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.
Big Pharma Is Born – Vaccines Take Center Stage…
Back in the mid-1800s, when Karl Marx published his Manifesto he scared the wits out of Otto von Bismarck and the rest of the ruling class of Prussia. They feared all out revolution so they decided to buy off the Marxists by establishing various social programs to deal with such things as providing income for retired workers and providing health care for all. As Prussia and the other German states became the leaders of the Industrial Age, the educational ideas and social programs they developed were copied all over the civilized world.
The chemical industry was an extremely important part of Prussia’s rapid growth in the Industrial Age. All sorts of synthetic things were being invented (i.e. fertilizers and aniline dyes). Once several synthetic medicines were developed, the botanical medicines which had been part of the medicine bag for generations quickly faded into history. Patentable synthetic pills were more profitable. Big Pharma was born!
At the same time the chemical/pharmaceutical business was a veritable boom town, guys in white lab coats peering into microscopes looking at germs were having a field day, also.
So you don’t automatically genuflect at the mere mention of “germ theory” scientists, namely Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, there are a few things you might want to know. First, this business about the “germ theory” that is the basis of the vaccines they developed, wasn’t the only germ theory in town. There were a lot of other germ theories being argued about that, even today, some still believe make more sense.
Also, both Koch and Pasteur have been exposed as not quite the heroes as reported.
Koch’s large-scale test of his tuberculosis vaccine was a complete disaster. It killed or maimed so many people, Koch and his girlfriend had to hide out in Egypt until the scandal died down.
Meanwhile, Pasteur, who had been very secretive about his work, turned out to have committed fraud in some of his experiments. In a book entitled The Private Science of Louis Pasteur where the author, who had access to Pasteur’s lab notes, reveals how adept Pasteur was in the political world of science where he operated. Thus, he engineered his own exalted position in the pantheon of vaccine heroes.
THE REAL REASON vaccines are promoted is because they are patentable.
Worse yet, governments can force every citizen to be vaccinated so owners of the patents have a guaranteed goldmine.
While vaccines were being invented it was a matter of public record (i.e. headlines in the newspapers across Europe) that homeopaths were successfully treating epidemics with non-toxic remedies with no side effects.
Koch and Pasteur were quite aware of this and homeopaths familiar with what Koch and Pasteur were trying to do, recognized a crude attempt to replicate homeopathic remedies in such a way as to be patentable.
Once vaccines looked to be the future of Big Pharma, the industry began spreading fake news about the worthlessness of homeopathy….a “fake news” campaign that continues today, despite modern scientific studies such as those in Cuba that prove the superior nature of homeopathy in the eradication of infectious diseases.
Once Big Pharma decided to promote vaccines as their new booming business,
a series of events happened here in America that placed Big Pharma and the AMA firmly in charge of the American health care system without the consent of the people.
Big Pharma Backs Medical Monopoly In The US…
1893 – Johns Hopkins University Medical School opened. Based on the German medical school model, students were taught bio-chemical sciences that embraced synthetic drugs and vaccines. The school was to be used as model for all future government-authorized teaching of medicine in America. It still is.
In the school’s first medical book, students were warned that despite the fact doctors were reluctant to admit it, vaccines could cause serious illness including death in vulnerable individuals and had side effects such as gangrene. Syphilis was specifically mentioned as one of the illnesses vaccines could cause as a side effect.
1905 – U.S. Supreme Court rules in Jacobson vs Massachusetts that states have the police power to establish mandates to force people to submit to vaccinations. Jacobson claimed in state court that he had been harmed by vaccines as had his son. He did not want to be vaccinated again and pressed the matter up to the U.S. Supreme Court. This ruling prompted compulsory vaccination laws to be passed in all states. The CDC was created in the 1950s to be the government watchdog to make sure any germ that showed up, anywhere in the world, would end up having a vaccine invented to deal with it.
1906 – Passage of the PURE Foods and Drugs Act – Under the Constitution, regulation of foods and drugs was a power assigned to the states. Big Pharma was poised for massive international trade and needed a federal law to establish the proper regulations to do so. The Act was clearly unconstitutional when it was passed. In normal process, the legal way to transfer Constitutional powers is AFTER an international treaty is signed which then requires harmonization with all federal, state and local laws. Only, in this case, the swamp dwellers in DC did it backwards. They first passed the Pure Foods and Drugs Act. Then, to make it legal, the Treaty of Brussels was ginned up and signed six months later. Carolyn Dean, MD, and I wrote about the history of this craziness in an article describing how aspartame was approved despite its medical risks.
1910 – The Flexner Report – The blueprint of the American Allopathic Healthcare Monopoly. The Report, published under the auspices of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education, was really the brainchild of the American Medical Association, the principle medical trade group for the Allopathic medical profession.
Through lavish advertising in Allopathic medical journals and other means, Big Pharma finances, even today, the political activities of the AMA and other allopathic medical groups such as the American Pediatric Association, the principle purveyors of vaccines.
