors get access to prescription drug. By denying the possibility of negotiated rebates this legislation amounts to nothing else than a flagrant subsidization by the government of Big Pharma on the cost of the consumer. When President Barack Obama pushed through the healthcare reform known as Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), he – toadying to the Big Pharma lobby – effectively confirmed the government’s self-imposed ban to negotiate drug prices.
The Awara Accounting report shows how Medicare regularly manages to dramatically cut hospital bills – even by magnitudes of 8 to 12 times – applying its cost-plus principles. We can therefore see why Big Pharma was horrified about government interfering with their robber markups in drug prices, too.
The oligarchy controls the government’s pharma policies in many other ways, too. For example, by way of their regulatory capture, by essentially owning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was original established to control the industry. They have now set up a revolving door between industry and FDA, people constantly alternating between roles of company executive and FDA director. By this regulatory capture the pharmaceutical industry is well placed to rig the system in its favor and to continually grant itself special privileges while harassing would-be competition. This happens – among other things – by extending exclusivity rights on phony justifications, harassing would-be competitors and blocking market entry of generics.
The ultimate way by which the health racket has solidified its hold is by capturing Congress by multimillion lobbying activities and campaign contributions. Pharmaceutical companies are among the biggest spenders on political corruption, having poured close to $2.5bn into these activities over the past decade. It has been reported that, nine out of 10 members of the House of Representatives, from both parties, and all but three of the 100 senators have taken campaign contributions from pharmaceutical and other health industry companies seeking to affect legislation on everything from the cost of drugs to how new medicines are approved.
A giant monopoly scam
How is it that America manages to get the worst of all worlds when it comes to healthcare. The Awara study shows that in addition to the original sin of corporate greed, the exorbitant costs of the US healthcare system stem from layers upon layers of distortions with which the system is afflicted. Each part of the healthcare industry contributes to what is a giant monopoly scam: the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, group purchasing organizations, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, and what should be impartial university research.
The monopolization of the pharma and healthcare industries, and the entire US economy – essentially an oligarch takeover of the economy – has not happened by chance, rather it comes as a direct consequence of deliberate ideological and political manipulation. The pharmaceutical industry was the first love child of the Chicago School economists with their neoliberal snake oil ideology. which the financial oligarchy was fast to exploit. Starting with Ronald Reagan, every president has served these interests, willingly ignoring the antitrust laws so as to give corporations free rein to consolidate market shares by mergers and acquisitions. With each president – from both parties – the monopolistic concentration of business and shareholding in America has grown precipitously eventually to reach the monstrous levels of the present day.
Just how bad it is has been demonstrated by Jonathan Tepper in his bestselling The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition. Following three mega waves of mergers and acquisitions in the past three decades, competition is virtually dead as most industries are now left with only one player with absolute domination or up to four players with a combined total market domination. From business consolidation, there has naturally followed concentration of ownership of the companies.
We were able to corroborate the findings of Tepper in our report which examined the extreme concentration of corporate ownership in the United States. http://blogengine.hellevig.net/post/2019/05/13/Extreme-concentration-of-ownership-in-the-United-States-.aspx That report demonstrated how ownership of all major corporations in America has been concentrated in incredibly few hands. Most of America’s industries are now oligopolies and the cancerous condition of horizontal shareholding – the condition that the same shareholders own companies which are supposed to be competitors – has spread across the entire US economy with the same handful of investors owning controlling stakes in the overwhelming majority of the largest US corporations. We established that, institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now (2016) own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors – BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America’s 500 largest corporations. Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America’s largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. From an expanded sample that includes the 3,000 largest publicly listed corporations (Russell 3000 index), the same few institutions owned (2016) about 78% of the equity.
The same conclusions can be drawn from reports, which show that America’s richest 1% now own https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/americas-richest-1-now-own-much-wealth-middle-and-lower-classes-combined as much wealth as the middle and lower classes combined.
There is yet one more ugly and mind-boggling twist to the concentration of ownership saga, namely that the handful of investors (Vanguard, Blackrock and their vassals) who have concentrated the ownership of all business corporations – pharma, healthcare, and everything else – in their hands, the oligopolies owning oligopolies are themselves further cross-owned, so that ultimately, we might have the situation that the whole healthcare sector and Big Pharma – as well as the whole US economy – is controlled by one giant oligarch clan (and the very real people who stand behind them), one interest group of oligarch investors. (Further evidence below).
To give an idea of just how bad the monopolization and ownership concentration has got, we have prepared below tables for the main pharma and healthcare sectors depicting the biggest companies by market share and their shareholders.
Northern Trust is closely associated with the Big Three investors having Vanguard as its biggest shareholder, BlackRock as second, Wellington, fourth, and State Street as fifth. Wellington, in turn, is an investment vehicle which seems to be closely related to Vanguard. Bank of America is basically also a conduit of the Big Three investors, having BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street as second, third, and fourth largest owners, respectively, after Berkshire Hathaway. Among the top ten owners also some of the other useful suspects from above, namely, Wellington, Geode, Northern Trust. and Dodge & Cox. We have not managed to find out from open sources any information about who is actually behind Geode Capital, except for it being a spin-off from Fidelity.
Notice, that the owners of the pharmacies are largely the same merry group of oligarch firms.
In addition to the usual oligarch suspects, among the investors there is a company called T. Rowe Price Associates. It is a publicly listed global asset management firm, and one more tool of the monopoly investors. Its three biggest owners are the very same Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street. Other top ten owners include – as usual – Capital Group, Geode, Bank of America, and Northern Trust.
A further layer of monopolization of the American drug market is formed by the three companies that handle more than 90% of the drug wholesale market. AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Central Health. The total revenue of these the drug distribution divisions of these three giant was estimate as $425.1 billion (2017).
And again do note, that the same major oligarch investors who own the drug makers and the pharmacies also own these wholesale distributors.
Pharma Benefit Managers
Note that all the three monopolists are owned by the biggest pharmacies, which in turn are owned by the Big Three oligarch investors.
