Nutrition First and Correct Medical Insurance!

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial medical insurance complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  –Dwight D. Eisenhower

Spending on Security: US Military Spending 3.5% of GDP, US Health Insurance Spending 7.9% GDP (with approximately 11% of Americans still uninsured), Medical Providers and Pharmacy 9.6% GDP

There are thirty countries in the world that have a longer life expectancy than the US.  Most of these countries practice nutrition first.  Our food pyramid is upside down. Here and here.  Medical practice uses drugs and surgery as the first line of defense against disease.  This works very well for acute maladies, but for chronic disease, it is a terrible practice.  Symptoms of chronic disease are treated without the root cause being remedied.

How have we come to an understanding that is not science, but government policy?  “It’s the economy, stupid,” says James Carville.  This desire for a healthy economy has driven us to a population that is ill with chronic disease and obesity.  This is great for the medical economy and health insurance economy, but very bad for the health of the individual.  Government has made policies that support the economy and not the health of the individual.

Who is the primary driver at fault in this car wreck that is crushing our health and economy?  It is the medical insurance industry.  Now, that sounds like a jump, but this institution is wrecking us and government is going along so as not to crash the economy.  The medical economy has led us to a huge national debt and the insurance companies are the primary driver. Why the insurance companies?

In 1928 my mother and father were having their first child.  The doctor rushed to our home as is typical in a country environment; babies were birth at home.  There was no insurance.  My father paid the doctor directly for his services.  He gave the doctor two hams, a twenty-five-pound bag of flour, and twenty dollars.  This translates into about five hundred and forty dollars in today’s currency.  Now we pay the insurance companies and the insurance company pays the bill.  Of course, minus deductibles and co-pays which we still have to pay directly. We do have better healthcare for birthing with prenatal care, postpartum care, and neonatal care.  Adding up all the medical cost surrounding a new baby gives us a cost of about $8,800 today.

Medical Cost 2

My research has found that up to half of medical expenses are administrative fees.  Most of that belongs to the insurance companies. Best approximation is that of every dollar you give to the insurance companies only fifty-five cents comes back to medical providers and pharmacy.  Without the insurance companies’ involvement, the cost of a new baby should be about $5,000 or about ten times the cost of 1928. This is approximately what medical providers actually get. The rest of the money goes to insurance for “health security.” The operation of medical insurance agrees with most business’ theory, that a company has forty percent internal cost, forty percent external cost, and twenty percent gross margin.  After general, selling, and administrative, there is about a five to seven percent profit margin with the government getting as large portion that in taxes.

As with any company, the growth of market size is critical to the health of the company.  As the disease state of Americans goes up, the medical spending increases and the cost of insurance increases proportionately.  Now hospitals are struggling as insurance companies drive up the cost of insurance to employees and play games with reimbursements for managed care. As the prices of pharmaceuticals and managed care increase, so does the cost of insurance.  This never ending loop of increases is rushing us forward into economic doom where we will no longer be able to support our national debt.  Hospitals have merged so as to have better leverage on the insurance companies, and this has only led to less competition in the market place.  This is to say nothing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which does not fully kick in until 2017.  Now we see many insurance companies already opting out of the ACA. It is not our fault scream the medical insurance companies.  In effect, it truly is the problem of government policy corruption. 

I remember well March 2010 when President Obama was in the process of signing the ACA.   I had gone home for lunch and flipped on the TV not knowing that it would cause me indigestion.  There on CSPAN was a reporter that stuck the microphone into the face of the new Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.  Charles Rangel had just stepped down after being charged with corruption and Sander Levin was the acting chair.

“Has the committee consider single payer healthcare insurance?” the reporter asked.  There wasn’t even a pause.

“I don’t think the country could stand the loss of five million jobs in the present economy,” Levin responded.  He snapped around in a military square and marched off before any follow-up questions could be asked. This began my research into medical cost that arrived at the above conclusions. I quickly imagined the median salary for medical insurance employees at about $70.000/yr.   The annual loss of $350 billion dollars in jobs to the economy would be hard road to follow.  If you used the same method as was used in accounting for the ACA, that would be a ten-year loss of 3.5 trillion to the economy.  After all, the industrial segment of the economy had been decimated, the housing market was a disaster, and we had just bailed out the banks. We certainly would not want to damage the economy with a change in medical insurance.