The report was presented as a review of all medical schools in America using Johns Hopkins as the model. All medical schools including those set up by non-allopathic medical systems, were compared. Special contempt was meted out to chiropractors, that Flexner, the author of the report said, “were unconscionable quacks” who needed to be thrown in jail.
After the report was published, thousands of them where thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a license and if it hadn’t been for major public political action over many years by chiropractic patients, the profession would have been crushed. An anti-trust lawsuit filed against the AMA in 1976 and finally settled in 1990, forbade the AMA from speaking negatively about the profession or disciplining MDs who associated with chiropractors.
Other “sects” as the report described them, such as mechano-therapy, eclectic, physiomedical, and osteopathy where pretty well dismissed as nobodies. The real venom was aimed at the homeopaths. They represented 20% of the medical profession, had 20 medical schools (including Boston University) and were very outspoken against vaccines and some of the other barbaric treatments allopaths depended upon back then.
One purpose for publication of the Flexner Report was to dry up funding for non-allopathic medical schools.
One irony was the fortune of John D. Rockefeller was committed totally to the building of allopathic medicine in America.
Rockefeller, himself, had been a devotee of homeopathy and had wished his fortune to support homeopathy as well. However, the managers of his wealth thought otherwise. An interesting book on how Rockefeller money helped create the American medical monopoly can be found here.
Keep your eye on the bouncing ball here
The Flexner Report got very specific. It said homeopathy, in particular, was not based on “science” as practiced by allopaths. This is true. In future articles I’ll get into more detail about this, but for now, homeopathy, chiropractic, Chinese medicine and a variety of other natural healing arts are not based on allopathic bio-medical science.
Allopathic medical science was on the assent at the turn of the 20th Century, backed by huge international chemical companies developing all sorts of patentable pills and vaccines. The word “science” cast a spell in many spheres of life at that time and MDs who practiced “scientific” medicine were bound to gain respect in the community.
Without competition, MDs could command high fees. And, BTW, the Flexner Report specifically stated women didn’t want to be doctors. Really? And they only needed enough black doctors to treat the black population. What they didn’t mention in the Report but was reported elsewhere after its plan went into effect, no Jews were welcomed, either, so many had to study abroad.
This is Where You Start to Lose Your Right to Make Your Own Medical Decisions
1930s – The New Deal – Blue Cross/Blue Shield Created. After WWI, the idea of creating a national health care payment system was on everyone’s mind.
In the 1920s, a committee was set up to study the costs of health care. The idea was to figure out what could be done to organize a national system of allopathic doctors, hospitals, public health services and the like. The final report, published in 1932, mentioned, among other things, the need to get rid of the competition, which they described as “poorly qualified” or “unqualified cultists”. (read chiropractors, midwives, naturopaths, optometrists, etc.)
The committee also found people were spending too much money on unnecessary and worthless medications (read not consulting MDs.) Also noted was that, in the Roaring Twenties, 65% of beds were utilized in hospitals and dropped to 62% during the Depression.
The New Deal was a major expansion of government control of citizens. After a political fight between the Supreme Court and President Roosevelt over the Constitutionality of expanding the power of the federal government, a raft of new federal agencies were created which represented the beginning of “the Administrative State” where bureaucrats became the fourth branch of government outside the reach of elected officials. Keep in mind ALL the agencies involved with health care matters are currently run by bureaucrats who do NOT answer to Congress! Or you!
Blue Cross/Blue Shields Is Run Like Mafia Crime Family Enterprise!
I’m not making this up. The basic design of The Blues, was an open invitation for crooked back room deals. Here’s the real story. The allopathic doctor business saw a dandy way to increase revenues for personal benefit and as well as hospitals, also run by doctors, so hospitals could add services patients might not want to pay for if asked outright. SOOOO…
While it was unconstitutional to set up a nationalized health care system (that’s what they thought back then before creative judges like we have today see the Constitution as “flexible”, they came up with a novel scheme………
Create a network of non-profit organizations in each state to pretend to be “insurance” companies so patients could get their bills paid when in hospital.
While regulated by state insurance commissioners, these non-profits didn’t have to actually run the place like a real business or show their books to anybody. The scheme (read scam) was for each “plan” to make secret contracts with each individual hospital and everybody kept two sets of books, one that would indicate what co-pay amount the patient would pay…the other the real books for only hospital officials to see.
By 1995, The Blues became a national scandal when Sen. Sam Nunn held health hearings in Congress to get to the bottom of all the complaints from patients. The headline in a New York Times editorial written by an Ethics researcher at Princeton University read like this – BLUE CROSS TURNS INTO A NATIONAL SCANDAL I urge you to read it.
Sen. Nunn needed Elliot Ness to clean up this mess. Back room deals, kickbacks, cutting off payment for seriously ill patients, payoffs to cover sex scandals, misleading or outright lying to state legislators, off shore tax deals…you name it. And, all along you thought the Blues were such nice guys.
The key thing you need to keep your eye on…..
