How Healthcare Went from a Healing Profession to a Profit-Driven Business

Hospitals Buy Prctices

EMAIL Will Americans ever wake up to the shoddy treatment they receive in their doctor’s office? Will they ever say “no mas” and give a collective heave-ho to a system run by the rich for the rich that costs each American $11,212 every year but ranks near the bottom of the barrel at 27th in effectiveness among 36 of the most economically developed countries in the world? It’s a $3.75 trillion boondoggle done up to make you think there’s really a wizard behind a magical curtain instead of a fraudster behind a piece of cloth. Read “How Healthcare Went from a Healing Profession to a Profit-Driven Business” and guaranteed you’ll be shouting “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

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“The Fruits of Empire: The American People at the End of their Ropes”

The Surveillance State

Welcome to the U.S. police state where talk of war, threat of war, and actual war takes center stage. Which country will feel the heavy hand of the American colossus next? Venezuela, Iran, or the long shot North Korea? War abroad means massive surveillance and repression at home and bankrupt social programs. While the U.S. blows over $1 trillion dollars on defense and the costs of maintaining 800 bases (that we know about) in over 70 countries and troops in 150 countries, the people suffer under a privatized healthcare system that has big business written all over it, 44 million young people stagger under a student debt load of $1.5 trillion, and “deaths of despair” claim 150,000 U.S. lives every year. Where but in the U.S. police state is suicide the second leading cause of death among children (ages 10-18)? What happens to today’s middle-aged Americans, 25% of whom have no retirement savings, when the government makes good on its threat to cut social security. The paradox is inescapable— the richest country in the history of the world yet its citizens have run up a collective debt of $13.5 trillion, 80% of U.S. households live paycheck to paycheck, 20% can’t pay their monthly bills and the U.S. booming economy has left 54% of Americans feeling no appreciable upswing in their personal financial situation. When the drive to colonize the world is the major objective, what happens to the people? We try to answer that question in “The Fruits of Empire: The American People at the End of their Ropes

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It Took Forty-Two Years for the Democrats to Figure Out that Millions of Poor Women Can’t Get an Abortion

Rosie Jiminez

From the halls of congress to the Oval Office to the Supreme Court, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion is the talk of the town. Will a new conservative majority on the Court declare Roe unconstitutional? Will the twelve states that have already passed laws restricting abortions or the fourteen others preparing to succeed in making legal abortions extinct? Lots of questions, few answers. But there’s a huge part of the abortion debate that flies under the radar. Did you know that for a certain class of women (poor) of a certain ethnicity (women of color) abortion has not been on the table since 1977? These are the women who depend on Medicaid, the federal insurance program, to cover their healthcare. Every year enough senators and representatives vote to extend a rider prohibiting federal insurance from paying for abortions and every president since Reagan agrees and Supreme Court Justices sit on their hands. In the U.S. where freedom is supposed to be a constitutional right, millions of women of childbearing age are not free to end an unwanted pregnancy. To find out how we got here and why the 2020 presidential election will probably not change the outlook for women, especially poor women read “It Took Forty-Two Years for the Democrats to Figure Out that Millions of Poor Women Can’t Get An Abortion

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Going to Hell in a Handbasket — Is U.S. Healthcare Too Broken to Fix?

Health Insurance

How does the exceptional nation stack up to the rest of the developed world? Ask young American men, who for the last thirty years have the lowest chance in the developed world of surviving to age 50 or the infants who have the best chance of dying before age 5. Americans have the exceptional opportunity to die more often than people in other developed countries from heart or lung disease, obesity or diabetes. Isn’t it time to point the finger of blame where it belongs —at the heart of a corporate scam to make as much money as possible while ordinary Americans pay the price in untreated illness and premature death. Time to start fighting for single payer universal healthcare in a country that has the highest rate of women dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, workers paying 12% of their earnings to get poor-quality health insurance that comes with unaffordable premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, where medical errors, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., kill over 250,000 people every year. A country where suicide is the second leading cause of death among children 10-18, where 20% of the people cannot pay their monthly bills. Are we talking about some banana republic in South America, or maybe one of the poorest countries in the world in Sub-Sahara Africa like Guinea or Mali where average life expectancy is around 60? If that’s what you think, you’re in for a big surprise, read “Going to Hell in a Handbasket — Is U.S. Healthcare Too Broken to Fix?

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Putting Patients Last: The Corporate Capture of Doctors


U.S. healthcare has become a free market nightmare. Corporate medical practices limit patient visits to eleven minutes, their doctors sell expensive and mostly unnecessary procedures and treatments to frightened patients. Half of Americans take at least one prescription drug adding to the already bloated profits of big Pharma. A healthcare system in crisis— medical errors the third leading cause of death in the U.S., highest maternal death rate in the developed world, and life expectancy dropping for two straight years. U.S. healthcare is also the most expensive in the world at $3.65 trillion and ranks last among the world’s developed nations in most outcomes. In “Putting Patients Last: The Corporate Capture of Doctors” we report on the newest attacks on patient choice and access as huge medical practices become monopolies, swallowing up sole practitioners and delivering substandard care to millions of Americans.