Who owns the oligarch owners of the everything oligopoly
As I already disclosed above, the handful of investors who own all these pharma and healthcare oligopolies are themselves cross-owned by each other. Let’s now look at the details.
These are the biggest owners of BlackRock:
And these are the owners of the mystery PNC Financial Services, BlackRock’s No. 1 owner:
Vanguard is the second biggest owner of BlackRock and the biggest owner of PNC. I remind, that above it was showed that BlackRock and Vanguard are the two biggest owners – and otherwise among the top owners – of all of those pharma and healthcare companies. Vanguard in turn – according to its own disclosure – is not owned by anybody. I am not kidding. Vanguard is ghost-owned insofar as it does not have any owners at all in the traditional sense of the concept. The company claims that it is owned by the multiple funds that it has itself set up and which it manages. This is how the company puts it on their home page https://about.vanguard.com/what-sets-vanguard-apart/why-ownership-matters/ : “At Vanguard, there are no outside owners, and therefore, no conflicting loyalties. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders—including you, if you’re a Vanguard fund investor.” At the end of the analysis, it would then seem that Vanguard is owned by Vanguard itself, certainly nobody should swallow the charade that those funds stuffed with passive investor money would exercise any ownership control over the superstructure Vanguard. We therefore assume that there is some group of people (other than the company directors) that have retained the actual control of Vanguard behind the scenes (perhaps through one or a few of the funds). In fact, we believe that all three (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) are tightly controlled by a group of US oligarchs (or more widely transatlantic oligarchs), who prefer not to brandish their power. It is beyond the scope of this study and our means to investigate this hypothesis, but whatever, it is bad enough that as a proven fact these three investor corporations wield this control over most of the American economy. We also know that the three act in concert wherever they hold shares. http://blogengine.hellevig.net/post/2019/05/13/Extreme-concentration-of-ownership-in-the-United-States-.aspx
Further among BlackRock’s owners are…BlackRock, the fourth biggest owner of itself. Then there is State Street, the third of the Big Three investors. Take a deep look at that BlackRock ownership chart, and you will find there most of the other top owners which I already listed as the owners of the pharma and healthcare oligopolies: Capital (Group), Wellington, Bank of America, Northern Trust, Geode…When you move to the next generation owners PNC Financial Services, you will find all the same and more of the usual suspects, like, T. Rowe Price Associates and Berkshire Hathaway. In both lists of owners there are also such luminaries of Wall Street like, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo & Company, Bank of New York Mellon, and Royal Bank of Canada.
To give one more example of how all these are connected, please, take a look at below ownership chart of Bank of America:
Same oligarch owners again owning another oligarch owner.
A last one, Northern Trust Corporation:
The end result is that today a close-knit oligarchy controls all major corporations and most of the US economy. Nowhere is this ownership concentration and its pernicious effects so visible as in the pharma and healthcare industries.
The definitive takeaway from all this is that the myth of the superiority of private over public ownership is wrong. It would absolutely not make any sense to privatize healthcare and public utilities according to the tenets of the free-market religion. It is perfectly well and beneficial to leave the backbones of the economy in public ownership as long as there is a mixed economy with private competition challenging government ownership and as long as the government does not mess with areas of the economy which are not crucial for the national well-being.
The most important lesson for the rest of the world from this case study of the US healthcare sector is that the US ideology of neoliberalism and the crony capitalism that it breeds does not bring real life value for an economy, on the contrary, we have seen that privatization is detrimental over state ownership and public services in the healthcare sector, and therefore it must be the case in many other core sectors of the economy as well.
Unfortunately, I think the US healthcare system is unreformable – as is the economy at large. One day the whole economy will just implode and reform itself through a cataclysm of epic proportions, as was the case with Soviet Russia.
Here is an article that looks at the biggest health problem facing Americans:
While there is constant noise in Washington about the cost of health care including prescription drugs and hospital care, one of the simplest ways to reduce health care costs at an individual level is to reduce caloric intake and increase activity levels. It is only through the reduction of American obesity rates that total health care costs will show meaningful reductions.
If Americans start getting healthier, these hospitals and pharmaceutical companies will have to raise their prices faster so as to compensate. I mean, they have “internal growth projections” which the stock market is aware of and these must be respected. :-)
Of course, obesity is a giant (pun intended) problem, but this article is about healthcare costs.
This is simply not accurate, cancers do not discriminate upon ones weight, they are behavioral critter and contribute greatly to the cost of a nations health care.
Wrong. Obesity is a major risk factors for many cancers, I’m afraid to tell you. I trust you are lithe and limber.
That is an opinion not based on any fact, obesity is blamed for bad health which it does contribute to, it does not contribute to any cancers except perhaps jaw bone cancer, a very misunderstood form of cancer, nice try though, you get to see what’s behind door #3.
I agree with you Alabama – its not up to the weight of a human being to decide if they’re sick or not. Its a form of chauvinism or racism to be so superior in the question of weight. If people were educated better they would have more interest in life and would not be turning to food for their entertainment. Also fattening foods are way cheaper to buy and also prepare. Its a totalitarian attitude to say the victims are the ones who cause their own grief.
You’re correct Ann that victim-blaming is rife, and junk food is cheap. But the science shows that, contrary to Alabama, obesity is a risk factor in many cancers, probably through inflammatory processes. The need is for healthy, whole, foods, not processed but profitable junk.
It is not an ‘opinion’, believe me. It is science, but science pales beside ‘insight’ every time.
Then please explain why “primitive” peoples visited and painstakingly examined by numerous doctors and others NEVER presented with cancer. Or dental caries, or diabetes, or a whole range of “diseases of civilisation”.
Or heart disease or other circulatory problems.
But, Sally, that’s communism. Our precious junk-food entrepreneurs and wealth creators won’t like it at all. And fat people are fodder for the unhealth industry, and the producers of bariatric appliances, including jumbo coffins. Be reasonable.
It’s only logical that the elite in the US should take over healthcare and the pharma industry, as it has already taken control of the banks, the media and the political structure of the country.