The whole idea was a con to convince people they didn’t have to worry about how much their care in hospital cost. When the patient loses control of how the money is spent, that is a license to steal and drive prices of health care higher. The only way to control costs of anything is to make sure the buyer and the seller are communicating directly.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials both had incentives to spend money for more services even if the patient didn’t really need them or would have declined them, if asked.
Constantly raising premium rates is what happens.
Worse yet, these plans didn’t sell well to individual customers, the government told employers that since WWII was on and there was a wage and price freeze, employers could get a tax break to purchase group policies in lieu of wages for their employees. That means patients get coverage based on what the employer wants to pay, not what the patient wants to have.
1965 – Medicare/Medicaid Passes -Prices Shoot Up Instantly
One picture says it all. With the Federal Government taking over the management of the elderly and the poor, prices shot up so rapidly, the cost of healthcare for the rest of us, shot up as well.
Insurance premiums shot so high, so fast, it became a crisis Congress had to do something fast!
Serious Rationing of Care Begins…
1973 – HMOs Created to Ration Care – When Medicare/Medicaid drove up the cost of care and premiums shot up for the private sector, Congress hastily passed the HMO law to create “Health Maintenance Organizations” to put the breaks on usage. Not much to say here but you can only see doctors on their list and somebody has to give you permission to see specialists, etc. You and your doctor are not really in charge of medical decisions. Somebody has to call somebody for permission for lots of situations.
1994 – Hillarycare Was Defeated
When Hillary was assigned the task of putting together the Clinton Health Care Reform bill, she hired Bill’s old socialist friend from Oxford, Ira Magaziner. What resulted was a bill that created dozens of new federal health care fraud crimes that even if a clerk checked the wrong box, that would be considered a federal crime, punishable by a stiff fine and/or prison time.
Unlike other nationalized health care systems, Hillarycare made no provision for people to go outside the system to obtain and pay for care not offered in the system. In order to get such care, you would have had to go out of the country.
Fortunately, the bill did not pass.
2009 – Obamacare passed
This health care reform plan was never intended to work. It was the first step to a one-payer government system. One picture says a thousand words…..this is the Congressional Budget Office projection of future costs.
Big Pharma’s Global War on Dietary Supplements…
Dietary supplements are an important part of self-care in America.
A growing number of Allopathic doctors are starting to see their value, though such information is not taught in many medical schools. Supplements are the stock and trade of natural healing arts practitioners and are in direct competition with patented drugs.
1966 – Any review of American health care needs to include the longtime war on access to dietary supplements.
It is important to note that the FDA has always been under the thumb of Big Pharma. In 1966, the FDA announced that it planned to require labels on dietary supplements basically stating these products were unnecessary and any that exceeded 150 % of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) would be classified as drugs. After years of public hearings, lawsuits, and the like, The Proxmire Amendment was passed defining vitamins and minerals as “increasing the total dietary intake” and they could not be classified as drugs due to potency.
1992 – The FDA issued a task force report stating dietary supplements represented a “disincentive for patented drug research” suggesting some vitamins would be removed from the market, on a case by case basis. Two million people like me, wrote our Congressmen and saw passage of the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) passed which established that dietary supplements were food, not drugs.
In The United Nations
1963 – Codex Alimentarius was created. While having a murky past, this commission was jointly overseen by the Food and Agriculture Commission and the World Health Organization of the United Nations.
The mission of Codex is to establish “guidelines” (read international laws punishable at the Criminal Courts at the Hague) regarding dosage levels and other aspects of dietary supplement manufacture. Many believe several Nazi war criminals rehabilitated after the war and closely tied to IG Farben companies , were behind the creation of the Codex Alimentarius.
The idea was to set the stage to control the international trade in dietary supplements. I served on an international committee monitoring the activities of Codex during the 1990s and wrote a book review containing a collection of essays describing the proceedings…
The overall issue of concern is that the FDA always headed the American delegation and none of the FDA officials bring up the fact that in America, these products were regulated, by law, as food, not drugs.
In countries that had regulations, supplements are generally considered toxic drugs and often the dosages in those countries are ridiculously low and basically worthless.
In some countries these products are not even available over the counter. In that context, Codex officials were eager to claim the only safe vitamin was one in an extremely low dose, which by American standards would be considered generally worthless as we consume them in high doses with no difficulty. It remains to be seen if we will soon see the end of over-the-counter dietary supplements sometime down the road.
An excellent full length documentary of the ongoing problems with the FDA and Codex called War on Health is here.
If You Can Read a Picture, You Can See Just How Risky Dietary Supplements Are In The Real World
In Part 2 of Health Care Reform – Cliff Notes Version…….
I’ll cover what we here at the BolenReport know is going on behind the scenes regarding Trump’s health care reform activities.
I will also discuss Trump’s philosophy about how to bring down prices and expand choices. His activities go WAY beyond just passing a law to replace Obamacare.
by Elissa Meininger – Health Policy Analyst