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Getting Away with Murder: Big Pharma’s Chickens are Coming Home to Roost

Sackler Empire

Now you see it, now you don’t. Which cup is the pea under? It’s a sucker’s game and America’s giant corporations have been playing the American people for decades. When exposure of their dirty dealings is imminent, there’s always a charity willing to perform cosmetic surgery for the right price. The drug companies have always been hugely successful at using philanthropy to hide their criminal behavior. The Sackler family, owners of the now-infamous Purdue Pharma which is internationally reviled for its killer drug OxyContin, has thrown money at such distinguished charities as Harvard, Columbia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian. While the right hand is doling out the goodies, the left is producing a highly addictive opioid that currently has 200,000 victims and makes life miserable for hundreds of thousands more. Serial murderers to the core, are the Sacklers spending the rest of their lives in the slammer? Not exactly. Their sins have made them the nineteenth richest family in the U.S. with a fortune of $13 billion. While drug companies distract you with their “good works,” the pea is hidden under the cup labeled profits. Meanwhile the body count keeps rising. SA takes the gloves off in “Getting Away with Murder: Big Pharma’s Chickens are coming home to Roost.

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Will there be a 46th President Without an Election? Why the Rush to Impeach Trump is Dangerous

Pence Waiting

Impeachment stalwarts take heed. If you succeed and by some miracle Trump gets booted out of the Oval Office, guess who’s waiting in the wings? Mike Pence, the politically ambitious, morally bankrupt, BFF of the titans of criminogenic capitalism— the Kochs, the thugs who run the fossil fuel industry already hitting a home run with Trump’s “climate change what’s that” EPA and the fat cats in the defense industry who want to keep the money spigot open by supporting a believer in perpetual war. Known in Congress as the “hawk’s hawk,” with a Saudi prince’s view of woman’s place, author of a bill to make same sex marriage unconstitutional, and a tax policy that would make even a billionaire blush, Vice President Pence is poised to move bag and baggage into the Oval Office. How about the voters? Have they drunk the impeachment Kool-Aid? Or are they on the hunt for solutions to problem affecting their lives and the future of their children? Some brand-new poll results have us scratching our heads. Read “Will there be a 46th President Without an Election? Why the Rush to Impeach Trump is Dangerous” and prepare to be amazed.

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Joe Biden: Time to Exit Stage Right

Joe Failed Campaigns

Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? (Macbeth Act 2, Scene 2) Sorry, Joe, it won’t. In his whole 47-year career, Joe was on the wrong side of almost every issue. In his first term as Senator in 1972, he was a fervent opponent of busing, a ploy to keep on the good side of Delaware bigots, part of his base. If it’s true that people can be judged by the company they keep, Joe has a lot of ‘splaining’ to do. For two of his closest buddies—the arch-segregationist Strom Thurmond and the hawkish John McCain Joe was faithful to the end eulogizing their bad deeds at their funerals (“I’m a Democrat and I love John McCain”). Throughout his career, Joe’s labors on behalf of the global moneyed elite never wavered. He went into the tank for banks eliminating bankruptcy protection for student debtors, gave whole hearted approval to junking Glass-Steagall, the law standing between the plunder and pillage of financial institutions and their victims, the people. He wrote the infamous crime bill that kicked off an era of mass incarceration, made an unfair distinction between crimes committed by whites and blacks, and supported “three strikes and you’re out” legislation which transformed petty criminals into lifers. He voted for the biggest blunder in American foreign policy, the destruction of Iraq and carried the water for Obama’s wrong-headed policies – the Libyan invasion, the drone war, the incarceration of whistle blowers and the methodical selection of assassination targets on Terror Tuesdays. If you have the stomach for it, we’ve laid it out in living color in “Joe Biden: Time to Exit Stage Right

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Exceptional America Produces an Exceptionally Miserable Healthcare System

How Are We Doing

It’s a jungle out there in U.S. healthcare land. The honchos of corporate medicine make the rules. Their patients, afraid to ask questions, sign up for procedures whose only value is to the doctor’s bottom line and accept prescription drugs for ailments they probably don’t have that add immeasurably to the already bloated profits of the drug industry. A healthcare system so exceptional that medical errors are king (third leading cause of death in the U.S) while medical providers continue to rake in big bucks. An exceptional health care system that leaves twenty-nine million Americans uninsured, where life expectancy has dropped for two straight years. The cost of that non-care and mis-care? $3.5 trillion (2017). The arrogance of power in the medical establishment has become virtually impregnable as government surrenders its power to regulate and enforce. Today you will learn about a few of the newest attacks on patient choice and access as huge medical practices become monopolies and swallow up sole practitioners. For millions of Americans what follows is substandard medical care, over-prescribing and little follow-up. We’ve come a long way baby and most of it is downhill. Read all about it in “Exceptional America Produces an Exceptionally Miserable Healthcare System.

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Getting Into College the U.S. Way — Legal vs. Illegal Bribery in a Plutocracy

Admission for Sale

Trying to beat the odds and get your kid into an elite college? How about coming up with a couple of million to erect a building with your name on it? A reminder every time an admissions officer passes by that your kid is entitled to a special benefit — a merit-free admission. What’s that you say —not realistic for an ordinary millionaire. How about the route that at least thirty-three parents took? Pay a crooked operator to phony up a few academic or athletic credentials and punch your kid’s ticket to future fame and fortune. That’s not how it’s done in the U.S. plutocracy. Only the really rich get away with bribery (legalized); the rich, but not enormously so, get caught and the rest of us are stuck on the outside looking in. Want to know how hundreds of millions of dollars, preferably billions, unlock the gates to academia’s snootiest and most sought-after institutions? Read “Getting Into College the U.S. Way — Legal vs. Illegal Bribery in a Plutocracy.

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