We always question the “official” story but even if this all happened the way the FDA cops said it did…. Its F*d up.
Only Cops, Guards, and Military should have guns?
BOTHEL WA (Seattle PI) — A security guard opened fire and wounded a 15-year-old boy at a FDA’s Food and Drug Administration regional facility in Bothell early Friday, according to police.
It was around 7 a.m. when two security officers approached a teen acting suspiciously in the building’s parking lot, said Shari Ireton with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
The teen ran away, but then came back a short time later and got into a car in the parking lot. As the security officers approached the car, the teen backed out and struck one of the security officers, who in turn fired at the car, Ireton said.
Bothell Police Sgt. Cedric Collins said earlier the teen crashed into another vehicle about a mile away on the Bothell-Everett Highway, but Ireton said officers found the teen at a home.
Read more: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Teenager-shot-at-by-guard-outside-FDA-lab-in-Bothell-190388441.html#ixzz2KQTgzONc
When Gatorade fan Sarah Kavanagh learned that her favorite drink contains an emulsifier banned in other countries over health concerns, she was taken aback.
“I was shocked that they’d put their consumers at risk like that and that the FDA would allow something like that to be put in products,” said the Mississippi 15-year-old, who launched a petition in November asking Gatorade to remove the ingredient, called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO.
The petition, which has attracted more than 200,000 supporters on change.org, notes that the ingredient shares an element — bromine — with some flame retardants used in furniture and plastics. Some studies on BVO indicate it can build up in fatty tissues and cause reproductive and behavioral problems in rodents.
It’s illegal to use the chemical as a food additive in the European Union India, Nepal, Canada, Brazil and Japan. Other ingredients that are allowed in American food but not in other countries include certain artificial colors and additives to flour.
Why the difference? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration would not provide a representative for an interview, but in past statements to the media and on its website the agency has presented a variety of reasons for allowing controversial chemicals in food, ranging from a lack of resources for research to assurances that the substances are safe in small doses.
A GM salmon which grows twice as fast as ordinary fish could become the first genetically-modified animal in the world to be declared officially safe to eat, after America’s powerful food-safety watchdog ruled it posed no major health or environmental risks.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it could not find any valid scientific reasons to ban the production of GM Atlantic salmon engineered with extra genes from two other fish species – a decision that could soon lead to its commercial production.
The verdict clears one of the last remaining hurdles for GM salmon to be lawfully sold and eaten in the US and will put pressure on salmon producers in Britain and Europe to follow suit.
Successive chief scientists to the UK Government, as well as science institutions such as the Royal Society, have endorsed the concept of GM technology as a tool for increasing food production in the 21st Century, but consumer opposition has so far blocked the approval of GM food for the dinner table.
Several government bodies including the advisory committees on the release of GM organisms and on novel foods and processes would have to review the technology before it was approved in the UK.
Supporters of the technology believe the GM salmon will make it not only easier and cheaper to produce farmed salmon, but that it could also be better for the environment because they can be grown on land-based fish farms.
Sir John Beddington, the current chief scientist, warned two years ago of a “perfect storm” of growing human numbers, climate change and food shortages, where it would be “very hard to see how it would be remotely sensible to justify not using new technologies such as GM”.
GM opponents, however, argue that the introduction of the fast-growing salmon creates risks for both human health and the environment. They also argue that the salmon will be the start of concerted efforts to create other GM animals for human consumption, which could raise serious questions about animal welfare.
The FDA had already indicated the salmon was fit for human consumption. But in a draft environmental assessment written in May and published on Friday following inquiries by The Independent, it goes further by declaring that the production of the GM fish is unlikely to have any detrimental impact on the wider environment.
Opponents of the GM salmon – which some have dubbed the “Frankenfish” – have argued it could escape into the wild, interbreed with wild fish and undermine the genetics of the endangered Atlantic salmon, the “king of fishes” grown on fish farms in the UK.
However, the company behind the GM AquAdvantage salmon emphasised that the genetically engineered fish will be only be grown as sterile females and kept in secure containers on land.
In its draft assessment prepared as part of a New Animal Drug Application (NADA), the FDA agrees that the possibility of GM salmon escaping from fish farms is extremely remote and that interbreeding with wild salmon is equally unlikely.
