Vitamin D — A Conflict of Science

“Science in the modern world has many uses; its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.” And more – “Truth, of course, must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for we have made fiction to suit ourselves.” – G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton was all about words and expressions of truth. This early 20th Century writer, philosopher, and humorist used words with great skill in debate and general discussions. I am sure he would be appalled at vitamin D science. Has science and allopathic medicine developed into some form of fiction to enhance the rich? Worse, has the largest sector of the US economy been sustained through production off the illness of the population?

Perhaps you should pause and take the time to read this article from Hank Campbell, published in the Wall Street Journal – The Corruption of Peer Review is Harming Scientific Credibility. There have been thousands of peer reviewed published papers on Vitamin D and its benefit to health. And, our greatest bastion of science, National Academy of Science and its Institute of Medicine, has allowed an error for the RDA for vitamin D to escape into the public domain. They were only off by over a factor of ten too low. Is this a mistake like the crash of the Martian Lander that went down because the conversion from miles to kilometers was in error? The only harm was the cost to the taxpayers. Because of a factor of ten for vitamin D intake, hundreds of thousands die prematurely in North America each year. Here is the recently published paper by Paul J. Veugelers, A Statistical Error in the Estimation for the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D. Grassroots Health has confirmed the error through testing of thousands of participants in their health initiative for vitamin D.

Many other errors have been made in vitamin D science over the years since its discovery:

  • Vitamin D2 is equal to vitamin D3
  • Selling vitamin D as a supplement in only 50 IU tablets that resulted in conspiracy charges of seventeen multinationals during WW II by the US (this sounds just like the error(?) made by the IOM)
  • Vitamin D is only useful for bone health
  • Dr. Cook’s description of birth defects from vitamin D in the 1960’s during the thalidomide scare
  • There is no warning label on sunscreen for the product preventing the body’s most significant steroid hormone from forming in your skin with exposure to the sun
  • Years of warnings by medical professionals about the dangers of the sun
  • Improper interpretation of findings in vitamin D research

It makes me wonder if it is just bad science, incompetence, idiopathic delusion, or orchestrated intention.

The only thing that I can tell you is from my own personal experience. Grassroots Health has it right. Have your serum 25(OH)D tested and then use the chart on Grassroots Health home page to achieve a level above 50 ng/ml. For more guidance on what level of vitamin D, take the advice of Dr. Mercola through his many years of practice.

And if you want to be proactive, sign the petition for Health Canada and the IOM to reevaluate its findings. – Pandemic Survivor

Okay, so maybe you are into a more poetic description: “Through epigenetic action of nuclear receptors as an orchestra, life is properly conducted by the vitamin D receptor. userprofiletileIn this auditorium, the microbiome listens and sustains life through applause.” Mark Pegram—inspired from discussions with Dr. P.R. Raghavan, developer of policosanol as a nano-emulsion, Metadichol®, a natural nuclear receptor agonist/inverse agonist when animals cannot get enough sunshine.

“Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.” – G.K. Chesterton ILN, 9/11/1909

Vitamin D Recommendations by the Institute of Medicine are WRONG!

When the Institute of Medicine for the amount of vitamin D for health was published in December of 2010, they were off by over a factor of ten. The vitamin D experts at the time wrote extensively about this, but no one found the error in the IOM’s calculations. I also wrote about it extensively in December that year and you can find links from my posts of the many comments. A news article published in November 2014 by News Medical has this lead-in for Canadian health: Increasing vitamin D intake could prevent 37,000 deaths annually and save taxpayers billions. The study at the IOM was paid for by the US and Canada.

If we extrapolate this number for the US, it is 370,000 deaths and tens of billions (about ten times the population of Canada) that an adequate intake of vitamin D would prevent. Savings would not be as great as in Canada because the insurance companies would keep the savings. That is of course until their sales cost went down and they would have to adjust pricing for medical insurance. In Canada, the medical cost are taken from their taxes and paid directly to medical providers. The cost per capita for medical care is already about half of what it is in the US. This is also true for the EU as well. If you include the cost of medical insurance as taxes, then our tax rates is exceptionally high. The Supreme Court has ruled that medical insurance is a tax as health insurance is required by the government. Are we really funding 18% of our economy off of the illness and fear of illness of the population?

