Vaccines Developed by a Profit-Driven Healthcare System May Not Stop the Next Pandemic

For Profit Hospitals

it’s very nice that the G20 [20 of the world’s largest economies] see Covid-19 immunization ‘as a global public good,’ but the reality is that G20 countries have privatized the medical knowledge behind Covid vaccines … preventing most of the world producing the vaccines we so desperately need. They should have taken this moment to commit to putting the health of people across the world ahead of Big Pharma’s profits,” [Daniel Willis, U.K advocacy group Global Justice]

The role of the U.S. in this shameful conspiracy is appalling. Like his predecessor, President Biden has continued to block India and South Africa’s proposal for an emergency lifting of the world-wide agreement that enforces patent protection allowing drug companies to hoard the formula’s for the vaccine. Monopoly control by the drug companies persists even though a lot of taxpayer money went into the development of their vaccines. Would you believe the drug companies have already bamboozled the U.S. out of $12 billion of taxpayer money?

There’s lots more to indict the U.S., including a profit-driven healthcare system that was so totally unprepared for the pandemic that the U.S. finds itself in the unenviable position of being 5% of the world’s population but first in COVID cases and deaths. How does the U.S. lack of a national health care system make vaccines only a temporary solution? You may find the answer in “Vaccines Developed by a Profit-Driven Healthcare System May Not Stop the Next Pandemic

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Biden’s American Rescue Plan — Much Less Than Meets the Eye

Who is Biden?

Talk about a pig in a poke. The American Rescue Plan was hailed as a “Big win both policy and politics…major achievement for the President (John King, CNN, 3/9). Biden himself was over the moon with his handiwork— “What we did get … is a bill to address the crises facing the American people not the wealthy and large corporations...the most significant…legislation to benefit the working class.” Progressive activists didn’t buy it —“No one will be more excited …than my old friends in the corporate insurance industry…funneling $48 billion taxpayer dollars to them…[Wendell Potter] Not one word about taxing wealthy Americans to give the rest the full and unqualified relief they need. In a country where “for a few hundred billionaires … pandemic profits are so immense that America’s billionaires could pay for a major COVID relief bill and still not lose a dime of their pre-virus riches.” What this bill does contain is a bunch of temporary and miserly half-measures. Not a path to address soaring income inequality nor a way back from the hell into which millions of Americans were plunged. Don’t believe the lies and evasions coming from the mainstream media stenography pool and a few progressive outlets and check out “Biden’s American Rescue Plan — Much Less Than Meets the Eye” for the real story.

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Having It Their Way: Drug Companies Raking in the Dough While Americans Get Sicker and Poorer

Pharma Swooping

As drug prices continue to sky rocket and Americans get sicker and poorer, the pandemic reveals the shocking truth about the true extent of Pharma’s greed. Those life-saving vaccines the U.S. government is providing. Think they’re free? They’re not. The government may be handling the sale but it’s your tax dollars that pay for every dose. The hitch is that unlike the rest of the developed world, the U.S. is reported to be paying an up-charge of 60¢ for every vaccine dose. For the first 200 million doses, the U.S. was ripped off an extra $120 million. It doesn’t end there. Between the vaccination scam, the outrageous prices of both new and old drugs, the prohibition against Medicare (seniors account for over one-third of prescription drug use) negotiating prices — is it any wonder that Pharma is the most profitable sector of the healthcare industry? Sure, it takes a few billions of “walking around” money to pay off the politicians, hire a gaggle of lobbyists, grease the palms of doctors who write the prescriptions and entice consumers via direct consumer advertising. But it’s worth it. In 2019, the drug industry made $1.3 trillion worldwide. 48% of it was made in the U.S. As the outrages mount, the extent of Pharma’s criminality is eye popping. You’ll see why in “Having it their way: Drug Companies Awash in Dough, While Americans get Sicker and Poorer.