The possibility of the GM salmon escaping into rivers and the sea from land-based fish farms is “extremely remote”, the FDA said.
“[The] FDA has made the preliminary determination it is reasonable to believe that approval of the AquAdvantage salmon NADA will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United States (including populations of endangered Atlantic salmon) when produced and grown under the conditions of use for the proposed action,” it concludes.
Anti-GM groups last night raised concerns about the report. Peter Riley, of the pressure group GM Freeze, said: “The sterility system does not guarantee that there will be no escapes into the wild and some of them will be fully fertile. It’s also debatable whether anyone wants to buy GM salmon, even in the US, if it is properly labelled.”
The FDA also states the two other US Government agencies responsible for overseeing laws on endangered species – the National Marine Fisheries Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service – have agreed with the FDA’s assessment that there will be “no effect” on wild Atlantic salmon or its habitat.
In its report, the FDA warns that if final approval is not given by the US Government, other countries may still develop GM Atlantic salmon.
The research into the GM salmon goes back to the late 1980s and it has gone through 17 years of bureaucratic wrangling over whether it should be approved for human consumption. The FDA indicated in 2010 that it would declare the GM salmon safe to eat but the issue was then kicked into the Washington long grass, which some have put down to nervousness on the part of the White House in the run-up to this year’s Presidential election.
AquaBounty Technologies, the Massachusetts biotechnology company that developed the GM salmon, has become increasingly irritated by the delays to its application, which have caused severe strains on its finances.
Last September, the company’s chief executive, Ron Stotish, expressed his anger with the FDA, which promised in May this year that it would soon publish its environmental assessment, on which the approval of the application rests.
“We are frustrated and disappointed in the delay, and we feel the FDA and US administration have a responsibility to inform us why they have not yet released the environmental assessment and moved forward our application,” Mr Stotish said.
A spokeswoman for the FDA said: “The draft environmental assessment is an interim step in the overall evaluation of the application and is not a decision on the application itself.”
Animal farm: a technological revolution
1972: Scientists use special enzymes to snip fragments of DNA – genes – from one microbe and insert or “recombine” them into another microbe. The revolution in recombinant DNA begins with the creation of the first GM organism.
1980: Laboratory mice with genes inserted from other individuals become the first genetically modified “transgenic” animals. Dozens of other experimental species, from pigs and chickens to frogs and fish, follow over the next two decades.
1989: The AquAdvantage founder salmon is created by micro-injecting a fragment of DNA from an ocean pout fish and a Chinook Pacific salmon into a fertilised Atlantic salmon egg.
1995: AquaBounty Technologies begins the lengthy process of applying for official US Government approval to develop the AquAdvantage salmon commercially.
2002: The first commercially viable GM animal is created from two species by Nexia Biotechnologies in rural Quebec. The “spider-goat” has a single gene from a golden orb-weaving spider which means its milk contains spiders silk, five times the strength of steel, which is used for making bullet proof vests.
2009: The US Food and Drug Administration issues its final guidance to the GM industry on rules governing the regulation of genetically engineered animals, which clarifies its status as the chief statutory and regulatory body for GM animals.
2011: British scientists create chickens which don’t spread bird flu by inserting an artificial gene that introduces a small part of the flu virus into the bird. This gives them the virus, but prevents them from spreading it.
2012: A genetically modified cow in New Zealand is the first to produce milk with no Beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), the protein that is thought to be responsible for allergic reactions. Meanwhile, Chinese scientists create a GM cow whose milk includes omega-3 fats, normally found in fish.
May 2012: The US Food and Drug Administration completes its environmental assessment of the GM salmon but delays publication of the draft report until 21 December 2012.
As we have been saying all along!
By now the whole country is fully embroiled in the Gun Control debate, spurred by the grisly murder of 27 people, mostly kids, at the Sandy Hook Elementary school last Friday.
Guns might not be the only problem though.
New York Magazine wrote a piece about shooter Adam Lanza’s supposed “aspergers” syndrome as a “red herring” meant to distract from the real problem (guns, of course, the subject goes without mentioning).