The discoverer of the error is Paul Veugelers, PhD of the University of Alberta. He found by statistical methods that around 8000IU is necessary to keep 97.5 percent of the population at or above 20 ng/ml for 25(OH)D. This is based on the same data that was used by the IOM. The IOM stated at the time that only 600IU of vitamin D was needed to keep the population at 20 ng/ml. This recommendation was for a ten pound baby as well as a three hundred pound adult. So much for common sense. Here is a link to the Grassroots Health Newsletter on the matter. TAKE ACTION! Click the link on to the Grassroots Health Newsletter and follow the instructions in the middle of the page to sign the petition to have the IOM review their findings. Or just click here sign this petition. To sign, just put your name and email address and make any comments that you would like. Grassroots Health through their testing of thousands of people have found that it will actually take about 7000IU per day.

Also, it would be great if you would share this information with friends and social media to avoid this continuous health disaster.  Or better, contact  your local congressman and raise h*ll! – Pandemic Survivor

A New Model for Wellness

What will the Twenty First Century of health present? The old paradigm of treating symptoms in hopes that the body will ultimately repair itself has failed. Drugs for symptom relief with many side effects and poor nutrition has caused the increased in much chronic disease. Now, at least 18 percent of the US economy deals with medical care in the form of health insurance, pharmaceuticals, and many medical procedures. We now must revert to the ancient healing processes of environment and food if we want be well. Our food supply has been taken over by cost of supply and efficiency of delivery. Our environment has confined us in air conditioned buildings with less than quality air, exposure to unsettling electromagnetic fields, and no sunshine. Now, with the understanding of our symbiotic relationship to the microbiome, we must understand the importance of the DNA that we consume.

Only recently, in the late 1990s, has the microbiome been defined. The microbiome contains ten times more cells than the human body. If the human body contains a trillion cells then the microbiome contains over ten trillion cells and its associated DNA. That is approximately 23,000 genes of our DNA and 1,000,000+ genes in the microbiome. This DNA relationship is constantly changing through our food supplies and how our body and the microbiome relates. It has been found that the microbiome communicates directly with the central nervous system. In essence forming a sophisticated communication system that leads us down a path to wellness or disease. Of course, the health of our brains dictates the regulation of the hormonal system for DNA expression. This never ending cascade of hormones drives our emotions and how we feel. Feeling well is the ultimate goal.

Environmental toxins significantly affect this symbiotic relationship of the human body to the microbiome. We are constantly bombarded with manmade molecules that may not be healthy for the community that lives within us. As a result, inflammation occurs causing us to go down the road toward chronic disease. The environmental toxins may well include constant stress. Stress not only upsets our endocrine system, but most likely upsets the homeostasis of our microbiome as well. Environment and food that we eat must be controlled to have a healthy life. Yes, our body and the microbiome are very adaptive. This is the only reason that we have the health that we do.

Through trial and error in diets, it now appears that the diets similar to the paleo diet are the healthiest to us. Please note there were no manmade molecules in ancient times to assault our systems and the relationship to the microbiome. Also we were constantly exposed to the rhythms of nature. A proper diet and exposure to nature is necessary for health. When we were exposed to toxins in nature, then disease usually occurred. There are many examples of this over time whether lead in the water or organic toxins from plants that should not be consumed. Over thousands of years, we learned what consumption of plants and animals made us healthy and what made us ill. This has been lost through specialization in science. Science, which studies only one thing at the time through control trials without consideration for the multiple variant environment in which we live. It is the correct combination of environment and consumption that we feel well.

