Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare – And the Resulting Human Crisis

Ed.'s note: The US healthcare system is spiraling down into nothing more than a "blood sucking scam machine."

Insurance Companies Are Spending Millions on Attack Ads Against Medicare for All

Source: The Vineyard of the Saker

by Jon Hellevig for The Saker Blog | December 30, 2019

Introduction and Executive Summary

The United States runs the by far biggest and most bloated healthcare sector in the world when measured as a share of the total economy. Its annual value was $3.7 trillion, amounting to 17.9% of GDP (2018). That is nearly double the average of developed Western countries (as a share of GDP). The enormous expense does not buy Americans any better health than the Europeans get for half the price, in fact the health outcomes are far inferior in the US. In life expectancy, the US has fallen down to 33rd place, even overtaken by Cuba.

Exorbitant prices on drugs, medical treatment and health insurances are crushing consumers. Half of working age American adults have either no insurance at all or only an inadequate insurance and therefore risk being financially ruined for any kind of medical treatment – even just checking in at a hospital and leaving the same day could land you with a five-figure bill. Studies have shown that two-thirds of Americans are not able to afford a $500 unexpected cost for medical emergency, a sum which will not get you even past reception at an American hospital. According to the American Cancer Society, 137 million Americans suffered medical financial hardship in 2018. They then had to resort to borrow a total of $88 billion only to cover their necessary medical expenses. Medical bills are now the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.

In a unique study covering the entire US healthcare sector, Awara Accounting has dug into the problems of the US pharma and healthcare industries, and the findings are shocking. The Awara study shows that in addition to the original sin of corporate greed, the exorbitant costs of the US healthcare system stem from layers upon layers of distortions with which the system is infested. Each part of the healthcare industry contributes to what is a giant monopoly scam: the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, group purchasing organizations, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, and even what should be impartial university research. And on top of that, there's the government as a giant enabler of monopolized corporations running roughshod over the American consumer and patient.

But it is worse than that. All the monopolists (in official parlance, oligopolies) are in turn owned by the same set of investors in what is called horizontal shareholding. The same some 15-20. investors have the controlling stake in all the leading companies of the entire pharma and healthcare industry.

That's not all. Two of the investors, BlackRock and Vanguard, are the biggest owners in almost every single one of the leading companies.

Furthermore, BlackRock is owned by Vanguard, BlackRock's biggest owner being a mystical PNC Services, whose biggest owner in turn is Vanguard. Vanguard itself is recorded directly as BlackRock's second biggest owner. Moreover, BlackRock and Vanguard are the two biggest owners of almost all the other 15-20 biggest investors, which most are cross-owned and together own the entire US pharma and healthcare sector. Ultimately, then we might have the situation that the whole healthcare sector and Big Pharma are controlled by one giant oligarch clan (and the very real people who stand behind them), one single interest group of oligarch investors.

Besides, it's the same for the entire US economy. Those two investors control almost all major US companies.

Incredible? Read on, the evidence with charts and details is below in the text.

Now, this means that we are not exaggerating when we talk about an oligarch takeover of the US pharma and healthcare industries. It's real. And very real people suffer for real.

As far as we know, this is the first report to reveal this mind-boggling extent of monopolization and concentration of ownership in US pharma and healthcare. This monopolization is fast approaching Soviet levels, with the same lethal consequences.

Another particularly important thing in the Awara report is that the US healthcare crisis and global comparisons serve as a marvelous case study to show what is wrong with neoliberalism and how the so-called free-market is not necessarily better than a mixed economy. At the very core of the US healthcare crisis, is the American ideological precept that healthcare must be a private corporate for-profit business – never mind any level of predatory monopolies. But compared with European countries the US loses hands down on every parameter. European life expectancy and health outcomes are far better at half the cost. In a European-style system all citizens have nearly equal access to general health services without having to incur financial hardship in a medical emergency. It has then been clearly shown that, the European mixed system of universal healthcare with public insurance and public hospitals, coupled with government regulation of drug prices and their availability, works best. And there's a lesson for the wider economy, too.

Yet when you mention government regulation, price controls and universal healthcare, US politicians from both parties and most analysts (of the type that make it into mainstream media) pull out the socialism card. But this is not a question of the free-market vs. socialism. There can be no such question because, first, a mixed economy is not socialism. And, second, there is no free market in the United States any longer. What used to be a free market aka Capitalism, is nothing but a crony capitalist monopoly ridden system almost exclusively controlled by an ever more consolidating group of oligarchs. The choice is not between socialism and capitalism, but between a real market economy and the present oligarchy.

[Note. Wherever the original Awara Accounting study on US healthcare contain the source references and links, they have as a rule not been duplicated here.]

Please go to The Vineyard of the Saker to read the entire article.


December 3-4, 2019

American medical is an out in the open blood sucking scam machine. If you think you're lucky to have American medical, you're a fool

American medical is GREAT??!!??

I just saw a foreigner from a FIRST world country post to a forum that "America has great medical care". My GOD how the illusion has foreigners lost! From LOTS of experience I can state with 100 percent accuracy: American health care is absolute horse shit of the lowest order. And I MEAN BAD. America is the home of scamming doctors and dark stench ridden depression inducing caves called "hospitals" that will destroy your life with debt in less than a few days if you ever get stuck in one, and when you leave, you'll have endless problems that force you to go back again and again to be bled out to the final dime and beyond. God forbid you EVER have any sort of medical issue, even short term, ever in your life because it will be used as an opportunity by psychopaths to destroy you.