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The Media In the Tank for the Democrats

Disappearing Trump

Business as usual. The media lionizing Joe Biden, trashing Donald Trump. Well-deserved on both counts? You decide. But is picking winners the job of the media in a democracy? Once the media prided itself on its impartiality. Now profits are king and objective reporting is the archetype of a forgotten era. The media is giving the incoming Biden administration a free pass. The love fest began on January 20 transforming what most progressives regarded as an unremarkable, cliché-ridden inaugural speech into the second coming of the Sermon on the Mount. Here’s one particularly egregious example of the media bending the knee to the administration — “He is the better angel president. Joe Biden is eternally optimistic, he’s not cynical. … He still thinks the better angels exist.” [Chuck Todd, stenographer-in-chief NBC] How long before Biden snares a Nobel? Hard to tell but while you’re waiting check out “The Media In the Tank for the Democrats.

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Has the Two-Party Congress Outlived Its Usefulness?

Congressional Baboons

What does a dysfunctional congress and the U.S. congress have in common? Everything. Particularly if you’re one of 75 million who lost their jobs during the pandemic or the 40 million facing eviction or the 50 million the government labels “food insecure (they’re starving). A one-time $1,200 stimulus check and some extra unemployment benefits expired way back in August. Congress didn’t seem to notice. It’s no wonder since more than half of them are millionaires. Then January 6th happened. Suddenly Congress had a new purpose: working on their second impeachment of a hapless president who has less than a week to go before he’s out. In their spare time, they’re chasing a friendly media who have their own ax to grind to broadcast their outrage to the folks back home. They call the events of January 6 — “[the] desecration of the peoples’ house.” But for desperate Americans the real desecration is Congress’ failure to provide them a way out of their misery. If you aren’t ashamed of the politicians you trusted to take care of the Republic and its people, you will be after reading “Has the Two-Party Congress Outlived Its Usefulness?

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A Christmas Story

Women Toy Soldiers

Has war lust become so deeply rooted in American culture that feminist equality and empowerment hinge on indoctrinating little girls? The mainstream media would have you believe that a little girl’s fondest wish is to see her image in little toy soldiers thus glorifying the U.S. reign of terror around the world. How did we get to the place where belligerence, killing sanctions and war are the ultimate expression of the world’s sole super power? As the U.S. ramps up its dependence on sophisticated weaponry to gin up its killing power, its grip on moral authority is slowly waning. In the view of many of the world’s countries, the U.S. has been reduced to the stature of a pitiful giant All the female toy soldiers in the world cannot fix that. Indoctrinating little girls to believe that military service is the path to “empowerment” and “equality” is not only an outrage but a flat out lie. Are we seeing the evolution of a next generation of Manchurian candidates? Read “A Christmas Story” and prepare to be shocked and disgusted.

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Profits Over People: Not Big Pharma’s Finest Hour

Profits Over People

Melinda Gates, wife of the third richest person in the world, whose foundation has given $156 million to vaccine makers was interviewed by the New York Times on December 7. She was asked to comment “on the rise in vaccine hesitancy.” Her answer “We’re at a point of a lot of distrust in the country… Disinformation is just too easy to spread and, that’s going to cost people their lives.” Not true. “Vaccine hesitancy” has a far more serious and disturbing cause. Throughout the course of the pandemic’s rampage in the U.S., the public has been bombarded with half-truths, unreliable guidance, and the obscene spectacle of vaccine makers circling the pot of gold that awaits the winner of the vaccine sweepstakes claiming success via press releases instead of peer-reviewed journals. It appears that the priority in the U.S. profit-at-any-cost healthcare system is on profits not saving lives. Sorry, Melinda, what we have here is not a bunch of anti-vaxx ‘crazies’ but a healthcare system where anything (profitable) goes.Reporting the covid-19 vaccine trial results in press releases before publication in journals is neither good scientific practice nor does it help to build public trust in vaccines.” [editorial in the British Medical Journal] Are the oligarchs trying to confuse us by claiming that realistic demands for more public information, more documentation, more reliance on the scientific method are really “disinformation?” Check out “Profits Over People: Not Big Pharma’s Finest Hour” and decide for yourself.