I spent the Saturday afternoon, January 10, at a seminar by a local retired pediatrician, Dr. Bose Ravenel, Coauthor of The Diseasing of America’s Children. He has now come over to the understanding of functional medicine after forty three years of practice. When he first started to study functional medicine, he thought that the science would be weak. To his amazement, he discovered that the science was extensive. He has become amazed that nutrition is not taught as the number one understanding of doctors. It is only through wisdom with age has he come to this conclusion. The criticism that functional medicine is pseudoscience has been put to rest his mind after reading the literature for five years. With the start of practicing the use of food and environment for his own well being, his eyes have been opened.

What is going to be necessary to change this failed model of wellness and disease that we currently embrace? Our government has so embraced this paradigm for security of our economy that it may take many decades to overcome. That is of course if our economy does not collapse for other reasons. It may take a catastrophe that we don’t want to experience to regain a true understanding of health. It is truly immoral to support the largest sector of the economy off the illness of the nation as a means of production. It is my hope that leaders will arise to point us to a meaningful healthy understanding. However, it is only with individuals like you that are willing to read and research that we will ultimately change the current destructive model of health. That is through you feeling better and telling others about it. Thank You for taking the time to read. Go, tell others! – Pandemic Survivor

The Microbiome – A New Model for Health

sunday musting 2Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

What would a new model in medicine look like? Perhaps that new model has already been developed, but we have not begun to understand it. In the late 1990’s, a new paradigm in health was published. That is we live in a symbiotic relationship with a community of microbes. There are ten times more cells in this community of microbes than human cells within the body. There is also significantly more DNA in this community than human DNA that was discovered when trying to map the genome. Our model of genes or mutations of genes that affect our health is a poor model when we have ten times or more the genetics living with us that has to be properly expressed.

“You mean there is this tiny community of life living within our personal biosphere?” – Pandemic Survivor

“Yes, that is absolutely correct.” – A Cognizant Commentor “

“Hello, Mr. A. C. Commenter, where did you come from?” – PS

“It’s not commenter, it is Commentor. You introduced me a few weeks ago in a musing. You also got my name wrong in that post. A commenter is one that makes random suggestions where a commentor is one that typically has knowledge of a particular subject.” – ACC

“Sorry.” PS

“So there are ten times as many cells living in my body than my own human cells. That is certainly unnerving to think I have my own personal zoo living all over my body. Are they just in my gut?” –PS

“No they live everywhere in your body. There are literally trillions of these organisms that call your body home. A tiny bio home which lives everywhere in your body. Because this colony lives within you, it can either make you or break you. “ – ACC

“What do you mean by ‘make you or break you’?” -PS

“The way I like to think about our relationship with this colony is to imagine a bee keeper. The bee keeper goes about taking care of the hive to be sure there is plenty of fresh blossoms for them to collect the needs of the hive. Also the bee keeper makes sure that the colony always has a fresh place to store honey. The keeper may also take some of the honey for his own needs.  Certainly the bees also pollinate the fruits and vegetables in the keepers garden for an abundant yield.“  –ACC

“Wow! That is really interesting. I have never thought of anything like this. So I have to keep this living colony happy so that I am well? I always thought that anti bio substances were necessary to kept pathogens from causing disease. Every type of cleaner that I have purchased lately has some form of antibiotic in it. Even the dish washing detergent I bought last week.” – PS

“It is unfortunate that we have used such a large volume of chemicals that has significant impact on our friends that live with us. This destruction of their colonies has caused us much harm. If you think of it like the bee keeper analogy, so goes the colony, so goes the good fortune of the bee keeper. “ –ACC

“Interesting, a healthy hive, a healthy life or living symbiotically.” -PC

“Yes, that is exactly right. If you go out and kick over the hive, you will create an angry swarm of bees that attack you to protect their home. If you give them a place to live, and some nectar to keep them calm, they will re-track their anger. This may account for infectious disease as well as autoimmune diseases and allergies. It may also account for biochemical missteps as well. You introduce a pathogen (or a cougar in the hen house) that angers the hive or a substance that angers the hive and the attack of inflammation begins. You give them their natural needs and the hive calms down and stops attacking you. Pharmaceuticals under our existing paradigm of working on just human cells may actually anger the hive and cause severe inflammation commonly called side effects.” -ACC