Oh, but you have "health insurance", RIGHT? Actually, you don't. You have a rip-off scheme that is intended to totally weaken your position in life before you even get to the hospital by robbing you blind month after month even when you need NOTHING, only to have a hospital rip you off and stick it to you again with crap your policy does not cover. Then you are stuck with bills PLUS forced to pay an obscene amount that no insurance would ever cost. In America, insurance by itself is the medical disaster you hoped you'd avoid having to pay for. You'd be a lot better off without it because the disaster will hit you anyway. That "lesser amount" you pay "with insurance" is still multiples higher than the total price you'd pay in Mex, even without insurance there.

AND WORSE? You do not even get to have your medical records, they are instead kept FAR AWAY from you under lock and key, so the next doctor can keep a scam against you going without a hitch and you'll never be the wiser. Why the hell can't you HAVE YOUR MEDICAL RECORD? In America, your medical record is a secret file you can't look in. WHY? Because the plot against your life is there and they do not want you to see it. It is incomprehensible that Americans don't even get to see their medical records. I was never allowed to look at mine. WHY? If they have to be transferred to another doctor, it happens behind the scenes in secret, NOT IN YOUR HANDS, WHY?

I'll tell you why: Because the medical records document the war on the United States via the medical system. Every last thing done to destroy you is right there, in print. They don't want knowledgeable people who are not involved in the scam digging through them and finding "inconsistencies" or asking questions. Everything from "delusional parasitosis" over morgellons to secret accusations and opinions against you, or even how to rip you off is in there and they don't want you to see it.

And worse, American "health care" is inferior, and I MEAN INFERIOR. I know this for a fact.

I know this because I spent lots of years in the U.S., and lots of years in Mexico. Mexico's health care kicks America's to the curb BIG TIME and costs about 1 - 4%. You get ALL records of EVERYTHING done and can go to any random doctor on a whim with no reference or way for one doctor to know how another doctor got away with scamming you. Here's a good example of why that matters:

Five years ago, one doctor in Mexico told Claudia she had to have her gall bladder removed. I called B.S, and said he's just trying to scam. I gave her the real advice: Stop eating oily foods, and the problem went away. Five years later she's FINE. No other doctor even knew she came across a scammer. No other doctor ever said such a thing. But if she was in the U.S. she'd have had a permanent record of gall bladder issues, and every doctor out there would have tried to cash in. She does not even need pills. She is fine now.

A few years ago, Claudia's dad needed brain surgery. Here's how THAT went:

Mexico is a place where if you need brain surgery, no one will know you had it unlike in the U.S.where you're transformed into a raggedy ann doll IF you are lucky. Claudia's dad had brain surgery twice due to a fall and made a 100 percent PRISTINE recovery, and I mean 100 percent. Before the surgery he had to wear diapers. After surgery he magically transformed to 100 percent normal within a few days. When has THAT ever happened in the U.S.? They'd have tried to cash in at least on a mobility chair or years of "therapy" to keep the gravy train going and tap him for everything he was worth. Where that scapel goes makes all the difference in future payouts and American doctors KNOW IT. Not in Mexico. He walks everywhere, on his own, and is in his own home and does not need anything. He is perfectly sharp in conversation. He is 100 percent mobile and 100 percent cognitive and 100 percent away from the medical system. Imagine THAT in the United States now. It does not happen to an average joe who has had two major brain surgeries. I was expecting him to be TOTALLY messed up afterwards, because in the U.S. that's what the standard is. How could Mexico be better?.

The bottom line: In the U.S. you are not getting "good medical care".

Here's another example: Why does having a baby have to cost so much? That's a natural process. In Mexico, with no insurance, you can go to a top flight warm cheery hospital with an excellent staff, stay there for 3 days in your own beautiful private room, have a C-section, and when you leave after that "god awful expensive way to do it" the total bill including 2 doctors, all nurse care, all meals, all medicine and 3 nights will be less than $1500. And THAT IS PRIVATE CARE, with no government involvement at all. There are cheaper ones where you'll still get your own room, where the total price will be about $600 but the room won't be as nice. CONTRAST THAT WITH AMERICA, your deductible is virtually assured to be multiples more than the total cost of the entire process in Mexico, even if you choose the luxury route in Mexico.

I cannot even begin to describe what a RIP OFF medical is in the United States and what a scam not even getting to keep your own medical records is. The secrecy and the rip off is SO BAD it does not compute. I see it as an open, overt act of war on the country - an act of war specifically intended to rob and weaken people as much as possible to make America that much easier to overthrow totally and to target everyone effectively when the time comes, and you can take this to the bank: IT IS. THEY WANT YOU SECRETLY DOCUMENTED BEFORE THE TAKE DOWN. You had better keep your mouth shut around your doctor. They ask those "friendly" prying questions about guns and politics for a reason and GOD FORBID you refuse a vaccine. Imagine how you'll do in a prison camp or before a court after being pre - back stabbed.

WHY can't you keep your own medical records? ANSWER THAT. WHY?

This isn't all oligarchs are involved with:

How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel

The Faux Generosity of the Super-Wealthy: Why Bill Gates is a Menace to Society

There seems to be a disagreement over whether or not America is an oligarchy. Here is some of the evidence:

The U.S. is an Oligarchy? The Research, Explained

Murder by injection:

Eustace Mullins – Murder by Injection

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