Government policy in the healthcare market segment has driven us to disastrous results. Don’t get me wrong.  I am a capitalist and don’t believe in the government taking over general business. However, when you combine giving the medical insurance companies state monopolies, when government practices poor policy for food, when you guarantee increased market size with the ACA, and when the HHS practices markets before mandates (your health suffers so that the economy can be sustained), you end up with a large ill-health market that the general population cannot afford.   Now that the Supreme Court has declared penalties for not having insurance as a tax, it is not too great a leap to declare all medical insurance as a tax.  That would make our taxes-well-just stupidly high.

I now believe that the ACA was a mechanism to ward off the insurance companies lobby in the hopes that medical insurance would collapse into single payer like the rest of economically similar countries.  We currently have one of the highest tax rates in the world.  If we look at Canada where healthcare is taken from their taxes, why is our healthcare cost almost double that of Canada.  When you add in health insurance as a tax, it truly is an unappealing number with a tax rate that is about double the rest of the world.  Whatever happened to common sense?

And then there is the suffering of chronic disease that is extremely high in the US.  Consider heart disease in Japan and Greece that is five times less than the rest of the world.  You know our scientist are smart enough to figure out why (sulfur deficiency and vitamin D).  Japan, Greece, and Iceland all have very low heart disease rates believed to be from the abundance of sulfur in the soil as each sits on volcanic riffs.

Markets before mandates is killing us both physically and from an economic perspective.  If we don’t start practicing nutrition first and correct medical insurance, the US is doomed. What happened to the days when you paid the doctor directly with a couple of hams, a bag of flour, and a few bucks?  Bring on medical insurance that is national and not a state monopoly, and give the population medical bank accounts that pass through from generation to generation without taxes.  Expand Medicaid for the less fortunate as it already has under the ACA. Medicare should not be handled by a third party (more government corruption), the insurance companies.  Of most importance is to get the science right for chronic disease in the practice of medicine.  It might be a short term correction for the medical industry, but let the markets decide without government interference. Certainly I would not have suffered for three decades with pain from chronic disease. Decades of pain brought on by bad government policy and greedy insurers that require me to give up health freedom for security or else. Collectively, we have arrived at Ben Franklin and Dwight Eisenhower’s warnings.  –Pandemic Survivor

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  –Benjamin Franklin

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C-clamps, Aluminum Foil, and Chewing Gum

SMM

A factory workers’ perspective on treatment for chronic disease.

Factory operations can be notorious for keeping the production equipment up and running to assure the plant manager gets his bonus.  The equipment breaks down and out comes the c-lamps, aluminum foil, and chewing gum.  The equipment starts to run again, but quality of the productions fails from misalignment.  At the end of the day, all the production on that shift has to be thrown away.

The medical profession is notorious for using pain meds and metal joints to repair cartilage failure to keep the medical economy. Cartilage cannot repair itself and the rant goes on.  For decades the patient is treated with pain meds and the patient suffers from reduced ability.  When the patient can go no longer, pieces of cartilage are cut off to relieve the pressure on nerve roots. Eventually it is bone on bone (or bone on nerves) and out come the metal and plastic replacement parts otherwise known as c-clamps and chewing gum.

If the equipment had been shut down when the bolt first came loose, a full day’s production could have been saved.  If the nutrition of the patient had been reviewed at the first sign of pain, the joint could have been saved.  When c-clamps and chewing gum are used, the whole day’s production has to be thrown away.  When pain meds and metal joints are used the patient has to be thrown away.  The use of c-clamps and aluminum foil were used in folly at the plant manger’s request to booster his bonus.  The use of pain meds and metal joints were used in folly at government’s request to booster the medical economy.

Manufacturing corporate and governments just smile as they know they are making the economics delightful for their bonuses.

Vitamin D–Conspiracy Theory or True Conspiracy

In the current political campaigns, there is much rhetoric about the far left and the far right and how each is promoting conspiracy theories about the actions of government.  This is all to shame each candidate’s position and all about winning the election.  How do we separate truth from fiction?  I have been personally attacked purposely with ridicule, told to stop talking about vitamin D at my major source of social activity, and scorned with humor in my declaring that the practice of medicine has been taken over for the sake of the economy.

Conspiracy

In the words of James Carville to President Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.”  The history of vitamin D has been filled with cover-up for the benefits of vitamin D for profit. There were seventeen multinationals named in a lawsuit by the US Government for conspiracy for vitamin D at the height of WWII: Charles Bowman for General Mills Corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours, Quaker Oats, Standard Brands, Gelatin Products Corp., Borden Co., Carnation Co., Nestle Milk Products, Inc., Vitamins Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Meade Johnson & Co., William S. Merrill Co., Parke-Davis Co., R. Squibb & Sons, Winthrop Chemical Co.  “General Mills Corp. was named as a co-conspirator, but will not be a defendant in the action.”  This of course is when the government still had a conscious for individuals.  I am sure that you recognize many of these companies.