“So ole Hippocrates was right two millennia ago. Medicine really is about food and keeping the ‘hive’ happy.” – PS

“Our present model of health has given us many great things for emergency healing, but I believe all the other diseases and possibly severe infections may be treated by keeping the microbiome well. I suspect this is the reason that chronic disease has not gotten any better since the understanding of DNA and the Central Dogma of molecular biology. We have totally ignored the environmental effect on expression of DNA and the DNA of our microbiome. The central dogma of saying that a gene or a gene mutation is the reason for disease is just wrong. It is like saying that you can throw a set of blueprints on a vacant lot and expect a building to spring up. It is the acts of the contractors and the skill of the crews that give you the building. The better you treat the workers, the better the building is likely to be.” – ACC

“That certainly is a new model of health. They actually named our present model central dogma? What arrogance! How can I learn more?” –PS

“Just read.” –ACC

Wiki – Microbiome

Central Dogma

National Institute of Health – Microbiome

Leading in Nutrients – The Affordable Care Act, Part II

What are the natural or innate characteristics of leaders?   The significant characteristic of leadership is the ability to paint a picture of truth that others can understand. When the picture is false it becomes a lie.   The lie is where great leaders have failed us over the years. Much propaganda delivered in health and nutrition now makes it difficult for anyone to find the truth.   This includes you and your doctor.

The ability to paint a picture in leadership that others can understand is a great gift. It is not a developed gift but a gift or quality that is innate in the leader. Research was used to determine the qualities of a leader. Only one quality of leadership could be found through all ages of test participants. The participants were asked to drink a glass of water with lemon juice added – no sugar. They were then asked to describe how great the lemon water was to drink.   This was started with participants at the age of five. The children were then asked to go play. As they played, the researchers noticed that the children who were able to describe the lemon water as tasty without grimace, became the leaders in play. This test was repeated with groups through middle age with the same result.   Participants who were able to describe the lemon water as great to drink became “natural” leaders.

This gift of painting a picture that others can easily understand is what makes a leader great. There have been many examples of leadership when both the lie and the truth were used effectively. However, when the gift was used as a lie, eventually failure of the led was the result. Compare/contrast the words of leadership during WWII between Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler.

Has this happened to us in health? The immediate example is the Affordable Care Act. A regular citizen, like yourself, has discovered some serious issues of lack of the truth. Richard Weinstein, MBA, Investment Advisor, found that Jonathan Gruber, the architect-advisor to the ACA, used less than truth to help the ACA pass legislation. Rich was frustrated for a year because he could not get the attention of the press. It was only after his findings became part of a legal challenge to the ACA that he found traction. Huffington Post Article: “This Philly-Based Investment Advisor Has Become Obamacare’s Digital Menace.” 11/11/2014

Rich was driven by the words that got the bill passed, “If you like your policy, you can keep your policy.” Last year, his health insurance policy was cancelled. The closest comparable policy was twice as much. He spent his nights researching the words of the architects of the ACA by reviewing videos that were available on the web. This past week, the Obama Administration was embarrassed by the videos and took immediate action. Obama declared that he wanted “Net Neutrality.” To me this sounds like double-speak as an effort to better control the internet. Glen Beck, on his morning radio show, called this declaration a “Trojan Horse” or subterfuge. A fear tactic was used this week with the words, “if you like Netflix, you can keep Netflix with net neutrality.”

Confusing and confounding findings are now included on a regular basis as a method to advance political advantages. Subterfuge is used in economics, in atmospheric science, and in evidence based medicine. The commonality is the complexity of finding truth. Findings by our elite scholars are being used to manipulate the people for the sole purpose of empire building.   Empire building is simply the maintenance and growth of any organization without concern for the stress on society as a whole.

