HEALTH CARE FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© June 2020, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Some in America want this nation to switch to a European-style, government-run, socialized, nationalized, or “universal” health care system. (These are all the same).
Common refrains go something like this. “America spends too much on health care, over twice that of Canada or Great Britain.” “Care is unaffordable for many, as there are some 47 million uninsured (about 1/6 of the nation).” (This is a complete lie. All Americans can use the government Medicaid system, if they need it.)
The problem, it is said, is free enterprise capitalism. The answer, according to many, is “universal care”. This must include all Americans or it would not be fair and moral because there is a “right” to health care. Let us address these assertions.
WHY DO AMERICANS SPEND SO MUCH ON HEALTH CARE?
The main reason is they are permitted to do so! European and Canadian governments cap their health care spending.
Who is to say how much spending is enough? Spending money on health is hardly a waste, unless the funds do not produce more health. This, unfortunately, is the case in America and anywhere else in the world that the drug-based and surgery-based approach dominates the health care system.
Unless we examine the health care system in detail, attempts at reform will be futile. Here are some of less well-known facts that cause high cost and poor results:
1. Not nutrition-based. We assert that this is the main problem with the health care systems around the world. Until this changes, no system – privately run or government-run, will work well! The drug-based system is really quite insane. Using poisons to heal the body does not work well and never will!
The drug-based system is also not really a preventive system, which is the only sane way to care for health.
No one waits for a car engine to explode before changing the oil, but that is how much of American and European health care operates.
Also, the preventive measures used by the drug and surgery-based health care systems are often deadlier than the diseases they are supposed to prevent. These include vaccination, fluoridation of the drinking water, preventive drug use and millions of scans that expose people to harmful x-rays.
Meanwhile, pollution of the food, air and water do not cause any reaction from the medical community.
Real prevention is about more rest and sleep, dietary improvements and other lifestyle modifications. However, Americans and Europeans are instead encouraged to eat junk food by their governments.
2. A Very Ill Population. High health care costs are due to sick Citizens around the world. The reasons for this are government regulatory agencies that allow and even encourage people to eat massive amounts of refined, denatured and chemicalized food items.
3. Iatrogenic Or Doctor-Caused Illness. A massive amount of illness, disability and death occur due to diagnostic errors, drug side effects, hospital infections, unnecessary surgeries and more. Even the Journal of the AMA, a cartel publication, wrote that modern medicine is the third or fourth leading cause of death in America. According to others such as Gary Null, PhD, it is the leading cause of death and/or disability in America!
4. “Defensive Medicine”. This is not real healing at all, for which reason the topic is in quotes. It is the costly and at times disastrous practice of prescribing extra x-ray scans, blood tests and even operations than are known to be needed in a particular case. It is “standard practice” so often today, especially in hospitals, that most people take it for granted. It stems directly from legal concerns or licensing regulations and it adds billions to the American and some other health care costs.
5. Lobbying. This is a hidden cost that one can only notice in the high prices of many health care products and services, including vitamins. The advent of government-regulated medical care greatly politicizes care. This means that anyone doing business in health care must spend money to lobby legislators and other policy makers at every level of government.
They are forced to do this to make sure their device, procedure, medication or even their medical facility receives its fair share of positive attention from the authorities. The cost of lobbying, which has nothing to do with health or healing, runs into the billions of dollars. Much of it is disguised as gifts, conferences, vacations, speaking fees, fund raising events and so forth.
This occurs any time government controls an industry. Decision-making is taken away from the consumer and given to committees and government agencies such as the Food And Drug Administration (see below). While it is hard to focus lobbying money on 200 million people, it is easy to woo a small number of policy makers who are empowered by the government to make billion-dollar decisions that affect health care purchasing.
6. The Food And Drug Administration . If we had to pick one agency responsible for more loss of life and disability in America and elsewhere it would be the government agency that regulates food and drugs. These agencies are thoroughly corrupt! They favor drugs and junk food while they stop advertising, production and distribution of thousands of low-cost, safe products that save lives.
A close second among corrupt regulatory agencies in America is the Federal Trade Commission. This group approves the drug ads on television but will often stop anyone who attempts to advertise natural products that would save lives and reduce health costs.
7. Licensing And Faulty Medical Education. A critical fact is that medical licensing keeps the entire medical system in control. Let us not mince words. If certification replaced licensure, there would soon be no allopathic monopoly or cartel. Others who can offer less costly care would win out very quickly.
