The Impending Collapse of American Medicine
I recently ran into some comments made by a former Reagan Administration official and a recently retired ophthalmologist. Here are some excerpts:
The Impending Collapse of American Medicine
By Paul Craig Roberts and Robert S. Dotson, M.D
August 03, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --Just as is every issue in the US, Obamacare and the wider question of the state of American health care are obscured by propaganda and disinformation. In the article below, Dr. Robert S. Dobson looks back on a lifetime of medical practice and provides facts and insights that might help us to understand our situation.
The US medical system is the most expensive on earth without being the best and without providing full coverage. One-sixth of the American population has no medical coverage.
There are two main reasons that US medicine is so expensive. One is that profits are piled upon profits. In addition to wages and salaries for doctors, nurses, and medical personnel, the American health care system has to provide profits for private hospitals, diagnostic centers, insurance companies, and for the accountants, attorneys and management consultants made necessary by the enormous litigation and regulatory compliance cost. American medicine is the most regulated in the world and the most criminalized.
What “Obamacare” does is to divert Medicare and Medicaid monies to the profits of private insurance companies. Instead of providing medical care to those in need, the taxpayers’ money will provide bonuses for insurance executives and profits for their shareholders. It is the height of folly for Obama worshipers to defend a law written by the private insurance companies that uses public revenues to provide insurers with 50 million more customers and to add yet another layer of profits to the cost of American medicine.
Reflections on a Medical Career
By Robert S. Dotson, M.D.
Any thinking American knows that there is something terribly wrong with the health care system in this country. Throughout my career, the political ruling elite has been enacting piecemeal a version of “universal” healthcare coverage to satisfy the demands of an increasingly vocal, but also increasingly disenfranchised citizenry. Our overlords, of course, have been more motivated by enhancing corporate bottom lines and enriching themselves, than in genuinely helping the peasantry.
Every U.S. President since Kennedy in 1962 has dealt with the issue in one way or another – by policy statement or passage of legislation. LBJ oversaw the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Nixon oversaw the passage of the HMO Act (Health Maintenance Organization) in 1973 and ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) in 1974. Amazingly, he also introduced CHIA (Comprehensive Health Insurance Act) in 1974. Even more incredible was the spectacle of Ted Kennedy working to ensure its defeat. Doubtless, Kennedy regretted that in future years. Following the untimely departure of the 37th President, Gerald Ford signed ERISA into law in 1974 on his behalf, thereby introducing some minimal regulations to ensure that separated employees could maintain benefits, such as health insurance, for a limited time.
Carter campaigned in favor of National Health Insurance, but failed to pass anything similar during his time in office. He cited Kennedy’s opposition to CHIA and to his own proposals as the main reason for failure. Reagan’s era witnessed the passage of EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) and COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) in 1986 that, among other things, provided for emergency medical treatment coverage for anyone who could drag themselves into an emergency room (of course, such a visit might bankrupt them unless they were lucky enough to be an illegal alien). Medical labs and imaging centers (and, the providers staffing them) were given “special attention” under CLIA (1988).
The first President Bush had little time for national health care issues, as he was primarily focused on launching the NWO. Poppy’s “Thousand Points of Light” degenerated into in-coming tracers from the illuminated Angel of Death – simply more “peace, freedom and liberty” being delivered to millions of innocents across Battlefield Earth. It seems so trivial now, but Bush was unseated after reneging on his pledge of “no new taxes,” not for offshoring the US economy or taking the first step toward turning US foreign policy into the pursuit of world hegemony.
The Clinton administration tried to force through “Hillarycare” in 1993, but met with stiff opposition from their Republican opponents (of course, the opposition was due to perceived threats to corporate profit margins). Nonetheless, Team Clinton was able to push through HIPAA (1996) (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and SCHIP (1997) (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) which, contrary to the titles of the acts, neither improved health insurance portability or accountability nor improved the health of children.
The ascension of son Bush and his neoconservative cabal turned the government to the drive toward world hegemony. . .What could be a better bone to throw to the peasants than the expansion of pharmaceutical coverage for those under Medicare? And, what could be a better pay-off for corporate buddies than massive new government wealth transfers of taxpayers’ dollars to Big Pharma via such a plan? It was a perfect “win-win” for the oligarchs at the top of the pyramid and a “lose-lose” for the peons at the bottom. To the great joy of Big Pharma, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (Medicare, Part D) was launched in 2003 to insure unimaginable profits for its corporate members and more expense for the common people it was alleged to help. As in any casino, our healthcare croupiers are well trained to leave no dollar on the table.
President Obama, a corporate stooge par excellence, was able to ram through “universal healthcare” with the help of a Howdy Doody smile, his corporate sponsors, and the slavish devotion of an ever-delusional, pseudo-Left. It mattered not that the legislation was written by the insurance companies who had been profiting from the misery of patients for decades.
It is no accident – and would be comical, if it were not so serious – that there will be no true, equitable national health care system under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (aka, “Romneycare II” or “Obamacare” or, lately, “Robertscare” in homage to a Supreme Court judge) and its accompanying legislation, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. No Single Payer. No mutual insurance system that provides a basic level of healthcare for the proles of this collapsing Security State. Instead, we are witnessing the imposition of a system that will further enslave and impoverish the peasants here in Gulag Amerika. How poetic that a self-identifying “black man” is the front for resurrecting a 21st century version of chattel slavery in the twilight years of Empire.
Obama was positively beaming in his many photo-ops with the sponsoring corporatist representatives of Corporate Medicine, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, and Big Government who enabled the Prince of Change to achieve this milestone deception of America. The very fact that this “wonderful” new system – lauded by supporters as “revolutionary” – is to be enforced by a projected army of 16,500 new IRS agents should give us pause.
Notwithstanding passage of the legislation, decades of bad healthcare policy and corporatist plunder are finally taking their toll. The collapse of the ill-conceived US health care system might be near.
A recent article, “Efforts to implement Obamacare law raise concerns of massive government expansion” from Fox News, 5 July 2012, (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/03/efforts-to-implement-obamacar...) informs us that lawyers have already “drafted more than 13,000 pages of Obamacare regulations and that this number will increase further over coming months. In addition, we are told that DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) has been given more than one billion dollars to date in order to begin oversight of this mess and that more than 180 “commissions, boards, and bureaus” within the Agency are already hard at work implementing the final destruction of American medicine.
In a perfect world, it is my opinion that we should have some form of single payer healthcare system and divorce ourselves from corporate medicine. In my opinion, this will not happen without the complete collapse of the present system.
Dr. Dotson's disappointment because of his premature retirement has driven him to paranoid anger. I did not include his most acerbic comments in the excerpts above. But he and Mr. Roberts do underline the catastrophic nature of the health system mess we are in. And they correctly identify the reason why the American health care system has been driven into its dysfunctional corner. We have allowed corporate interests to overcome patient interests. In this, democrats are as guilty as republicans. What can not be will not happen. ObamaCare is too expensive to ever be fully implemented. The only question is whether we will see the demise of the American health care system before there is a real attempt by the electorate to do something about it. Or is Dr. Dotson correct?
Dr. Joe Jarvis