We, as citizens with concern for the health of government and people, have to now take action. The internet is there for you to determine your own truth. However, be careful, the double-speak artists are paid well to paint beautiful pictures. We do need to follow the leadership of a plain citizen, Richard Weinstein. Have you had a health situation that could be healed with nutrients? It is up to you to talk about this with your friends and family and to help our ethical leaders understand what is happening to our society. – Pandemic Survivor

Leadership in Nutrients – Part I

Leadership is often misidentified as management. Certainly management is necessary to achieve any great goal. However, is it the correct goal? This is where ethical leadership steps in to give clarity to the community in its effort to achieve greatness in that society. There is always tension in what is an ethical goal. The obvious goal in any society for health is to lead long healthy lives with suffering only for very short periods of time before death takes us. When economic principles supersede the desire for health, a very suffering population can result.

The best way to understand the difference in leadership and management is the story that I heard in the 1980’s. We were attempting to add excellence in quality to a manufacturing environment. We listened to many quality gurus describe processes necessary to achieve the goals. But one story clearly differentiated the process of achieving the goal versus defining the goal: There was a team given the assignment of clearing a jungle and building a road to the other side of an island. At one point during the mission, the manager climbed a tall tree that had been cleared from the jungle. He relayed to the workers that the jungle cutters, the brush clearers, the road builders, and the people keeping the crocodiles away were all doing a great job. He could see the other side of the island and exclaimed to the group that they were more than half way there. On a tree that was adjacent, the leader climbed to the top. He raised his arm and shouted, “Wrong Island.”

Is managing health through evidence based medicine that spotlights only drugs, surgery, and other medical procedures the right island?

Where is the leader that stands up and declares, “Evidence based medicine when focusing only on drugs, surgery, and medical procedures is the wrong island?” “Evidence based medicine when focusing on drugs, surgery, medical procedures, and nutrients is the right island,” declares the leader.

And the economics shout back, “who is going to pay for the research on nutrients that will have no return except for health?”

“What will replace all the lost jobs in medicine and medical insurance?” the politicians proclaim.

Who is going to pay for the research on nutrients is answered by, us, the people. We have already paid for the research on drugs, surgery, and medical procedures that allowed the medical industry to achieve huge economic benefits. It is now time for the government to direct the largest portion of money spent on research toward nutrients and their interactions for health. It is interesting to note there is presently enough evidence based medicine for ethical leaders to make decisions on nutrients. But, what has clouded the effort is the desire to maintain the large sector of the medical-economic complex. Government has adopted the policy position that money to support the economy of healthcare is more important to the security of the nation. This has resulted in a population that suffers from a severe chronic disease epidemic. Could the problems of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes as the big three killers be corrected?

It is now time for our government leaders, Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court to make ethical leadership decisions. The health of the nation would give a much more thriving, wealth building economy than our present paradigm of the medical-economic complex can ever achieve. Are you going to be the change agent to motivate ethical decision making in health? Only through contacting your leaders at all levels will this ever happen. It is the people’s issue that must develop in a grass roots wave. The other choice is to maintain the status quo and continue with great management of the medical-economic complex.

“Wrong Island!” – Pandemic Survivor

Health versus the Economy

Sunday MusingHave you ever wondered what a nation would look like that put the economy of the nation as more important than the well being of the individual? Or, wondered if the wealth of the ‘ruling class’ is more important than the health and well-being of everyone else?  What about a nation where one out of every five people gets their income from the illness of the population? This was the transition, “markets before mandates in health”, that America begins to make during the 1930’s at the height of the Great Depression. Now the healthcare segment of the economy is close to twenty percent of GDP.

It is difficult to imagine a community where one out of every five people gets their income from health. Think about a farming community of one hundred people. Now imagine that twenty of those people are medical workers, medical insurance workers, makers of drugs, and support people for this effort. This is what America has come to. In order to keep the medical workers busy, it means that there has to be a significant amount of illness. If the illness is maintain or increased, then the medical workers lively hoods are safe. But this very ill population has difficulty thriving in other sectors of the economy because there is no feeling of well-being. There is low energy and the illness means that the crops do not get harvested for food to feed the people.