Inside the piece though they report Adam Lanza’s uncle said the boy was prescribed Fanapt, a controversial anti-psychotic medicine.
UPDATE: Since the publishing of this article, New York Daily News has removed the reference, the originator of the quote from Lanza’s “uncle,” because they believed him to be an “imposter.”
Fanapt was the subject of a Bloomberg report when it passed regulators, after previously getting the “nonapproval” stamp. Why wasn’t it approved, you might ask?
There are many reasons, some of which have to do with competing entities in a competitive market.
The main cited reason for the rejection was that it caused severe heart problems in enough patients to cause a stir.
Maybe more importantly, though, Fanapt is one of a many drugs the FDA pumped out with an ability to exact the opposite desired effect on people: that is, you know, inducing rather than inhibiting psychosis and aggressive behavior.
From Drugs.com, side effects of the drug Fanapt:
Psychiatric side effects including restlessness, aggression, and delusion have been reported frequently. Hostility, decreased libido, paranoia, anorgasmia, confusional state, mania, catatonia, mood swings, panic attack, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, delirium, polydipsia psychogenic, impulse-control disorder, and major depression have been reported infrequently.
In fact, Fanapt was dropped by its first producer, picked up by another, initially rejected by the FDA, then later picked up and mass produced. The adverse side-effect is said to be “infrequent,” but still it exists, and can’t be ignored.
The reaction invoked by the drug in some people is reminiscent of the Jeffrey R. MacDonald case, where a Green Beret slaughtered his entire family and then fabricated a story about a marauding troop of “hopped up hippies”.
MacDonald though, had Eskatrol in his system, a weight-loss amphetamine that’s since been banned in part for its side effects of psychotic behavior and aggression.
These drugs are not the only ones that can cause the opposite of their desired effect. Several anti-depressant medications are also restricted to adults, for the depression they inspire in kids rather than eliminate.
August 7th 2012: Jack Blood cleans up the Wisconsin Massacre and breaks news from www.deadlinelive.info – Hour 2: Radio host and health Freedom commentator Robert Scott Bell joins us to run down the REAL terrorists, and the poison Idea of the FDA, Pharma et al… www.robertscottbell.com
From Rand’s Facebook Page:
I am an opponent of the FDA’s war on natural foods and farmers. I’ve stood up for raw milk, hemp and natural supplements. I fought to take power AWAY from the government on these issues. So while there is evidence we should be concerned about GMOs, we should also be careful not to lose our constitutional perspective simply because the end result is one we may desire. That’s what we fight against. That’s what the statists do. Take a look at a pretty thorough rundown on the recent GMO amendment. There were many more problems with it, including the potential the FDA could have assumed broad new rulemaking authority if this badly written amendment had passed.
Posted on Rand Paul’s Facebook page 6/26/12:
Along with a link to this article: http://iroots.org/2012/06/23/was-rand-paul-right-to-vote-aga…
Thanks to davidicke.com for the post PLEASE SHARE THIS!
‘There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world.
The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.’
By Mike Adams
Here’s some news for those who still somehow believe the political left in Washington cares about the People. After U.S. Senator Rand Paul introduced an amendment that would have ended armed FDA raids on raw milk farmers (http://www.naturalnews.com/035966_Rand_Paul_FDA_censorship.html) and legalized free speech about the curative properties of medicinal herbs, nutritional supplements and superfoods, are you curious how many Democrats voted in favor of this?
Big fat zero, to be exact.
Not a single Democrat in the United States Senate believes in fundamental food freedom, farm freedom or the principles of liberty. Every single Democrat in the Senate is a Big Brother sellout who supports the FDA having more guns pointed in the faces of raw milk farmers, arresting them and throwing them in prison, criminalizing real food and destroying America’s small family farms.
Every single Democrat in the U.S. Senate believes that telling the truth about the beneficial effects of Chinese Medicine, or medicinal herbs, or nutritional supplements should be a crime that can also get you raided, shut down and imprisoned by the FDA. There is not a single Democrat who sees anything wrong with the government sending herbal product formulators to prison. There is not a single Democrat who believes that an Amish farmer has the right to milk a cow and sell that milk to their neighbor without being threatened by the government.