The worlds elites have for years been concerned with overpopulation, wanting to reduce the population of the planet. And the result ? They introduce cancer causing GMO foods, as well as junk food, whose effects are “cured” by their own pharma products of suspicious efficiency and intent.
As for cancer, ordinary people get it. However, when was the last time high level politicians, bankers and corporate presidents died of cancer ? Do they enjoy the covert benefits of cancer cure, as some analysts have pointed out ?
Cancer is culture related, the media complains all the time that all their friends are dying of cancer, plenty of bankers and corp people die of it, McCain just passed from complications of it, so that was the last most recent time and there is no cure for cancer, only a prevention mechanism which has its roots in education.
Cancer is caused by pollutants that big corporations produce. Who knows if cancer is caused by glyphosate ? We just don’t know. Its looking now like its a big factor – and has been around for a century – if that product was completely terminated and not just ‘name-changed’ maybe there would be a huge reduction in cancer.
Glyphosate, and its commercial preparations like Roundup, cause cancer alright-that has been known for years but suppressed by brute corporate force and intimidation, and the corruption of Governments.
Cancers are not all the same. Some are curable, others treatable, and others are rapid death sentences.
Ted Kennedy died of brain cancer and John “McStain” McCain died of glioblastoma after several bouts of melanoma. What they send around comes back around.
John McCain-God bless that anarchistic gamete that said, ‘Enough!’.
It’s debatable how John McCain died.
And then we have a system that pampers tobacco smokers, vapers, and opiod druggies; especially, opiod druggies. When we as a society start recognizing opiod druggies need to be put in jail, rather than being coddled like they are now, then a fair bit of our health care costs will go down. Many of our other problems, like crime, will go down as well. In my mind tobacco smokers and vapers ought be at least fined each month they inhale their vice because they are so much cost to society. (I’m own rental housing, and got tired of having to paint yellow ceilings. I do not rent to smokers anymore.) Check out what Philippine President Dueturte did in his country. Within three months of rounding up all the druggies and putting them in jail crime in the Philippines went down over 80%. (Fortunately in the Philippines they were wise enough not to extend health care to deadbeats.) Imagine what could be achieved here in the U.S. if we had a guy like that. Not only will crime go way down, but so will our health care costs.
Put ’em in jail, eh? Yeah, that’ll fix it. Worked great, so far. In fact, Rush Limbaugh said the same thing, at least until he got caught buying bags of oxycontin in a dark parking lot. Changed his tune real quick, then.
Why are we coddling Rush? If he is still doing drugs he ought then be put in jail.
Yes indeed its always the poor,the working poor or the working class that’s always to blame for their own illness, rather than the 1% the corporations peddling ever more chemicals thru the food chain that has caused much of the cancers.
I had a run with it and had an honest doctor he said do you smoke yep I replied, well he said that can cause up to a third of that type of cancer,well I ask what causes the other two thirds “workplace environment” was the reply chemicals,but there is simply too much money to be made to outlaw those chemicals,to many politician’s that get paid off so they hide it.Lets see this fellow wants to fine the smokers well in that case we have to fine the farmer for spraying his crops with known cancer causers,fine the ones who make them,fine the ones who sell them,it becomes endless .
As far as drugs look to your government agencies, and it been known for years that some of those are the largest drug runners in the world,the Golden Triangle, (Nam)Afghanistan (we will never leave it)what do you think our base in Colombia is for,COCAINE flown into the CIA base below Miami, the poppy fields in Afghanistan HEROIN all for the drugs trade and its billions in revenue.!!!
Yep, think of all the politicians who would get caught in the round-up. The sight of it would be simply smashing. I bet 80% of America’s problems would go away. Take out the bottom, and the top will fall in. I would not give any mercy to any druggie.
I offer one last comment;
Smoking is the number one killer in the U.S.A. If you still smoke quit, and don’t blame your habit on anybody but yourself. Start a revolution. LIve a clean life, and get your friends to do the same. America’s economy is built on vice. It will come crashing down without people caught up in bad habits.
“Land of the free” already has a highest incarceration rate in the world.
privatize verb: sell off to hucksters
Even more depressing news from the land of the free: death rates increase since 2010, and life expectancy on the decrease since 2014, which is, to a large part, explained by opioid overdose (Pharma), obesity (food industry), suicide (socio-economic). Largest increase of deaths occur in the places where jobs were off-shored (to maximize profit for corporations), and happen in age-group 25-64 yrs.
Truly the Free World and its ‘Moral Beacon’ are wonders to behold.
To get a further view on USA healthcare, look at the 2007 documentary ‘Sicko’ from Michael Moore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpk9AuJ4J18
(For instance firebrigade veterans, who had saved people at 9/11, who were simply refused healthcare for related injuries. I will not spoil how that ended eventually ;-))
Let’s not get a too rosy view about European healthcare. Also here the costs are rising spectacularly. In Germany, for a professional worker, has a montly premium of several hundred euros. But the kicker (and the playing ball of the insurance companies) is that there is no full coverage, you always have to pay a part yourself. What is rewarded is called ‘Festzuschuß’, and that part gets smaller and smaller when the care gets more exotic.
You want full coverage? Then you need a ‘Privatversicherung’, with a monthly premium north of 1000 euros – per person (imagine that for a complete family).
The sharply rising of healthcare cost here has several reasons. An ageing population is one. There are 800000 (originally German) people homeless here that have no contribution but will not be refused (there is some emergency fund for that). Add to that an enormous influx of immigrants without education, of which ca. 90% will stay on social security their whole life – no contribution. It is a public secret, that they want healthcare in a disproportial high way compared to the rest (there are some reasons for that, but that is another discussion).
What I particularly like from this article is the disclosure of just a few companies highjacking the rest. Greedy oligarchy at its best. My thanks to author Jon Hellevig for all his efforts.
Collapsing healthcare? Just wait until social security and pension funds will collapse too. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but of ‘when’. And not only in the USA, I’m afraid. The great George Carlin already predicted it – it’s part of a scheme to charge and tax the middle class into poverty, and *all* wealth is in ‘The Big Club’ (and you ain’t in it).