These two things, health versus economy, held in juxtaposition of each other can only have two results. Like two waves coming together, they will either add together to get very large. This is the belief of our current leaders in government. Or, the energy will be neutralized as trough adds to ridge and flatness results. I believe this is closer to our present reality. The economy and health both fail.

Consider how the Department of Health and Human Services is operated. Here are the general principles on which decisions are made:

  1. National standards, neighborhood solutions.
  2. Collaboration, not polarization.
  3. Solutions transcend political boundaries.
  4. Markets before mandates.
  5. Protect privacy.
  6. Science for facts, process for priorities.
  7. Reward results, not programs.
  8. Change a heart, change a nation.
  9. Value life.

Please note that the first three are about politics and the fourth about the economy. There is polarization, political boundaries have been drawn with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, and national standards have prevented neighborhood solutions. And yes, markets have been sustained and increased as the greatest transfer of wealth ever from the Treasury to the pockets of medical insurers has been the result. But, have these actions actually created wealth in either the economy or health. Note that to value life or the general purpose of this large agency is last.

What if we picked a state that has done well economically and looked at its principles of operation in health care? Let’s pick Texas because it has created the largest number of jobs since 2008. Here is its number one principle for operating the Texas Health and Human Services Commission:

  • We place the concerns, interests, and well-being of our consumers and constituents at the center of our attention.

What is valued first in Texas is last at the national level. That is to value life and well-being. Texas economy is booming. Could there be a lesson here for national decision making. I am not going to take the time to look up the chronic disease rate in Texas, but being a southern state with higher UVB, I suspect it is less than the national average. I suspect it could be much better if Texas did not have to meet the requirements of the Federal laws. It is no wonder of the hint of Texas wanting to secede.

To paraphrase the words of M. Scott Peck in his book “People of the Lie”, an institution that does not have empathy for the ones it serves is evil. – Pandemic Survivor

If I Could Get That One Drug for my Health!

Health ReturnedHealth is only found through the abundance of life. This not only includes materials items, but also how you feel and the hormones that you generate by how you think. Otherwise known as the placebo effect. We have depended on modern medicine to relieve us of illness without consideration for the cheese burgers, sodas, cake, ice cream, and other processed junk food. We believe that if we do everything that our doctors tell us we will be healthy. But an invigorating, exciting, and healthy life is only accomplished through your thinking and how you experience your environment. All things are necessary for life: love, vegetables, meat, grains, water, air, sun, healthy environment, medical care, living in community, and attitude.

What has happened to health in America as we are suffering from many ailments as we age? Not only do we suffer from ailments of chronic disease as we age, we are allowing our youth to age too quickly. The issue with health in America is specialization. Specialization by the institutions that are overseeing our environment and the things that we consume. Everyone thinks that the doctor can solve all of our problems of health, but he only acts in his area of specialty. I could list all of the government organizations and other institutions to show the conflicts. There is no one that has the priority of health. Government believes that the economy is the most important thing to provide you security and health. This priority is repeated many ways in food, medicine, and medical insurance. Think about the conflict of isolating people with Ebola exposure versus the economy. During the recent months, the economic loss from SARS was cited as the reason to not over react to Ebola fears by the head of the CDC.

Consider the GMO foods that we are now consuming. How do these things get approved when no one really has control over them? Who controls the food supply? It is the economic benefit of food companies and government that controls the food supply. You would think that the FDA would be in control of GMO’s. However, anything that is generally consider as safe is provided to you as a food. But what is safe? Does food that gives us calories in large quantities with the nutrients processed into unknown substances safe?   Have you read a label recently on any processed food item and can you recognize all of the chemical compounds?

Our nation is truly blessed with a very competent medical service that is constantly being balanced by economic factors. I say, give the people health by understanding that “food is medicine.” Of course, if there was a significant reduction in chronic disease, the large medical economy would collapse. One out of every five people are now getting their income from the medical industry. It truly is a balancing act when all the acrobats have gone south for the winter. – Pandemic Survivor

 

Health or Health Insurance

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

“He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows, nor judge all he sees.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry

I don’t think Ben was talking about health or health insurance; or was he? We learned from last post that health insurance is just another “protection racket” that is legal. You will buy health insurance or we will “hurt” you! – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. Health on the other hand is what we would like to have as no one wants to be ill. However, no amount of money will stop the inevitable. That is; death will ultimately catch up to us. Have we traded our liberty for safety?