Susanne Posel, Contributor
The US Senate gave their approval to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in conjunction with certain pharmaceutical corporations, for a $6.4 billion “agreement fee” in the new Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, S. 3187 (FDASI).
Drug manufacturers like Eli Lily & Co, Pfizer Inc, AstraZeneca Plc, and Medtronic Inc will provide regulatory reviews of new medical treatments and healthcare devices. The FDASI extends through to 2017.
The FDASI allocates “use fees” to the FDA as payment for “safety and efficiency reviews”.
The House of Representatives are scheduled to vote on the FDASI next week. And it is anticipated that the bill will be signed into law by Obama in early fall.
The FDASI is part of Obama’s program to use the US government and drug makers together to discover new ways to use old drugs; as well as find new pharmaceutical answers to new diseases.
The focus of this collaboration will identify new uses for drugs that have already been approved by FDA. There may be need for new human trials, putting the general public at a health risk. Engaging in experimental trials to classify specific compounds to be utilized for unintended purposes is highly dangerous.
Drug manufacturers and medical device makers are anxious to work with the US government. This will mean their treatments will be reviewed and approved faster than they currently are. The FDASI specifies that certain measures be taken to expedite the approval of medical treatments under the guise of “life-threatening” or rush monitoring devices to mitigate drug shortages.
The FDASI quite simply ensures more profits for drug corporations.
Senators Tom Harkin and Mike Enzi believe that the FDASI reflects a “kind of cooperation that we see all too rarely in Washington”, referring to the newfound relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the US government.
The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, signed by President Obama in 2010 allowed generic companies to manufacture complex biologic drugs. These companies paid a fee to the FDA, funding their own right to further manipulate the medical industry without regard for public safety.
Senators Michael Bennet and Richard Burr would have the American public believe that FDASI will give the FDA more authority to “police drugs from manufacturing to distribution to pharmacies”. However, that is exactly the responsibility of the FDA as a regulatory agency designed to ensure public health and safety.
Why would Congress have to give the FDA authority to do its job?
Of course, FDASI benefits the drug corporations by forming a financial relationship with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the US government.
Lobbyist groups for corporations like Pfizer Inc have been pressuring Congress to support their over-reaching endeavors.
Senator John McCain voted against the FDASI, wanting to empower foreign drug manufacturers from Canada by importing their drugs to America. McCain said: “Somebody tell me why we can’t tell the struggling family they can use their own money to purchase safe drugs from a Canadian pharmacy at sometimes 50 percent less.”
The pharmaceutical companies have designated over $80 billion over 10 years to support Obama’s new health regulations and protection against the allowance of importation. Since the drug makers are willing to line Obama’s pockets, they get to decide how the language and allowances of US laws.
Johnson and Johnson was given permission to distribute their drug Doxil after the FDA allowed unapproved drugs from India to be used to replenish drugs in short supply in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The FDA admits to importing foreign drugs (that are not regulated or do not fit standards in America) when pharmaceuticals are in short supply in the US.
The FDASI also requires dietary supplement makers register their products with the FDA; including a list of ingredients.
Currently, the vitamin industries, by order of the Codex Alimentarius (CA) are being attacked by the US government to justify the forced outlawing of natural medicine.
The CA is a creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The CA seeks to enforce international standards and codes on nations.
By controlling the means of medicine production, transportation and distribution, the CA will ensure the standards set forth by the UN are the basis for all national legislation.
Obama signed Executive Order (EO), Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council in 2010.
Through this EO, Obama empowered the CA to enact the UN’s plan for global governance over healthcare standards.
The National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council was created to assist Obama in destroying the alternative health industry by order of the UN.
While the Obama administration seeks to wipe out the natural medicine industry, the US government is pouring money and resources into the genetic engineering of pharmaceuticals to combat disease.
When natural remedies are completely outlawed, the general public will be forced to take drugs rather than heal naturally through diet and vitamins.
The medical agenda is clear.
The relationship created between the US government and the drug corporations has laid the foundation for medical tyranny.
Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page .