I worked in hospitals for a wee while, and detected that many, a majority I fear, of specialist physicians, and more so surgeons, were greedy scum, with no apparent human empathy or compassion. It’s the class that most of them come from, I would say.
It is a shocking revelation of exploitation of the people.
The system of government is clearly corporate fascism, and this escalated under pres. Obama .
It would clearly not change to the better with democrats in power of the White House today, or especially not if they were to dominate the congress. (presently blocking opposition legislation by controlling the House).
It would only get worse since pres. Trump has signalled opposition to big pharma, the cost of healthcare.
I rather think that ‘corporate fascism’ is tautologous, following Mussolini’s dictum that ‘Fascism is corporatism plus State power’.
Corporate power plus the power of the state is the core of nazism not of fascism. Perhaps it is a very lose definition by Mussolino. Fascism is the need to use the power of the state, the policestate. It was the core of communism and historic nazism. Not many western powers have the need for fascism. Yet the find ways to implement nazism or give the power over to the state from a democratic ideal (constitution)(voluntary fascism). I have to point out in detail what that fascism is.
There are basically only two form of socialism. Communism as derived from Marx’s The Capital.
And national socialism as derived from the program of the NSDAP. (Nazism). The difference between them is that in communism the state are the only one to run business and everything else, while in national socialism the businesses and everything else may be private but everything is to be run for the benefit of the state. An example of national socialism (nazism) is excesive taxation, so nazism is implemented to a large extent today. Only some countries however emphasize nazism, that is that you or the individual, a citizen are obliged to work for the common good (of the state). You have rights ( unfortunately), but you also have an obligation to work (for the state) was a phrase used by now NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg repeatedly during his time as prime minister of Norway. The common responsibility to work for the common good of the state is the responsibility of everyone, and a responsibility for every corporation (business) has as a developing policy become the form of government there. So you have the final implementation of the system called social democracy to make it a total copy of national socialism (nazism). It was first implemented by the DNAP who gained majority by voting since 1935 (before Norway was occupied by nazi Germany) and DNAP continued in majority power until the system was fully implemented (the 70s). It is the system regardless of party.
Voluntary totalitarian systems are developed all over the world as we speak.
As far as America is concerned neither of the systems has been implemented so far. Social democracy has taken over the democrat’s party however, so nazism may be coming.
But there is still corporate fascism since they have gained a secretive power while still there is freedom of speech, people are not arrested for opposition to government and so on. There is a secretive corporate power that can do what they want, censoring people being one of them, and other violations of the constitutions. Their power are now being implemented as to surpass those of a state, included in trade agreements like the TPP, USMCA, the canadian trade agreements, the european trade agreements, the british trade agreements, asian-pacific trade agreements headed by China and Japan. The text of these trade agreements are very secretive and they are suddenly implemented while there can be no opposition to them. In the USA congress pass laws that are not scrutinized they are suddenly signed into laws by the president the public only aware of the disagreements and internal conflicts. This is not democracy. It is not fascism, no power was used. It is not communism. It is not nazism. Corporate fascism is the corporations on top of the government while people do exist as the beneficiaries of the corporations.
I often wonder why there are so many examples of fasces, the symbol of Roman State power, the tightly bundled rods needed to whip the plebs into line, that are scattered around the US Capitol.
What was the result of all those years wondering?
Can you share?
This is disgusting and evil. They are not free in the U.S. Their function is to pay up and then die. I keep hearing hysterical warnings of civil war over the loonie antics of Trump by the democrats. I have my doubts. If they have not rebelled at the level of enslavement they have been under for a long time, why rebel now?
Here is a news flash. Donald Trump is not ‘one of us’. He is one of them. As one of the early founders of the Republic said ‘may your chains rest easy on your shoulders’.
Another nasty fact about this criminal medical cartel is how the pharmaceutical companies are protected when their vaccines kill or damage someone. They are not held responsible.
A very well-researched article!
Regarding your table on Pharma manufacturers ownership, I think it is worth pointing out that all of these companies are publicly traded companies and their shares can be bought openly on the stock market.
The issue is that the publicly-traded part only applies to a small % of their equity e.g. only 20% of Gilead equity is on the stock market, 30% of J&J. ..the rest of the equity belongs to the large institutional investors. They are the majority shareholders.
What I don’t understand is why is there no regulatory body investigating the monopolies or the price collusions?
Sorry, you did bring up the ownership structure.
Missed that paragraph. Thanks and apologies!
”This monopolization is fast approaching Soviet levels, with the same lethal consequences.”
Last time I checked, Soviet medicare saw to it that peoples’ health improved considerably, and — needless to say — never put a single person into any form of economic hardship. The author has done a sterling job explaining US ”medicare” in all its sickness (pun intended); no need for unfounded conclusions about other countries.
Funny how the old anti-Soviet agit-prop never dies. For years, until the death toll from ‘Freedom’ thinned the ranks of those alive during those times, polls in Russia invariably showed that a plurality, or even a majority, of those surveyed said that the Brezhnev years were the best in their life-times. The inevitable and open-ended rise in inequality and poverty that comes with neo-liberal capitalism is rooted in the Right’s hatred of other people, so is intractable.
An excellent detailed article. The top Oligarchs blinded by greed or a fanatical adherence to neoliberal economics have produced a monstrosity that sucks the wealth from Americans while giving little in return. The fact that monopolies are a disaster was known 120 years ago, but the political leadership is so corrupt and incompetent that is just does not seem to care.
Jon Hellevig…. Much appreciate your research and detailed evidence on this truly vile, evil situation.
This is the logical outcome of this warped ponzi scheme. Wealth is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands and more and more suffer the consequences of this pathological greed.
It’s not ‘individuals’ to blame, or ‘the homeless zombies’ as some here think.
it’s the Actual Economic System. Its the Wall Street parasites and the psychopathic 0.01% who are to blame for this.