There are multiple questions now weighing on us like a load of rock on our backs in a slave quarry. How does only about fifty cents out of every dollar we spend on health insurance actually comes back to us for provider care? In other words, why do we give away fifty cents out of every dollar to someone for managing our health dollars? How did we get to this insurance economy? Why does government allow this type of protection racket to continue?

After a bit of research, how we got to this economy is easy. It was through government’s rules and laws. During the forties, wages were fixed for WWII. The labor market was short of workers. In order to draw qualified people to jobs, companies started to offer benefit packages. Then during the early fifty’s, the government passed a law that allowed these benefit packages to not be taxed for employees and were allowed as an expense by companies. After this, insurance was driven by employers because this was the best deal created by tax structure. Laws were also passed allowing states great leeway in setting laws and practices within states. This created a monopoly by states as health insurance was not transportable state to state.

Health insurance then became a significant portion of the economy. Jobs were created to handle money for health insurance. This segment, health insurance, became as large as the health industry. To hide this from voters, this segment of the economy was all lumped together. The desire for health between birth and death became a desire to maintain this segment because it drove campaign funds. Now, there is over a trillion dollars spent every year solely for health security. Combined with the cost of health providers, this is now about two and one half trillion dollars that we spend each year.

Does this type of economy build wealth? I really do not think that it does. It transfers wealth from the middle class to the upper class. As a member of a country club from the mid-80’s until I could no longer afford it from my own economic health disaster, members that were the wealthiest all were in insurance. From the 1960’s through the 2000’s, the real wealth creators of the economy, farming and manufacturing, were driven from the country. It became the burden of government to maintain jobs. Health and Human Services under the Administration and funded by Congress begin to protect health insurance jobs through the policy of “markets before mandates.” In other words the economy is more important than your health. “To valued life” became the last of the priorities for principles of government health services.

It is truly amazing to take a drive from Buffalo, NY to Toronto and observe all the manufacturing plants along the highway. The decision of locating a plant in the northern part of the US has become a no-brainer as to whether it goes into Canada or the US. Health is covered by the Canadian government and taxes are less. The Canadians have made significant policy corrections since the 1980’s. Their economy is much more stable than the US because it is based on manufacturing and not insurance.

So what did this US policy toward health do to American’s life expectancy? It made us about fortieth in the world. Look at Mary Meeker’s State of USA, Inc. graph from last post. We have the best health care for acute disease, but one of the worst for chronic disease. We have separated the practice of medicine into only drugs for treating illness because of the government policies. We have to keep a relatively ill population to support the economics of large health and health insurance sector. Does keeping the population riddled with chronic disease build wealth? I do not think so.

The correction is going to be hard. We spend 2.5 trillion annually on health insurance and health while spending only 1.5 trillion on food. This ratio of food to health should be turned upside down. For a healthy US, farming and manufacturing have to be brought back to this country. The practice of stealing from family farms and causing them to fail through death taxes while allowing health insurance to bloom through tax protection has to stop. The maintenance of the health insurance complex has truly become a burden as well as a dilemma – health insurance jobs versus health. I believe at this point, term limits in Congress is the only solution so that people will be put first and not institutions. My own health was caught up in this practice of health insurance and would have killed or kept me in a significantly ill state if not for nutritional intervention. How about your health? – Pandemic Survivor

Health Insurance Companies Deliver Your Dollar

 

Over the last year I have seen several commercials by health insurance companies saying that the issues in health cost are not their fault. I tend to agree with them. It is the ineptness of our governing bodies or if you prefer, the desire for large campaign contributions from health insurance companies. If you search on the web anywhere for how your health insurance dollar is spent you will typically find something that looks like this:

”Most for-profit insurance companies spend 87 cents out of every dollar to pay physicians, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other medical providers for medical care. This number is disputed somewhat by some experts, who put it at 82 cents, leaving five more cents for overhead and profit, but in a typical scenario, here is how your insurance company spends each dollar of your premium.

