Is Obama Bailing Out Big Pharma’s Bursting Bubble?
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Bubble economics has become a painful financial lesson for America and the rest of the world. Will we learn from our mistakes? Will we get smarter about recognizing bubbles before they burst, so that the air can be let out of them in a less painful manner? It appears that our new president, in his passion to provide health care for everyone, is about to pump hot air into a bubble that is ready to explode under the weight of its own fraud and lack of results. The magnitude of this problem is on par with the scope of our mortgage meltdown mess, yet the problem is quietly flying under the radar – mostly due to denial. Sound familiar?
A free economy works well when its members roll up their sleeves and put in a hard day’s honest work. It suffers when those in leadership or control con the system for excessive personal profit or when members are lazy or seek something for nothing.
At the moment it is very popular for Americans to hate Wall Street – and with good reason. However, be careful what you wish for. Wall Street exists to coordinate investment in the private sector, leverage the power of money to expand business productivity, and consequently to produce jobs for Americans and the rest of the world – so that you can buy whatever you want in exchange for what you have produced. Investors help make this possible, and expect a piece of the pie.
A bubble is a fraudulent product with a sustained revenue source that does not produce a legitimate or desired result. It sucks up money and acts like a parasite on true productivity, eating pie that wasn’t earned. In the case of the financial products provided by Wall Street, various players created fraudulent investment products with no real value and sold them as if they were legitimate. Investors around the world bought them, providing the bubble funding. Consumers went along with it, using the money to buy houses they couldn’t afford while acquiring additional possessions with Monopoly-money credit. The price of housing soared on the back of this fraudulent bubble, providing temporary financing to fuel real jobs for the economy. The problem with all bubbles is that there is a day of reckoning. And that day has come.
The Health Care Bubble
Many are now blaming the lack of regulation on Wall Street for the bursting economic bubble. This implies that greater amounts of regulation would solve the problem and prevent it from happening again. However, laws are typically bubble makers. This is because those with money, often obtained by a bubble in the first place, use that money to lobby for laws that lock in their bubble. And this gets me to the story of the Big Pharma health-care bubble – a story driven by the opposite problem of Wall Street – too much regulation getting in the way of health while flowing hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars into a black hole.
Hospitals profit only when beds are full. Last year in the beginning of February, like this year, hospitals were lamenting over the lost profits from the lack of a vigorous flu season. Yes, it’s true, unless a lot of people get really sick in the next few months hospitals will be in big financial trouble.
Doctors can only make money when people come to see them; which doesn’t happen that often when people are well. When doctors get people well they lose business. No wonder they swear by vaccination programs. And Big Pharma can only make money on drugs when people have to take them endlessly – not when people are made well by a treatment. Hundreds of billions of dollars are in play.
Most of us in the field of natural health call this the sickness industry. Yes, I know, there are legitimate health care needs and expenses. That is not my point. We have more than a slight problem on our hands, as several hundred thousand Americans are killed each year by the fraud within this industry. No war has ever taken such a toll, especially from an enemy that is not even openly identified. Regulations and laws, both state and federal, are used to buy cover for this fraudulent and murderous bubble world – sanctioning it as legal.
The problem is far worse than public health officials care to admit. Denial is always needed in order to perpetuate a bubble. Injuries and deaths are swept under the rug. They are typically blamed on the patient’s underlying health, not on the treatment that caused further problems.
The health-care bubble has been building for a century. It has reached the breaking point due to high profile disasters like Vioxx. There are currently numerous bubble-related drug scandals under investigation, causing the general public to be more afraid of bubble treatments pushed on them by their bubble-trained doctors. FDA management is most often a co-conspirator, pitting itself against the more prudent advice of its safety scientists. FDA management is a revolving door with the industry it is supposed to regulate, and FDA managers typically move on to take high-paying jobs in the health-care bubble economy.
Scientific journals have been hijacked by the bubble gangs, their integrity lost. Research universities are on the bubble payroll, as are key doctors around the country. Professional organizations like the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association are little more than organized bubble gangster mobs. Most doctors live in fear of their licensing boards. The Big Pharma bubble economy is like house building gone wild – is it too big an industry to let fail?
The problem with the health-care bubble can be summed up by asking one simple question: Where is the result of actual health produced from services and treatments? No business can survive without help when it routinely fails to produce the result or product that is expected – why should health care be any different?
This phony industry can only be sustained if the costs of its services and products are paid for by others – and these health care costs are already a major drag on productivity and competitiveness for all Americans (costing lots of jobs). Obama was told by the health care industry that it would take at least two years to try to rein in the fraud in this system before a national health care system could even have a chance – and that is just the blatant fraud – nobody is looking into how deep the rabbit hole actually goes.
Obama is not listening and is instead taking the opportunity of the financial meltdown to orchestrate his health care agenda through “stimulus” spending, locking in hundreds of billions of dollars of new yearly funding for this bubble. Republicans argue that such spending doesn’t create enough new jobs. And Democrats argue that any spending stimulates the economy. Since Democrats are now in control, they will stimulate the economy in a way that reflects their health-care objectives.
The problem that neither political party seems to be addressing is: What happens when stimulus spending is fueling another major bubble that is about ready to burst?
Obama is Likely to Expand the Health Bubble
During the McCain and Obama debates the question was asked, “Is health care a right or a privilege.” Obama said it was a right.
It is of course very admirable for a wealthy society to do whatever it can to help its members in need – there obviously must be some form of a safety net based on a country’s ability to pay. Accidents, serious acute illness, and many health problems beyond an individual’s control should be the priorities for such care.