The cost of your health care is directly dependent on the quality of your education.
Health, although with hereditary components is largely about lifestyle and diet. As such a well educated population could largely maintain good health, this can also be complimented with comparatively inexpensive natural therapies. People can believe that or not, but common sense should show that this approach is not in either the medical profession nor Big Pharmas interest, and is something they actively fight against.
Medicine and drugs are of course an important component of health care, however it should be at the acute end of the scale and not at the more profitable chronic. As an example, lets look at cancer. Chemotherapy is a billion dollar business, yet the irony is that it doesn’t even work. Add to that cancer also a patented disease only legally treatable by the medical profession, why would that be if they could actually successfully treat it? Yes, they do roll out some 5 year survival statistics, but what they don’t mention is of course that statistically doing nothing actually has a longer survival rate than chemo. Can natural approaches “cure” cancer? Yes and no. If caught before too advanced there are uncountable examples of people surviving cancer through numerous approaches. If very advanced then the odds go down.
Modern medicine was founded by Rockefeller as an adjunct to selling more drugs, as a business model with government support it has been an unqualified success. As a actual health system it is a moral disaster.
Rancid, you managed to say it all, what a great comment to a superb article. The history of the Rockefeller takeover of American medicine is one of the unknown sagas of the 20th century. Have you heard of the Flexner report? Basically, Rockefeller and the Allopaths wanted a monopoly, and got one. The U.S. Pharmacopoeia of 100 years ago is full of all the “new” herbal products we take for granted now. Well, we can’t have that. We need to make money on new prescription drugs from drug companies we own, etc.
Read the Lancet, and remember what a lancet was. “Heroic medicine”: Intravenous mercury and bloodletting, which killed the first US president, among others. In many ways, heroic medicine is still the model, they just use radiation and chemicals now.
To give credit where it’s due, the editor of the Lancet recently proclaimed that “90% of medical research is tainted if not outright bogus due to influence from the industry”.
The editor of Lancet is a conspiracy theorist and he is probably right.
What a culture of rape!!!! As a Canadian there are just no words, no words to comment about this culture of death really and so I give you a song.
A classic really which sums up everything written in this essay!!!!!!! Everything.!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1980’s????????????
Enjoy!!!!! Mr. Van Gross, MD- Hats off to Mr. Gil Scott-Heron- Whitey On the Moon- Healthcare Revolution
Welcome to America?
Yep, air mail special right to Gilead and Goldman Sachs.
People need to remember shortly after 1913 when the did the FED, that Rockefeller then the richest man in the USA, and owner of all the oil companys in USA decided to “OWN” the health racket.
So, in the late 1910’s he …
1.) Banned opium, mariquana for personal use, which historical grandma had used for all illness
2.) Force pharma prescriptions on to the US people, which meant you had to go to a doctor first to get a pill
3.) Created the AMA, which led to gatekeeping and restrictions on the number of doctors
4.) Created the insurance racket, where companys could collect premium to invest in stock market, and deny claims ( Thing Buffet model of insurance, and how he got rich )
5.) Went on to ban all herbs and medical self-treatments that American People had used since 1776
In effect Rockefeller new that to attain his “New World Order” he had to control peoples health-care, not just their food, housing, and employment.
So now 100 years later the USA has the shittiest, crapiest worst Medical service on the face of the earth.
Highest cost, worst service, worst outbreak of germs; Most places in USA if you go to the hospital with a cold, you’ll walk out with back surgery, because that’s how the doctors are incentivized to find the most expensive treatment.
INSANITY, but it took 100 years to reach the perfect KLEPTOCRACY
What are you saying in the first sentence when you start with, “People need to remember shortly after 1913 when the did the FED,”
No doubt that Rockefeller was instrumental in Jekyll Island being the richest man in the USA.
Also in 1949 Rockefeller created the UN, and donated the land in NYC for the building, and created the IMF, almost everything today is/was orchestrated, and outcome planned in advance.
If you wish to know your future then study the Deagel Report, and JC Deagel was Rockefeller strategic planner in the 1950’s when all this was put on a 50+ year plan.
Also David Rockefeller said when Mao killed 30M people “This was my might greatest experiment”, the elimination of political opponents.
Remember Rockefeller had no hesitation to murder 30M Chinese using Mao, and they have no hesitation to drop the USA population by 80% by 2025, read the above report, because the past is over, why dwell on it? Like our shitty health-care in USA, but your future is death if you stick around.
Just how is this depopulation going to occur?
By silent weapons silent wars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_38tsQ4p0I&feature=youtu.be . Bringing deceases into your home and explode the health sector and suck the public coffers dry.
Heard it in essence the other day-‘She died because she couldn’t afford her insulin’. And this bestial, dog eat dog, every man for himself and the Devil Market take the hindmost dystopia is the ideal that the compradore scum in Hong Kong worship. Tells you all you need to know about those vermin.
It’s always been a ‘dog eat dog’ world (USA), I can remember my mother saying that as a small child, it was the most frequent words out of her mouth.
The notable Hollywood quote in mob movies back in the 1940’s was “What’s your racket?”
Meaning everybody had a racket, if you didn’t have a racket then you were getting screwed.
A wise-guy had a racket, everybody else is just a shmuck
US-GOV since 1776 had always been MAFIA, let’s not forget that USA begun as a penal colony where UK dumped its worst of the worse, so just like Austrailia its not surprising that the society is hardwired sociopath.
It was always going to end this way “He/She died cuz they couldn’t afford antibiotics”, the irony is the pill’s are made in India for penny’s a kilogram.
My only solution is that if your worried about dying for lack of health-care, then move close to the source. Like India where pill’s are dirt cheap.
Most health-care related problems in USA, are related to the fact that most American’s never took care of their body. I have lots of friends on insulin, and they all got self inflicted diabetes from shitty lifestyles.