Licensing seems “natural” but is completely fraudulent. It is an old European system that was called the guild system in Europe. It is relatively recent in American history. About 100 years ago, the American Medical Association and its wealthy supporters lobbied all 50 state legislatures to pass medical licensing laws. Since then, hundreds more licensing laws have made it impossible to change American health care without the approval of corrupt medical boards.
Whether a health care system is “private” or government-controlled matters little if health care licensing is in place. Real change requires a different system to protect the people. Only a free market can offer this. For details, read The Case Against Medical Licensing.
8. Other – waste, fraud and abuse. Any time the government becomes involved in an industry, corruption sets in. This is an ironclad rule everywhere in the world. The corruption takes three basic forms – waste, fraud and abuse.
Waste means stupid decisions because government bureaucrats are never the smartest people. The wisest people in a society do not like government jobs, as a rule. They prefer working in the private sector of the economy. The government sector attracts people who are more security-minded and less capable of succeeding in the private sector. Centrally-managed systems of all kinds suffer from this problem.
Fraud means illegal and usually fake claims upon government resources. It is a very serious problem with no good solution. It is just easy to cheat the system and no amount of policing the system with paperwork and other means can stop it easily.
Abuse means misuse of the system for political or other reasons. For example, politicians always reward their friends with government contracts and in hundreds of other ways. They reward their donors and the people who voted for them or who keep them in office
Politicians also often have ideological agendas. For example, they may believe in skewing the system to help illegal immigrants, or perhaps homosexuals or some other group of people.
If government is given the power to control health care, these political agendas always find their way into the system. They have very little to do with health, and mainly add cost, damage the integrity and fairness of the system and reduce its effectiveness. They are just abuses of government power.
MORE DETAILS ABOUT HEALTH CARE PROBLEMS
THE UNINSURED IN AMERICA
Some uninsured people in America do not want insurance. Some are working people who would rather spend their money elsewhere.
Others are healthy people who self-insure by taking vitamins, resting adequately and practicing real preventive care. Up to 20%, according to a news report, already qualify for a government program and just have not signed up.
Some whom the socialists count are illegal aliens who don’t belong in the nation anyway. As stated earlier, anyone in America can join the government Medicaid program if needed. In summary, there is no “crisis of the uninsured”.
IS THERE A “RIGHT” TO HEALTH CARE?
Let us examine this carefully. Rights can be of several types:
Natural rights are those that come from the Creator. The American Declaration of Independence describes inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A right to unlimited health care services was not among the rights enumerated in this Declaration or anywhere else we know of.
Entitlements are government-bestowed rights. They are more like promises from the government of certain defined goods or services.
For example, the right to a “speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers” is one of just a few entitlements in our original Bill of Rights.
Problems with entitlements, including jury trials, are:
1) Enormous cost. In fact, our government has “modified” the right to a jury trial due to its cost. Few people actually get a jury trial today, even though it would be fairer.
A problem with the right to health care goods and services is deciding which ones would be included? This would be debated endlessly and subject to total political manipulation. In other words, the fine print is everything in an entitlement. Otherwise the promise is empty.
Another part of the cost is that someone must be paid to provide the goods and services. This means armies of government employees are required to dole out the goods and services and monitor the entire process.
Entitlements also cost far more than anyone can estimate due, in large part, to the next problem with them.
2) They reverse the positive incentive to take responsibility for oneself and one’s family. After all, why bother caring for yourself if the government will clean up your messes?
One way out of this dilemma is what Mr. McCain proposes. This may be called a right to choice in health care.
Rights to choice are from the government, just like entitlements. However, they do not cost the taxpayers any money and are easy to administer. They do not involve promises of goods or services.
Freedoms, or rights to choice, are prohibitions against government interference with a particular activity or behavior. Many of these are in the founding documents of America and some other nations.
They include the right to speak freely, to assemble, to petition the government, to worship as one chooses, and the right to bear arms. Dr. Benjamin Rush, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, suggested a right to choice in health care, but it was left out of the Bill of Rights.
This kind of right would mean that the government may never impose one type of health care. Citizens would always have a right to choose their health care, just as they choose their religion or speech.
A few in the US Congress, such as Ron Paul, have called for such a change. It would be a step in the right direction to break up the cartel-based system we currently have. It would also not require a new bureaucracy and higher taxes, as entitlements always do.
A right to health care goods and services is a financial nightmare. The right to choose one’s health care would be a blessing that would reduce costs and vastly improve the health of people everywhere.
IS “UNIVERSAL CARE” THE MORAL SOLUTION?