On February 4, 2009 President Obama signed a bill expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program to cover eleven million children, calling it a “a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American.” Big Pharma has spent millions lobbying for this legislation. Why? Because it is a cash cow for dispensing unproven and dangerous psych meds at taxpayer expense.
Big Pharma rakes in billions of fraudulent money from this legislation every year, and now it has been expanded. Additionally, rampant overuse of antibiotics, antacids, and immunizations has created an asthma epidemic in our children. And now the medical profession wants children on statins! In my opinion, this type of care is not worth having – and if someone wants it taxpayers should not foot the bill. Until physicians actually understand their oath to “first do no harm,” they should be kept as far away from children as possible – except for emergency needs.
Health care expenses are never discussed in a meaningful way because there are too many politically incorrect elephants in the room. No politician, Republican or Democrat, will ever get elected or re-elected actually talking about the real issues as they alienate large blocks of voters who want something for nothing.
The noose around the neck of democracy comes at the point when the non-productive reach such numbers that they realize they can vote themselves a free handout – redistributing wealth from the productive into a bottomless pit. We are now on that doorstep.
For example: our obesity epidemic is causing a diabetes and heart disease epidemic – with unbelievable health costs that are scheduled to skyrocket in the coming years – not to mention lost productivity. Yet, this problem is self-induced in the majority of cases. And it is more often self-induced by the low income sector of society – meaning those that don’t pay taxes in the first place. Who is going to pay for their care? Result: class and race warfare.
Then we have seniors addicted to the Big Pharma medication bubble, many of whom are already on fixed incomes. The medications they think they need does little more than suppress symptoms while making their health worse over time. Who is going to pay for their care? Result: generation warfare.
Then we have the new entry to the health bubble – super expensive biotech drugs that manipulate gene switches that buy time, but, like their predecessors, don’t cure anything. Big Pharma is betting the house on this future. These drugs can extend the life of a cancer patient four-six months – just long enough to bilk the families of their life savings. Who is going to pay for this type of care? Result: certain national economic ruin.
Even if society could reach consensus on such issues, it still comes back to the question of who will pay for it. How can that question be answered when the current health care system is a major bubble of fraud getting ready to blow its gasket? How can we pour money into health care when the current system is perverted – profiting from people being sick and staying sick? While treatments can change numbers on paper, they often fall far short of producing health.
Is Your Health Based on a Sub-Prime Mortgage?
Economists tell us that we must spend, spend, spend to get out of the current mess. In the next breath they tell us that if we had saved more in the first place and hadn’t become a plastic nation of spenders we wouldn’t be having such a hard time right now. And at some magical time in the future we are supposed to stop spending so much and start saving. Moral of the story: if we all would have spent more prudently, saving more as we went along, and bought only what we could afford, then we wouldn’t have helped fuel the current economic bubble.
Apply this idea to your personal health. You should have health reserves – is there anything in them? You should have energy reserves, structural reserves, antioxidant reserves, and an overall state of fitness. Do you? Or have you spent everything into a state of wear and tear, inflammation, fatigue, and declining health? And whose fault would that be?
The more this latter question is answered by pointing the finger away from oneself, the greater our collective problem with health as a society. The more people count on a “free” quick-fix medication that must now be taken forever, the greater our problems.
In my view, rights are earned. Their foundation is hard work, honesty, personal integrity, and doing what you know is right as often as you can. When these concepts are applied to being healthy then individuals eat better, exercise more, enjoy a healthier lifestyle, and manage stress better. They are also much more able to be productive and add value to the financial prosperity of the collective group – while incurring less health care costs.
As a health writer I do what I can to help those who want to follow such a path. I am constantly exposing the fraud within the Big Pharma bubble. I spend many hours trying to explain natural health options to those who want to know. I appreciate all those who are trying to do the same. And we all hope there will be enough of us to weather the coming storm.
Health Freedom in Jeopardy
Natural options for health are in direct competition with the forces that are driving the Big Pharma bubble. It is David vs. Goliath. The natural health forces have little political lobbying clout – it’s mostly a grassroots effort that could be blown away at any time if not for the will and resolve of its members.
While there are individual politicians in both parties (not many) who are allies of natural health – politicians are overall not in tune with the people on this issue and are locked into bubble economics and consequent law making.
Republicans don’t rally behind natural health because they are handsomely paid by Big Pharma to sustain its profits as the priority. Democrats don’t rally behind natural health because the concepts of freedom and choice are at odds with socialized medicine and strict control over public health policy and treatments – key principles of health care for everyone. Democrats, like Republicans, are also influenced by the Big Pharma bubble lobby and its band of affiliate organizations. And Democrats like regulation to accomplish their objectives. Key Democratic members of Congress have routinely expressed a desire to increase cumbersome regulations for natural health.
The Big Pharma bubble will burst, as all bubbles eventually do. It won’t go down without a fight. Be ready to defend your rights. The coming years will be a battle as Big Pharma tries to obliterate any and all competition in a last ditch effort to retain its false power and profits.
It certainly would be nice if Obama didn’t inadvertently help Big Pharma perpetuate its crimes, but the handwriting is on the wall. Even if Obama understood the nature and scope of the Big Pharma bubble, addressing the issue would delay any movement towards national health care in the foreseeable future. That would appear to be too high a political price tag. What we are seeing is an effort to prop up the Big Pharma bubble with enough spending to keep it going long enough to implement drastic health care reform. Unfortunately, the reform is not based on any financially sustainable model of quality care. The question is not will the bubble burst, the question is when.
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