The medical profession corrected many of the errors by recommending the use of cod liver oil, CLO, to prevent and cure rickets and improve general health.  The use of CLO continued until a well-known pediatrician made the statement that Vitamin D could cause birth defects. The use of CLO was abandoned over this fear.  This was in the middle of the 60s when the thalidomide scare for birth defects was at its height. Then in the 70s, a well-known pharmaceutical took over a sun screen company and heavily promoted “sun fear” for the sake of profits of their chronic disease drugs, which accounted for over eighty percent of their sales.  The dermatologists were captured and used as agents to continue to promote sun fear because of skin cancer.  (45-minute video Skin Cancer/Sunscreen the Dilemma) This video was made in 2009 and there have been advances in sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB.

Sun fear continued well into the 2000s, even when thousands of peer reviewed papers were published about the benefits of vitamin D.  The FDA even tried to sue the sunscreen companies for inappropriate labels but were defeated in court, thus ignoring the science–there is no science that sunscreen prevents melanoma.  The court action was defeated by lawyers of the sunscreen industry led by John Roberts, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  I guess he was just doing his job as a great attorney.

I had thought that the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board would get it right based on the scienceTheir findings were published in December of 2010.  The finding was that only 600 IU of vitamin D was required from all sources whether you were a ten-pound baby or a three-hundred-pound person.  They tried to cover themselves by stating that the study was only about bone health.  There were many problems with this board for ethics.  The studies they chose were provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality a division of US Health and Human Resources and not independently selected.  They treated studies with vitamin D2 as equal to vitamin D3. There were many conflicts of interest on the board; a direct violation of ethics policy for the National Academy of Science of which the IOM is a division.

But the real issue of the IOM’s finding came when a professor at the University of Alberta took the same data that the IOM used and found a statistical error.  The real finding should have been 10 plus times the recommended amount by the IOM.  This error was later confirmed by the scientist at Grassroots Health and two universities, Creighton University and the University of California San Diego.  The real amount of vitamin D from all sources should have been at least 7000 IU per day to achieve the goal of 99.5% of the population with a serum level at or above 20 ng/ml of 25(OH)D.

It has now been almost two years and no action has been taken by the US Government to correct the error.   Why has our Government ignored the error?  “It’s about the economy, stupid.”  There is much evidence to show that low vitamin D levels cause disease.  Think of the many deaths and more importantly the pain caused by this error in the general population.  By raising the serum level of vitamin D in the general population to over 45 ng/ml 25(OH)D, the medical economy could shrink by as much as fifty percent–ouch!  Watch this short video (at 4:30, Does Less Sun Mean More Disease) about vitamin D and the doctor’s practice that reduced office visits from four per patient per year to one visit per patient per year.  This was great for the patients, but what about the financial health of the doctor’s practice?

If we translate this effort of one practice to the general population, what would happen to a medical economy that represents almost twenty percent of GDP.   This practice not only used vitamin D; in addition, they gave their patients additional magnesium, vitamin C, B12, and zinc.  The correction of one vitamin is not all that is required to bring the population to a greater health.  If you were a Congressman or the President, which decision would you make–the health of the individuals in the population or the financial health of our institutions?  Which would cause more harm?  The government has chosen the general principle for Health and Human Services as “markets before mandates.”  (Secretary Michael Leavitt–Principles lower right) A general conspiracy or a policy that protects national economic security?

You just cannot make this stuff up out of whole cloth.  As an individual, you should follow the science as described by Grassroots Health.  I know it will take some time to read through this article and the links, but your health or your money? Beliefs change regularly as we have new experiences.  That happened to me when I discovered I was deficient in vitamin D (not D2), vitamin C, magnesium (in an absorbable form), zinc, correct proteins, iodine, vitamin A (not beta carotene), B12, and folate (not folic acid). I avoided more back surgery and healed from chronic pain and sleep apnea.  I arrived at my conclusions through faith in a being greater than us and by applying engineering principles to my health with an MS in engineering, forty years of engineering practice, and more than 9,000 hours of reading about vitamins and minerals.  –Pandemic Survivor

©2016 Mark Pegram