Socialists say their government-run health plan is the only moral solution. I disagree and here is why:
1. It is compulsory. There is nothing moral about forcing people to accept and pay for drug cartel medicine, even if one doesn’t want it and won’t use it.
2. It is wasteful and would be riddled with fraud. This seems immoral to me. Instead, I prefer to be in control of my health records, not a large bureaucracy.
3. It is based on a lie. The lie is that the government is somehow smarter than you are in figuring out your real health care needs.
The Europeans and Canadians have discovered these problems with socialized medical systems. In fact, most Western European and Asian nations such as Japan, Great Britain, France and others are looking for ways to move away from socialistic schemes that bankrupt their nations.
May we think clearly whether to accept a candidate who wants to establish a new, large entitlement program that will likely further rob us of our money, our freedom and what is left of our health as a nation and a people.
CAPITALIST MARKET FAILURE?
This argument for socialized medicine is the exact opposite of the truth. To see this clearly, view the graph below of total US health costs over the past 50 years. It is clear that something dramatic happened after 1970 as costs escalated and the graph turns almost vertical.
What happened was socialized medicine in the form of Medicare and Medicaid. A physician friend said the cost of an emergency room visit doubled overnight when Medicare passed. The real explosion in health costs is not due to the market, but instead to its destruction.
Source: Vital Statistics of The United States
A market means there are buyers and sellers willing to bargain over prices so that each gets the best deal possible. A market means that prices and costs are transparent and nothing is hidden from view.
Compare this to a recent experience (2005) when I called around to get a price for a brain scan for a friend without insurance. Two hours were spent just locating all the scanning centers, as they don’t advertise. Then, only a few were able to provide a cash quote on the phone. When they called back, fees ranged from $800.00 to $2400.00 for the same scan. Later, we learned that had we said the right words, we could have gotten the MRI for about $400.00.
Car Care. Lest one think a free market would never work, witness how cars are fixed in America. Our health care system could operate the same way, with the same low costs and ease of access.
Many options exist for auto care. Some choose fancy certified or licened dealers to fix their car. Others choose certified mechanics. Other use local shade-tree mechanics. Still others choose to buy the tools and do the work themselves.
Prices are known to all and plenty of competition keeps everyone fairly honest. A spirit of helpfulness pervades the system so the even the poorest people seem to find ways to have their cars repaired adequately.
In fact, a market system worked well for American health care for about 120 years. Statistically, America was among the healthiest nation, unlike today. Most people are too young to recall these days, but they were so much better than health care today there is no comparison.
Many options existed side by side, with competing systems of care attempting to outdo each other in terms of their low cost and effectiveness. Everyone was cared for, even the poor at little cost, because a spirit of friendliness and giving permeated the system, as it does today in auto repair.
Today, this has been replaced by fears that one will report the doctor or even sue him for the slightest infraction of the rules. Auto care is a model Americans can turn to that works well without breaking the budget.
“UNIVERSAL CARE” MEANS WASTE AND FRAUD
“Universal care” is nothing more than the new word for socialized medicine. Other code words for socialized medicine are:
- national health care
- single payer
- health care for all
- public health care
In practical terms, it means that everyone must be forced to join the system. No one wishes to discuss the hidden costs of all such government programs, including waste and fraud. Instead of direct accountability to the customer, which means that every citizen watches his pocketbook, government systems employ huge armies of “health police” who chase down and prosecute cheaters. This does not work, and always leads to corruption.
For example, fraud and waste in Medicare alone is estimated at about $33 billion out of $426 billion total cost or about about 7.5% according to government estimates. Enforcement is through massive amounts of paperwork, another huge waste of time and money. Truly, the amount of waste in any government welfare program is so staggering no one dares really investigate.
Having reviewed the issues from a theoretical standpoint, let us hear from one Canadian who sent an email, unsolicited, to a friend of mine.
THE CANADIAN MODEL
America is considering copying our socialized medical system here in Canada. I thought you should know a little about how things work here:
1) Health care in Canada is not free. We pay a premium every month of $96.00 for Shirley and I to be covered. We also pay much more in taxes to keep the system afloat. I am personally in the 55% tax bracket! A large portion of it goes to health care, our #1 expense.
2) When you see the doctor, time is short because it is more important to move as many patients through as possible, each hour, for Government reimbursement.
3) I would not classify what we have as health care plan. It is more like a sickness diagnosis system. One can get in to see a doctor quick enough so he can tell you that yes, indeed, you are sick or you need an operation. The challenge becomes getting treated or operated on. We have waiting lists, some as much as 2 years.