  • 33 cents goes to paying physicians
  • 20 cents goes to paying for inpatient hospital costs
  • 15 cents goes to paying for outpatient facility costs
  • 14 cents goes to pharmaceutical companies for medications
  • 5 cents goes to other medical services (this is the disputed amount since it isn’t transparent as to how it is spent)
  • 6 cents goes to government payments, compliance, claims processing and other administrative costs
  • 4 cents goes to consumer services, provider support and marketing
  • 3 cents goes to insurer’s profits”See more at

After examining this, it appears that the health insurance company only gets about thirteen percent of every dollar for handling your money. I know this is not correct from my years of experience in business. Typically most businesses operate on forty percent internal cost, forty percent external cost, and twenty percent gross margin with General, Selling, and Administrative in the gross margin. This translates to about seven to eight percent profit, with about four percent of that going to the government in taxes. This looks like the last four lines of the above analysis.  I also noted that Nancy Pelosi made great claims of how at least eighty percent of your health care dollar is going to provider payments. It turns out that for large groups this number is calculated as 85% and 80% for small groups. But the question is; how is this calculated? After much sweat and tears in searching in the last six months, I found Uwe E. Reinhardt, Economist and Professor at Princeton. Here is his comment from his blog in the NY Times:

“Up to half the premium can go for these non-medical items. It is the reason why that market urgently needs to reform.” Uwe E. Reinhardt, Political Economist, “How much money do health insurance companies make? A Primer”

Reinhardt gives the formula for calculating the number that Ms. Pelosi was describing as:PP

This is not really a complicated formula. Having years of experience in math related to engineering, in particular ratios, it is easy to see how this formula can be manipulated to fit Ms. Pelosi’s requirements of 85% and in the Obamacare law. So, how is it that Reinhardt is right that as much as fifty percent goes to administrative cost or health insurance cost? This can be answered by determining what is OUTLAYS TO IMPROVE HEALTHCARE QUALITY? If this is truly part of the ratio, then I should be able to find it in the federal register. Sure enough: FR 158.150 Activities that Improve Healthcare Quality

Activities that improve healthcare quality – what an interesting definition. Are trips to the tropics for rest and relaxation by health insurance professionals in this number?  The answer is yes. Take some time and go look at what is listed. It is the internal cost of the insurance company that can be almost anything. So we are depending on the health insurance companies to determine healthcare quality and not based on our expectations. After all, quality is defined as meeting the customer’s expectations. I personally expect at least eighty percent of my insurance dollar to go to provider care as Ms. Nancy stated. So where is the rub? Let’s play with the numbers.

My expectation is that only the provider payments should be on top and the cost of the insurance companies to be under the line. Let’s take a typical insurance company in one state with the numbers shown in billions of dollars. Total premiums collected 18 billion. Let PP = 10 and on top with the rest on the bottom as QQ = 5, SG&A=2, Profits = 1 or 28%, 11%, and 6% respectively. This gives us a ratio of 55% or payments to medical providers. This is very typical of a business loss ratio. Let’s do it the way that Obamacare defines it: 10+5/10+5+2+1= 83% – Right in line with policy. But wait, what if we reversed provider payments versus the outlays to improve healthcare quality? The ratio is still the same but provider payments are cut in half and the health insurance company gets twice as much.  Delivering your money in the tropics with feet in the sand.  The government has decided that health insurance companies are concerned about your health, the quality of healthcare, and not their profit – yeah, right.  This explains why when compared to the rest of the world we spend twice as much for healthcare with low expectations for life.  Mary Meeker’s State of the USA.

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Ms. Pelosi, we passed it; we have seen what is in it; and we have determined that it is amazingly stupid to allow the people handling our money to have their way with us. – Pandemic Survivor