Part 1 – Getting Real About Health Care Reform…..
by Elissa Meininger – Health Policy Analyst
Folks, one of my big gripes about talking about health care reform is that nobody really knows much beyond their small area of interest.
These days, it pretty much boils down to “How much will I have to pay?” “I have a preexisting condition. Will it still be covered?” “Can I keep the doctors I like?” Me, I don’t use the allopathic health care system because what they offer is of no help to me. I go to the alternative. It’s much cheaper, safer and more effective.
Almost nobody knows much about how the system got into such a costly, bureaucratic and ineffective mess. For me, as an historian specializing on the politics of natural healing arts, I think it is very important for people to know what happened so we can see what Trump will have to do to fix it.
Just so you know….
Two landmarks related to how things are paid for are……
The New Deal – which introduced third party payment schemes that your employer buys for you and calls health “insurance”….
The Great Society – and the intrusion of government into deciding all aspects of what products and services you are allowed to have and how much they’d cost. As for who really runs the system – BIG PHARMA!
If you’ll hang in here with me,
I’d like to give you the Cliff Notes version of how we got from a free-market (read affordable), state-of-the-art medical system in Colonial America to the over-priced, chemical-dependent monopoly and rationed care system we now have. Then I’d like to speculate as to what will happen when Trump’s ideas become a reality.
What Our Founding Fathers Had In Mind…
In Colonial Times, most people were treated at home and thanks to the efforts of Benjamin Franklin, the first hospital was built in Philadelphia to take care of the poor. Historian Daniel Boorstin said that the mortality rate at this hospital was half the rate of any hospital in Europe. Thomas Jefferson said that the natural health care we offered here in the states was superior to medicine in Europe. Until after WWII, most hospitals were run by religious groups or by local communities.
Until the end of WWII, the American health care system was a free market affair where patients had complete control of who they did business with and how much they paid for services.
Yes, plenty of chickens and various other goods and services often paid the bill. Charities helped the poor. In fact, until the turn of the 20th Century, there were no monopoly regulations to restrict who actually practiced medicine. Most practices were botanical in nature and in this free market for health care, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Eclectic Medicine, Thomsonian Medicine and other new, creative systems of healing emerged to meet market demand.
Allopathy, which is the kind the AMA doctors practice, was either avoided, or shunned altogether, by members of many religious sects such as Christian Science, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Church of the First Born, Seventh Day Adventists etc., in favor of prayer, diet and more natural means, as spelled out in the bible.
John Wesley, Founder of Methodism, published a medical book called Primitive Physick or An Easy and Natural Method of Curing Most Diseases and he and his parishioners, as an expression of their faith, provided medical care to the poor.
Allopaths were still stuck with bloodletting and use of toxic medications such as arsenic and strychnine.
A high dose of mercury was considered the magic bullet for everything. All these treatments were miserable to endure, destroyed health and also often led to a premature death. These treatments were based on a medical philosophy called humorism that dated back to ancient Greece.
Homeopaths started coming to America in 1825 and presented the Allopathic community with particular difficulties. Homeopaths were educated people who practiced a medical system totally alien to Allopathy. Their success with epidemic diseases was one of several reasons they became a real challenge to members of the AMA. Based on actual public death records of epidemics, it was obvious Allopaths hadn’t a clue how to nurse people back to health, much less help patients avoid illness in the first place.
Forced Schooling to Condition People to Accept Government Authority —
You might wonder why I’m suddenly talking about public schools in the middle of an article about health care. Stay with me, folks. You’ll see the connection in a minute.
In the early 1800s, Prussia and surrounding German states were going through big changes. First, Prussia suffered a major defeat in the Napoleonic Wars that led to the idea they needed to raise a well-organized army. To do that, they decided they needed to establish a compulsory school system to create obedient soldiers.
Since Prussia and much of Europe were already in the throes of experiencing the Industrial Age, the Prussian school model’s goals, as described by school historian, John Taylor Gatto, were to train: 1) Obedient soldiers to the army; 2) Obedient workers for mines, factories, and farms; 3) Well-subordinated civil servants, trained in their function; 4) Well-subordinated clerks for industry; 5) Citizens who thought alike on most issues; 6) National uniformity in thought, word, and deed.
These goals, of course, were opposite from the way Americans thought, and forcing public schooling on a population that was already extremely literate by their own initiative, was unnecessary, except for the fact the powers that be wanted to create a conformist society here in America. Marx once said, ” The first battlefield is the rewriting of history.” Forced schooling was established before the turn of the 20th Century here in America.
In the 1930s, Socialist John Dewey became honorary president of the National Education Association then proceeded to rewrite the goals of the NEA. As he said, “You can’t make socialists out of individuals. Children who know how to think for themsleves spoil the harmony of the collective society, which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”
Teaching Civics was dropped from the national curricula.
Hmmm… no teaching about the history of how we were endowed by our Creator to be able to run our own lives and/or how government is supposed to protect our liberties and the Constitution clearly defines the limits of government power…..????
To help you keep your eye on the ball, here’s what John D. Rockefeller had to say, “I don’t want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers” Rockefeller’s money was key to creating the American medical monopoly as you will learn more about below.