I remember long ago I used to live on a sailboat, and in the summer would drink beer with ‘retired bankers’ who came down to their boats. They all agreed on one thing “Never go to a doctor”, once you go to a doctor, they get you on a pill that destroy’s your body, and that was +30 years ago. It’s the same now “Never go to a doctor”, “Never get hooked on prescribed medicine”, the incentive of the system is to make you poor, sick, and die. Because that is where the profit is
I don’t know-the convicts were transported for petty crimes, not the dangerous psychos who were ‘necked’. And we got the unionists, Irish patriots and other rabble-rousers, too, which made the place pretty egalitarian and progressive for a long time. Not anymore, of course-today it’s greedy, stupid, nassty dystopia, just like the USA, but without the guns.
As still licensed MD who was force to quite 8 years ago due to radical opinions….I would never go to see any MD/DO …. opted out for health insurance for life…..and deeply hoping if ever need anything To Die On the way to the US Hospital.
“One day the whole economy will just implode and reform itself through a cataclysm of epic proportions, as was the case with Soviet Russia.”
The US has atomic bombs and will use it to blackmail the rest of the world to prevent financial losses to the oligarchs.
The US is the only country with a track record of using nuclear weapons, and gratuitously at that.
Assumptions: the oligarchs are Americans; the Nukes are in American hands, and will be used for America’s interests.
As the US government is wholly owned by these oligarchs, it is safe to assume that the US military as well, is owned, and is an extension of their enterprise. Perhaps the MIC is the first and greatest oligarchy of them all. Either way, the US military might will be used, as it has been used, for the greatest profit and benefit of the transnational oligarchy, but how this will actually play-out is the question of the moment.
‘And luvin’ it!’. Or, as Truman exclaimed, when told about the A-bomb- ‘We’re gonna rule the world!’.
While it is true that the USA is the worst health-care on earth, but then so are its people the worst example of humanity, thus what would you expect when you allow a ‘free for all’ where everybody is encouraged to screw the other guy, and the world for that matter.
Some 60+ year ago MALCOLM-X said “The Chickens will come home to roost”, they’re coming folks. They’re coming.
Lastly, this notion that “Blackwater” is making a bundle is non-sense its been one of the worst performing stocks for years, let’s remember here that ‘Blackwater’ is a company that sell’s ETF’s to pension funds, so ma&pa pension holder ( yep, that guy that’s under water ) is getting hosed, a few key people are becoming billionaires, and lots of millionaires are made in the health-racket, mostly insurance, using Buffet’s model of “Collect Premium, Deny Claim” ( Invest held premium cash in stock market “FREE MONEY”)
I remember in the 1980’s I had friends who graduated from med-school and their doc dad’s said, don’t go into med, go into pharma-sales where you can make Millions a year, and guess what, they’re still making that kind of money. Most retired in their 40’s with 10’s of Millions of cash, and its still the same. Just call on doctors, offer them free trips to Vegas, and get them to prescribe your over-priced drugs.
USA Kleptocracy is “Rule by Interest”, and in the health care racket, everybody gets a cut of your flesh.
A long time ago a wise man said “Americans’s will get to a point where they will die of natural cause, because they can no longer afford health care”, …. you all know that time is now or very soon.
There is no Western healthcare! Healthcare is newspeak for bloodletting, but by bloodletting is meant, not antiquated horse-doctoring, but a literal bleeding dry of life, ie, purposeful attacks on the health for the sake of wealth. Healthcare is wealthcare for the rich, at the expense of everyone else. These are all the facts, long and short. There is no middleground, to believe so is self-deception.
Not to be overlooked is government-mandated sterilization. This has begun already, and its mandate is increasing. One of the few healthcare treatments available for free in America to expectant mothers is abortion, and for post-partum mothers, tubal ligation. Of course, free, is not free, but rather Medicaid, which allows the government the right to confiscate the children at the word of any informant or agent—which is done on large scale. Tube-tying is, by policy, foisted on the mother immediately following birth, ‘it’s free, it doesn’t hurt, and you’ll never have to go through this nightmare ( of childbirth) again. And it can always be reversed, it’s just a little rubberband around your tubes.’ What is not told her, the procedure is not reversible as an insurance item, but out-of-pocket only! Which, as the article describes is more money than anyone can afford, let alone justify. Furthermore, the majority of those seeking reversals, are not necessarily doing so for the sake of more children, but for the restoration of their destroyed health, caused by the chronic infection of that ligated member—by policy, this painful and often crippling form of sterilization is not diagnosable!
There are very many other forms of sterilization foisted on Westerners unwittingly, the public is oblivious that they have been sterilized already by FDA approved food agents like bromine, present in all bread products, including so-called organic. Until the parental wannabes go to a fertility clinic, where they are informed that the anti-depressant medication precludes conception, their is no inkling as to why they can’t conceive. But this is the obvious tip of the berg, and a hundred leviathans lurk below, because there is an incentive to destroy life, and it is done for profit.
In as much as, the foundation of this blog is Christian, because the Saker professes his belief in the crucified God, this article is, to my mind, one of the most directly relevant to all readers. Relevant in the sense of painting a comprehensive model of the human paradox: we humans are unavoidably martyrs; if not martyrs for any particular convictions, then martyrs of the spirit alone — and this martyred spirit is our inborn life, which is an offense to the rulers of this planet. That we are culled as beasts, is perhaps rationally explained by economists and politicals and their ilk, but it is not comprehensible, and will not be comprehended, by the murdered. Those who are killed for money, know this to be wrong, because their blood testifies, and until we ourselves see our own martyrdom. True, we may sit passively on the fence too, fooled by the gifts of false-knowledge, but there must be an end to it, none will escape the humpty-dumpty fall, whether to fall forward into bodily destruction by means of our negligence toward good and evil, or to fall backward, to the eternal insularity of the proud and unbendable will of self-conceit. That the Western world is become a slaughterhouse is now our revealed fate, that we may resist the spiritual implications is only a necessary reflex of self-defense, regardless, it is my conviction that all shall face this reality directly and head on, either as immediate victims, or as the coerced perpetrators of malignity themselves — yes, the options of modern life are very narrow, if the oligarchy own everyone and everything, then what choice is there to be? We must willingly serve death, or accept the consequences of life. Solzhenitsyn explained this phenomenon as best portrayed by the soviet camp mantra, “survive at any cost”. And he asks the rhetorical question, ‘when is the price too high’, when do we decide that the cost of survival is too high, too painful, and more than our conscience can allow? When we are faced with the present reality, that to survive, that our survival, depends on another’s death. And that even should we not actively crush another human, by our passivity alone, we condemn that man to death, and so, little by little we ourselves die to humanity, the death of the soul.