We can agree with this on many levels. Though it is the loss of Freedom that we most object to, and we would certainly provide more updated “solutions” – such as: Honest Money, Collective bargaining for consumers, competitive offerings by healthcare / insurance providers, more emphasis on charity, and a gutting of Pharma control, the FDA, Monsanto, EPA clean water and air etc… What IS good; is that some of our friends we might consider “paleo-libs” have torn the mask off of Obama care in a way the right wing tea o cons are either too scared or too ignorant to do. ~ JB
Last November, the Supreme Court agreed to hear challenge arguments against Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – aka Obamacare.
From March 26 – 28, oral arguments on PPACA’s constitutionality will be heard, especially certain provisions. A decision is expected by June.
Contentious issues include:
- mandating all adults have health insurance or be taxed to compensate;
- PPACA’s Medicaid expansion provisions; and
- whether the Anti-Injunction Act bars courts from reviewing the individual mandate until it’s effective in January 2014; “severability” also is also at issue: namely, whether one issue can be struck down while leaving others intact.
Many of PPACA’s provisions took effect. Others, including the individual mandate, begin in January 2014. “Severability” opponents say PPACA provisions are too interconnected to permit striking it.
Lower courts differed on its constitutionality. Last June, the Six Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it based on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. In August, a Florida district judge ruled it unconstitutional. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his decision. It found PPACA could stand if the individual mandate’s removed.
Last November, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also upheld the individual mandate based on the Commerce Clause.
The Supreme Court chose to review the Florida case. It includes 25 other states as plaintiffs, as well as the National Federation of Independent Business.
In addition, 136 amicus briefs (“friends of the court”) were filed for Court consideration. It’s a third more than the previous record number.
Appellate lawyers specializing in preparing them say they cost from $25,000 – $50,000 each. During the Court’s last term, justices cited only 8% of 628 NGO briefs filed. Of those, around half were written by prominent Washington-based attorneys specializing in Supreme Court cases.
Former Justice John Paul Stevens complained of amici fatigue. Justice Antonin Scalia said he lets law clerks read them. As a result, groups filing them face stiff headwinds.
The High Court could rule several ways, including:
- striking the entire law, including the individual mandate;
- upholding the entire law;
- striking the individual mandate alone; or
- delay ruling for now.
In the meantime, debate again takes center stage, at least for a few days before again erupting when the Court rules in June.
PPACA: A Boon to Industry Predators
In 2010, Ralph Nader called Obamacare a sellout to Big PhAMA and other healthcare giants, saying:
It doesn’t “provide universal, comprehensive or affordable care to the American people. It shovels hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money (to predators that) created the problem.”
“It requires no contractual accountability or other benefits for people denied coverage under a pay-or-die system that’s the disgrace of the Western world.”
There’s no public option. Millions are left uninsured, millions more underinsured, and as poverty increases, so will their ranks exponentially.
“There’s (also) no free choice of doctor and hospital under this. There’s all kinds of exploit(ive provisions to let) health insurance (and drug) companies continue their ravenous ways over people who are (the) most vulnerable….when they’re sick or injured.”
Former CIGNA vice president, Wendell Potter said Obamacare lets insurers shift costs to consumers, offer inadequate or unaffordable access, force Americans to pay higher deductibles for less coverage, and end up scamming them.
“What worries me,” he said, “is that people who are forced to buy coverage and all they can afford to buy is a high deductible. (So) if they get really sick, they have to pay so much out of their own pockets that they’re going to be filing for bankruptcy or (lose) their homes.”
What the 1913 Federal Reserve Act did for bankers, PPACA may do for insurance, PhAMA, and hospital chain predators. Controlling one-sixth of the economy, they’re more than ever able to game the system by:
- making it dysfunctionally worse;
- selling junk insurance, leaving millions underinsured;
- keeping premiums unaffordable for full coverage;
- adding high deductibles and co-pays for less coverage;
- denying care by delaying, contesting, or preventing access;
- letting pharmaceutical companies provide toxic drugs at unaffordable prices, and avoid generic competition on new products by lengthy patent protection periods;
- assuring providers more customers and higher profits by requiring individuals and families buy insurance or be penalized; and
- by 2018, imposing an excise tax on so-called “Cadillac” plans to cut corporate costs, make workers pay more, force many to settle for less, be underinsured, and unable to obtain costly care without paying for what they can’t afford.
