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

Pain, Pain Meds, and Disability

Americans are dying from pain meds and suffering more pain because of pain meds.  We not just talking about illegal drugs like: heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, etc. We can add to that prescription pain meds, in particular, the opiate meds.  We can also add to that over-the-counter pain meds, NSAIDS.  Why are we using so many pain meds?  It is because of the pain created by the food we eat, the lack of nutrition, and the choices we have made in medicine.  This leads to an extremely high incidence of chronic illness and thus, PAIN.

pain

Around the beginning of the 20th Century, money was funded away from nutritional medicine and toward patent medicine.  This created a population of chronically ill.  To resolve the pain of chronic illness, the population has turned to pain meds to treat symptoms and not the actual disease.  This has created many types of social problems as well as created an economic nightmare for healthcare.  Dr. Mercola Article on how this happened.

A lot of the pain comes from deteriorated cartilage.  But the meds that are used to treat pain, prevent the repair of cartilage.  Baby boomers have taken large amounts of NSAIDS that have caused deterioration of cartilage, and the need for joint and back surgeries.

“In human studies, NSAIDs have been shown to accelerate the radiographic progression of OA of the knee and hip. For those using NSAIDs compared to the patients who do not use them, joint replacements occur earlier and more quickly and frequently. The author notes that massive NSAID use in osteoarthritic patients since their introduction over the past forty years is one of the main causes of the rapid rise in the need for hip and knee replacements, both now and in the future.” – See more at Journal of Prolotherapy.

This of course is to say nothing of the number of deaths, kidney failures, heart failures, bleeding of the stomach and gut, and liver failures from over-the-counter meds.  All caused by taken more and more meds to prevent pain.  We have the greatest medical system in the world when it comes to treating acute illness.  But with chronic pain, we fail miserably.  Add to this the use of prescription meds and illegal meds and the social and economic issues continue.  I feel your pain and experienced pain for three decades before researching to find that it was just nutritional issues.

When it comes to nutrition, it seems that we are left to our own resources to find cures.  Without the use of the internet and the many professionals that reported on the issues, I would most likely be dead.  I am only one out of ten Americans over sixty that is not on a prescription med.  Begin your research into nutritional healing.  The most of it has to do with not getting enough vitamins and minerals.

This issue cannot be resolved simply by eliminating the use of pain meds with more guidelines for doctors.  The only way that we as a society can overcome this issue is for our institutions to reach a higher level of moral standards.  By that, I mean institutions should adopt standards (yes, specifically Health and Human Services) and educate the population on the research that has already been done to relieve chronic illness and pain with nutrition.  It is not our genome that is at fault.  It is the nutritionally and emotionally stimulated epigenome that needs repair.

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

Disability – A System Issue

There are multiple things in our present society that are causing a rise in disability rates.  In a recent article for NPR “Unfit for Work: The Starling Rise of Disability in America” Chana Joffe-Walt writes: “The federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for disabled former workers than it spends on food stamps and welfare combined.”   Where have we gone wrong?

Personal Responsibility

Our leaders have failed us as it has happened in the past history of the US.  When settlers first came over on the Mayflower, it was thought that everyone should share equally whatever the community provided.  This system failed miserably because of human nature.  That is if someone is willing to give you something and you don’t have to work; you take it.  Work is the thing that gives added value and increase.  The leaders saw what the issues were and changed it so that everyone was on their own.  If you didn’t work you didn’t eat.  At some point, hopefully not too late, our current leaders will see the error of their ways and change.  There is no something for nothing.

Food Causing Illness

There has been a false science permeating the US solely for the purpose of creating markets.   This has been particularly dangerous in the food industry.   Under the guise of generating large yields to stave off world hunger, our grains and other foods have been genetically modified.  This would not be an issue if the foods had been properly tested for health consequences.  Since the early 1980’s, I have not been able to eat wheat without getting indigestion.  Also, my joints ache; I lose focus, and in general feel miserable.  The wheat you eat today is not your grandfather’s wheat.  Dr. William Davis in his book, “Wheat Belly” believes that the change in wheat is the cause of the obesity problem in the US and many other types of disease.

We can consider the five major things that have created problems in the food industry and it always seems to be about creating markets instead of the best benefit of mankind.  GMO (genetically modified organism) wheat, GMO corn, processed and GMO soy, concentrated juices and the consumption of two much sugar, and trans-fat as in margarine have all lead to serious generalized pain and illness.  Avoid these things and you will not believe how much better you will feel.  You may even feel like you want to go back to work.

Corn seems to be another issue that will ultimately cause severe damage to the population.  In a recent study released from Australia, hogs that were feed GMO corn had severely inflamed guts.  Also rat studies have shown huge tumors being formed in GMO fed animals. I have a friend that lives in central Piedmont North Carolina.  He has always raised corn for both animal feed and for his own food supply.  He remarked to me recently that years ago he had to constantly scare the crows away from his sweet corn.  Now with GMO corn, the crows will not even bother to eat it.  If the crows want eat it why should we?  After all the EPA has given corn a number as a registered pesticide. This has been a major help in the shelf life of the corn by inserting a gene that creates a pesticide, but the next morning you are having that bowl of corn flakes, think pesticide.

Nutrients

And then there are nutrients: Vitamin D, Iodine, magnesium, and sulfate are recent deficiencies that have been made worse in the last fifty years.  Over seventy percent of healthcare spending is for chronic disease.  I believe science has been manipulated for the purpose of having a large population with chronic disease to support a large health economy.  After all, when your Secretary of Health and Human Services writes the nine principles of government intervention into healthcare with four being “markets before mandates” and number nine “to value life”, then what would you expect.

So Many Wrongs – Where to Start

After two failed back surgeries, severe sleep apnea, and many years of chronic severe pain, my doctor offered to write a letter for disability.  He suggested seventy percent disability because of my apparent mental and physical impairment.  However, I was reared to understand that we are responsible for our own provisions.  I did not have my legs shot off in the war or was born with severe disability.  My problems have been because of a government system of creating markets over the health of the population.  We have simply become nothing more than cows for the profits of the medical insurance industry.  Regardless of recent commercials that have been run by that industry saying they are not the bad guys, I ask you this – would you buy insurance so that you could have regular oil changes.  This is exactly what you are doing when you pay an insurance company for preventative care.

Start by repelling the affordable healthcare act.  We passed it to see what was in it.  IT is now time to send it away.  Take away the monopoly of the insurance companies by state and make your insurance national.  Allow all health insurance companies to compete in all markets. Take away groups and force insurance companies to put everyone in the same group with the exception of a high risk group like car insurance.  Health insurance for preventative care should not be allowed or at least closely controlled.

Restructure the Health and Human Service agencies so that there is real science and not science pointed to a healthy economy, but pointed toward health of individuals.

Allow doctors to practice their art and not be simply technicians that do the biding of HHS and large pharmaceutical companies.  Remove all forms of pharmaceutical advertizing and leave that to the professionals.

Clean up our food sources.  Train the population in nutrition.

That should about do it.  Have a good day!  – Pandemic Survivor