And this pattern of ownership is probably repeated for every other part of the West’s economy. Since “behind every great fortune lies a great crime” then governments are only fronts for organised crime.
I still believe that the future of mankind can only be guaranteed by the combined efforts of Russia and China but I must admit that I am often disillusioned by either the slow pace or lack of will demonstrated by these two in establishing alternative options to the current world order.
I am deeply interested in medicine and health, particularly alternative approaches. What I see at present is that both Russia and China follow the medical model of the West and show no alternative to the West’s Big Pharma. As we know in addition to the military industrial complex and Wall Street nothing threatens man’s survival more than Big Pharma but both Russia and China have accepted it as the only way to deal with people’s health and lives.
Both countries have thousands of years of successful and proven effective traditional medicine and if combined with cutting edge technology which both countries also have I am sure the majority of man’s diseases could be completely cured.
Imagine if Russia and China put together their greatest minds, scientists, doctors and healers and cured cancer tomorrow. There would be no greater PR success in showing the world what they really are than this. Curing disease is more amazing than making an iPhone if you know what I mean.
Don’t wait for cures from the West’s Big Pharma. Wall Street has even admitted that there’s no profit in curing cancer. Russia and China have a moral and spiritual duty to abandon Big Pharma and heal the world’s sick and dying with real medicine.
There really is no cure for so many things, prevention is the only alternative and the politician has a bad case of denial when it comes to the source of many human related problems.
Controlling the global pharma and healthcare market is one of the foundational pillars of full-spectrum dominance by the Jewish Mafia. It is in place since many centuries. Any talk of a recent takeover is dis-info, and utterly laughable.
Excellent work tracing back the concentration of ownership over this incredible monopolization scam! I’ve cited you in a series of articles I’ve written for Op-Ed News on the same topic and share your pessimism over the future of America’s healthcare system. I think finding creative ways to reduce one’s dependency on such an abusive system is important, and also having ideas on hand for legislative solutions when the inevitable implosion does occur.
Further to your point – and to your larger point:
Anyone with as brains as God gave a baby rabbit can tell that the US healthcare system is dysfunctional. By any objective measure, it delivers substandard outcomes, and does so at an exorbitant cost.
The problem is that all those inefficiencies mean profits. (Market theoreticians say that in a perfect market, everyone breaks even, which in turn demonstrates just how imperfect the US healthcare market is, but that is another matter.)
Everyone agrees that reform is needed and inefficiencies eliminated. The problem is that the there are a lot of people and institutions that profit off those inefficiencies. None of them want their slice of the pie to be touched, all of them are deeply entrenched and influential, and all of them have their congressmen on speed dial.
To give a few examples:
*The trial lawyers
*The HMOs and hospitals
*The insurance companies
*The alternative medicine industry (because legit medical care is expensive)
*The pharma manufacturers (generic and name brand have somewhat different interests at stake here)
*The unions (many of which run their own health insurance plans)
Any real reform will put some of the above out of business, and will substantially limit the profits available to others.
For instance, can you imagine the howling from the AMA if reforms had the effect of reducing doctors’ salaries to European levels? “How am I supposed to keep two ex-wives and a Porsche on a measly $85K a year?” For that matter, the ex-wives and the Porsche dealer won’t be too happy, either.
The people in charge of these interests have careers and vacation homes at stake, and they are going to fight against reform a lot harder than someone not invested in the status quo will fight for reform.
These interests don’t necessarily line up with one political party or the other, so it’s not like we can just vote Team D or Team R and we got the problem licked.
I pretty much quit reading when I reached the statement that “Medical bills are now the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.”
Even Elizabeth Warren only claimed 50%, and her claim was debunked within weeks by no fewer than three researchers, who found that the percentage of bankruptcies in the database she used for which the largest debt load was medical costs was actually only 3%. Bankruptcies for which medical costs was the precipitating cause were not detailed in any databases (They do not ask the question, “What was the issue which put you over the edge?”), but bankruptcies caused by medical costs were clearly less than 5%.
“ Nine out of ten doctors on TV know, that statistics can prove whatever you want.”
Rather than nit-pick the methodology, why not tackle the thesis of this article, which is not as easy as making trite quips.
The three main exemplary sources of the tsunami of public lying that is the salient feature of Western life these days, are 1) advertising, 2)the Zionazis 3)corporate power and 4) US Exceptionalism. There are other, lesser, wellsprings of concerted untruthfulness, most in league with one of more of these, but I believe these groups and organisations exist to hide, twist, invert or simply deny the truth, in their own self-interest. Hence we live in worlds of untruth, while the lie-meisters whinge about truth-tellers, or even simply other opinions, as ‘fake news’.
Tbh I would be satisfied if everyone just went mad, got a 2kg sledgehammer and just started to pummel everyone to mush. Would be entertaining, and reduce the chances of such idiocy ever appearing again
The Killing Fields of American Health Care
by David Penner / November 17th, 2019
According to a Johns Hopkins study, more than 250,000 Americans die each year due to medical errors. This is inextricably linked with the fact that hospitals prioritize profit-making over patient care.Two thirds of all bankruptcies filed in the United States are medical bankruptcies, and over half a million American families file for bankruptcy each year as a result of medical bills they cannot pay…
Congress’s Take on the Heroin Epidemic
by William Edstrom / October 17th, 2016
A heroin epidemic is on fire all across America. Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares currently.