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Meet the New Boss Same as the Old Boss[es]: Biden, Trump and Obama

SOUL

Repairing the soul of the country” (Biden), “Make America Great Again” (Trump) or “Hope and Change (Obama). Pick your poison. In the end, it comes down to the same nothing-burger. Will history repeat itself? In 2009 the Bobbsey twins (Obama/Biden) came up with a nifty plan to save the economy. Reward the banks and financial institutions that caused the crash with trillions of taxpayer dollars while throwing over ten million of their victims out in the street. Don’t think those indecencies are in the rear-view mirror. In the run-up to the election, 36 billionaires made six-figure contributions to Biden’s campaign committees. [Forbes, 7/16/2020] Do you think those donations were made to help Joe remake the soul of America? If you do, I have the perfect bridge to sell you. Nothing will ever change until the people organize a competitive third party to put “fear and loathing” into the duopoly. In “Meet the New Boss Same as the Old Boss[es]: Biden, Trump and Obama,” you will see what happens when the only voices that are listened to in the halls of power are those of the oligarchs.

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Two Peas in a Pod: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Kamala Ambition

President Biden and Vice President Harris. What could possibly go wrong? The Democratic party’s money boys —the banks and big business —have given Kamala a robust thumbs-up. What’s not to like? “She’s not Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. I think that is what people were nervous about.” (Stephanie Link, chief investment strategist at Hightower Advisors). Sure, we get that. No chance that people-friendly policies like Medicare-for-all, a student debt jubilee and free college tuition, policies that people in developed countries all over the world have been enjoying for years, would interfere with the empire’s prerogatives. With Joe and Kamala in charge, the status quo will prevail as it has done in the administration of every president, Democrat or Republican, since 1945. Joe has already promised his BFF’s in finance and industry that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he becomes president. To which Kamala chimed in with a high-five and that mind-bending giggle. Why is she such a good match for Joe Biden, the unrepentant war hawk, champion of austerity and the surveillance state? If the past is prologue to the present, Kamala’s record as DA and AG of catering to the rich and powerful, of horrendous violations of prisoners’ rights, attacks on brown and black schoolchildren and their parents, and protecting pedophile priests make her the perfect fit. For more, check out “Two Peas in a Pod: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

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A Marriage Made in Hell — Joe Biden and the Medical Industrial Complex

NO MFA

How’s this for a healthcare system to be proud of? The most expensive in the world yet with the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the top eleven economically advanced nations. The U.S. is number one in the prevalence of chronic diseases and in a shockingly high obesity rate. Yet the former vice-president and probable next president Joe Biden thinks that Obama’s refashioning of the U.S. healthcare system popularly known as Obamacare is “the crown jewel of the Obama administration.” Written by a bunch of health insurance hacks and borrowing liberally from the brain child of a conservative think tank, Obamacare is an expensive mess. Even after it was passed, 29 million were still uninsured and another 38 million underinsured. The pandemic has made matters worse hiking the number of uninsured to over 45 million. Not letting the desperate plight of many Americans get in the way of cold, hard donor cash, Biden dismisses a national single payer healthcare system. In fact, Biden has promised all his major donors that “nothing would change” in his administration. In grateful thanks, the pharmaceutical industry stuffed his campaign stocking with over $7 million. As the dreary statistics on the inadequacies of U.S. healthcare continue to bedevil, we wonder why that $3.65 trillion the U.S. spent in 2019 on healthcare isn’t saving more lives. With billions going into the pockets of predator investors who own 70% of nursing homes, 25% of hospitals, 47% of doctors’ practices and 45% of emergency departments, there is precious little left to make Americans healthier. U.S. medical care has become a push for immense profits at the expense of people’s lives and well-being. What will President Biden do to remedy the situation? Read “A Marriage Made In Hell — Joe Biden and the Medical Industrial Complex” and weep.

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