4) Try to avoid requiring emergency treatment as you may wait hours in the emergency room for treatment.
5) Shirley's father cut his hand on a power saw a few weeks ago and it required a splint. To our surprise, we had to pay $125.00 for a splint because it is not a covered expense, plus we paid $60.00 each week for the doctor to check it.
6) Shirley's cousin was diagnosed with a heart blockage. He was placed on a waiting list and died before he could get treatment.
7) The government allots so many operations per year. When the quota is reached, no more operations are performed, unless you go to your local newspaper and plead your case. If you embarrass the government enough, then money may suddenly appear.
8) We give free needles to drug users to try and keep them healthy. However, people with diabetes, who pay in much more to the system, have to pay for their needles because it is not a covered expense.
9) A 65 year-old friend needs an operation for a blockage in her leg. However, because she is a smoker they will not do it, although she paid into the system all these years. Now there is talk that perhaps we should not treat obese people, either, because they are a drain on the system.
Let me see now, what we want in Canada is a health care system for healthy people only. That should reduce our health care costs.
I ask not for sympathy. I just want to make sure that you hear the truth about health care up here. Step wisely and don't make the same mistakes we have.”
IS “UNIVERSAL CARE” THE MORAL SOLUTION?
It is the least moral. It is compulsory, wasteful and riddled with fraud. The moral solution is to leave health care up to the people, rather than impose a monopoly upon us.
However, I do not see this happening in America today. Due to our brainwashed and ignorant population and their leaders, the socialists are winning this battle, and for many reasons. Let us examine several of them, as otherwise they go unnoticed and unopposed.
1. So many of us are afraid of sickness and just want to be taken care of. This is dependency syndrome, a huge problem in all socialist nations. America is moving this way fast!
2. The government school system mainly teaches children to just answer questions rather than think independently. It is no accident that many of America’s great entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates, were either high school or college dropouts. The public schools are run by socialists, through and through. Unless the schools change, we will continue in our present direction, I believe.
3. The present discussion of “health care reform” is, in part, motivated by a move of the allopathic and drug cartels to consolidate its gains and eliminate all competition, although they will never admit it. It is time, in other words, to “bring America into the fold” of sheepish nations that cater to their most base desires and expect the government to clean up their messes. The cartels need total control of health care to do this.
Since they virtually own the FDA, FTC, the airwaves and the mainstream media, one notices that the drug ads have increased, as have the bogus “studies” proving that vitamins are a hoax. This was even the cover story of a recent Reader’s Digest magazine. As Hitler taught the world, if they say it long enough, many people believe it.
4. The leadership of America is bankrupt, with precious little understanding of the incredible heritage and gift to the world that is the American experience. They despair at the simply-solved problem of health care that a real market would handle, in may cases, overnight. Instead, they look to the old, failed monarchical societies of Europe, Canada and Asia for answers.
I hope this article helps wake up a few Americans to their incredible heritage of freedom and prosperity based on capitalist principles and market economics. Then, and only then, I fear, we will turn to a market-based solution, the one that honors the God within each individual that knows best how to solve most health woes.
So few also understand this simple economic system and structure that would heal us, as it has done in the past. Also, so few today are aware of the many wonderful methods and remedies that are so available and inexpensive, yet effective and far safer than what we use daily.
1. www.HHS.gov. This is an excellent source of information about the health care system.
2. Goodman, J.C. and Musgrave, G.L., Patient Power - Solving America’s Health Care Crisis, Cato Institute, Washington, DC, 1992.
3. Health, US, 2006. Table 120, US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, National Center For health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD, 2006.
4.Hornberger, J. and Ebeling, R., editors, The Dangers Of Socialized Medicine, Future Of Freedom Foundation, Fairfax, VA, 1994.
5. Illich, I., Medical Nemesis, Random House, NY, 1976.
6. Ruwart, M.J., Healing Our World, SunStar Press, Kalamazoo, MI, 1993.
7. Skousen, W.C., The Five Thousand Year Leap, The National Center For Constitutional Studies, Washington, DC, 1981.
8. Wasley, T., What Has Government Done To Our Health Care, Cato Institute, Washington, DC, 1992.
9. Wiley, H., The History Of A Crime Against The Food Law: The Story Of The National Food And Drugs Law Intended To Protect The Health Of The People, Perverted To Protect Adulteration Of Foods And Drugs, Harvey Wiley, Washington, DC, 1929, 1955. (Wiley was the first director of the Bureau of Chemistry from 1906 to 1912. The bureau was later renamed the Food And Drug Administration.)