Whatever you do-stay away from hospitals, particularly private ones. In any case, in most Anglo dystopias, if you are dangerously unwell, you will be taken to a public hospital to save your life, then, when well enough, transferred to a private hospital, if you are insured, for the profit-gouging. They have better biscuits with the tea at private hospitals, nicer carpet and pictures on the wall, but you’re just a ‘profit opportunity’, after all.
Excellently researched article that adds much-needed info on the ownership side of the US healthcare system.
On the pricing front things have veered deep into criminal territory. I have a first-hand story to contribute:
In 2010 I had a kidney stone, which was removed (pulled out) in an ambulatory procedure. I had health insurance via work and received an invoice from the hospital of my “10% co-pay”. That came to $1730.
Earlier this year I had another kidney stone. Luck would have it that I was travelling in Germany and ended up in a hospital there. They kept me for two days, removed the stone… and the total for the stay, including the operation, without ANY health insurance was… $1770.
You read that correctly: Beth Israel Hospital in NYC charges 10 x the amount for the same procedure.
When you think this through then you realize that even a person with Medicare in the US (80% coverage) has bigger uncovered healthcare bills than a person in Germany with NO health insurance. (Which of course instantly deflates the Sanders Hopium Balloon: At 80% coverage “Medicare For All” would mean LESS coverage for the vast majority of the US population.)
Personally, this whole episode has finally put me over the edge: without undue haste I am preparing to leave the US. Living here has become existentially unjustifiable.
Well your going to love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Man Claims an Inexpensive Medicine for Dogs that Kills Worms and Parasites Cured His Cancer
Joe Tippens claims that his small-cell lung cancer was cured by an inexpensive drug, fenbendazol, that is used to kill worms and parasites in dogs. He says that his cancer had metastasized to his neck, bladder, pancreas and bones, and he had a life expectancy of less than three months when he began using the medicine, and three months later his cancer was gone. He says that his insurance company spent $1.2 million to save his life, which included an experimental drug, but he attributes his recovery to the inexpensive dog de-worming agent. He also takes CBD oil and a vitamin E supplement.
Stephen Prescott, the president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, said that scientists in many credible places have researched this drug for years. However, this information has not been widely shared with the public until Tippens started blogging about his recovery. Prescott plans to organize a case study with Tippens.
Ah, note the words….
He says that his insurance company spent $1.2 million to save his life, which included an experimental drug,
and make sure to watch the videos wow just wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A pill sold for $1000 and yet cost a mere $1 !!! Ah.. the exceptional nation. I think the average American either brain dead or he’s totally catatonic.
With Authors and commentators like you guys any other enemy bleaks in comparison!!!
“BlackRock owns BlackRock who owns Blackrock, but who in person owns BlackRock is outside the scope of this article and book”.
“Our obesity problems, our junk food problems, our smokers problems, Ted Kennedy also died of cancer, our medical research is unreliable, my mother said the chickens will come home to roost”.
In moments I am on Rockefellers side. “Useless eaters who couldn’t care less for their own fellowman”.
Useful article on pindo health service dysfunction, but could do without the nonsense stated about the USSR, as several other commenters mentioned.
A great art8icle just posted today here:
Thank you for this article. The only thing I would add is that the “drugs” that people are wanting to be more “affordable” are, for the most part poisons which, at best, suppress symptoms, and , at worst, create disease and harm.
Another interesting or shocking article on health care:
This stuff makes 9/11 and Auschwitz lies look minor deceptions.
Germs (bacteria) do NOT cause disease. They arrive to help clean up a disease after the initial conflict/creation phase of the illness. this can be easily demonstrated (and has been). Some doctors have literally eaten whole slides of various bacterial cultures (labelled as “causes” of whatever said illness). They do not get the illness. They might feel sick if their stomach doesn’t like the input but they do not acquire the illness. Neither do they get it if the bacteria is injected into their bloodstream.
The “viruses” blamed for illnesses do not exist. I wonder if I’m going mad … but this fellow demanded to see the ‘viruses’ and no one would show them to him. Viruses in nature [hundreds of thousands of benign viruses per litre in seawater] can be captured and photographed using an electron microscope.
The link below quotes from the creator of New German Medicine, who died in 1917. The quotes include the following stunner:
”Many Jewish MDs were helping their Jewish clients with NGM. However, they continued to use the dangerous and practically useless modern therapies on their goy clients. Dr. Hamer protested this hypocrisy. This is why the Jewish community labels him as an anti-semite.”
I’m going to get friends into this and give a short talk on the issue during the week. Is there ANYTHING we are told that is not b*******!?
Since 1913, when USA adopted Federal Reserve Banking system. the rich man has used the wealth of America for his agendas, and that includes controlling health care in USA.
Blessed are the idiots who rely on synthetic chemicals spewed out by the avaricious pharmaceutical giants for they shall be stripped of their money and dignity. Blessed are the cretins who stuff themselves with junk food and fast-food trash for their bodies will be the host of numerous diseases. From where I live, we cannot afford those synthetic junks and fast-food trash. For our ailments, we rely on garlic (raw), onions (raw), turmeric, ginger, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, mangosteen, soursop, and many more tropical plants. We are healthy and wise and happy for we have not surrendered our dignity to those avaricious entities.
Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room is the fact that so called “modern SCIENTIFIC medicine” out side of emergency medical care i.e. major trauma, is not really scientific nor is it effective or SAFE. The fact that humanity has survived and multiplied until our modern age is testament that all traditional medicines around the world are safe and EFFECTIVE. Presently worldwide we are falling way below replacing the current generation. Our health measured by any statistic has declined. Herbal medicines sustained US worldwide for millennia, homeopathy for centuries; and modern TNM integrating all the ancient practices is even more effective, when untainted by erroneous modern medical concepts. Keep the baby where effective and don’t throw out the grandparents.
Neither private or state OWNED and CONTROLLED practice, and access, have worked well; for that to work well in a balanced interchange, will await an uplift in human consciousness. We are our brother’s keeper.
I haven’t read thru all of the comments if this has been requested already but … will you publicise all of the 15-20 investors by name not by corporation, please, thank you.