In March 2010, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) took “no comfort in seeing aspirin dispensed for the treatment of cancer.”
Instead of fixing the “the profit-driven, private health insurance industry….this costly new legislation enrich(es) and further entrench(es it by forcing) millions of Americans to buy” defective coverage.
As a result, they’re worse off at a cost of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars given predators to game the system for profit.
Problems PNHP listed included:
- 23 million or more Americans will be uninsured; it “translates into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering;”
- millions will be forced to buy insurance “costing up to 9.5 percent of their income but covering” only 70% of their expenses; they’ll be left one serious health emergency away from bankruptcy and/or loss of their homes; moreover as costs rise, affordability declines proportionately;
- for most people, good policies are unaffordable or “too expensive to use because of the high co-pays and deductibles;”
- insurers get around $450 billion in public money “to subsidize (buying) their shoddy products;” they and other industry giants are also more than ever emboldened to block future reform;
- safety-net hospitals lose billions in Medicare and Medicaid payments; tens of millions of under and uninsured are left vulnerable without care when they most need it;
- workers with employer-based coverage face higher costs, fewer benefits, and restrictions on selecting providers;
- most will be hamstrung with future stiff costs because of unrestricted premium hikes, higher deductibles and co-pays;
- costs keep rising exponentially because Obamacare doesn’t contain them; providers can raise prices freely;
- so-called new regulations (like ending pre-existing condition denials) are riddled with loopholes, ambiguities, and legal interpretations to let insurers manipulate them advantageously; and
- “women’s reproductive rights (are) further eroded, thanks to the burdensome segregation of insurance funds for abortion and all other medical services.”
In other words, PPACA scammed the public with a package of expensive mandates, new taxes, sweetheart deals, and “a perpetuation of the fragmented, dysfunctional, and unsustainable system that is taking such a heavy toll on our health and economy today.”
It gets worse. Last summer, a study showed nearly one in 10 large and mid-sized companies planned to stop providing healthcare to employees by 2014. Another one suggested close to a third opting out once all PPACA provisions take effect.
Moreover, one in three employers provide temp or part-time workers no coverage. Expect that percentage to rise sharply.
Businesses with over 50 employees dropping coverage face fines up to $2,000 for each not covered. Providing it costs much more. In addition, most others providing insurance plan shifting more costs to workers.
Except for the very poor, households (individual or family) face 2% of income penalties.
PPACA’s a can of worms. Industry predators alone benefit. Growing millions are on their own out of luck.
No Debate on Universal Coverage
The Supreme Court challenge excludes the only equitable, effective solution: universal government provided full single-payer coverage, including dental, drugs, and everything else health related.
Everyone in. Nobody out, except industry predators able to game the system for profits at the public’s expense.
A Final Comment
Now age 88, Arnold S. Relman is Harvard Medical School Professor Emeritus and former New England Journal of Medicine editor-in-chief.
Ahead of PPACA’s enactment, he said “our health policies have failed to meet national needs because they have been heavily influenced by the delusion that medical care is essentially a business.”
Current proposals “for a more ‘consumer-driven’ health system are likely to make our predicament even worse. A different kind of approach could solve our problems, but it would mean a major reform of the entire system, not only the way it is financed and insured, but also how physicians are organized in practice and how they are paid.”
In 1980, he called America’s health system the “medical-industrial complex,” or in his assessment, a danger equivalent to Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex.”
He said market-based medicine assures unaffordability, “variable quality,” and inequity for millions. Only bottom line priorities matter. Patient needs are sorely neglected.
“Our present medical care system lacks the structure and incentives to provide proper care….A real solution to our crisis will not be found until the public, the medical profession, and the government reject the prevailing delusion that health care is best left to market forces.”
“Once it is acknowledged that the market is inherently unable to deliver the kind of health care system we need, we can begin to develop the ‘nonmarket’ arrangements for the system we want.”
On March 19, The New York Times published Relman’s letter headlined, “The Health Law Mandate,” saying:
The Times’ March 9 article titled, “White House Set to Shape Debate Over Health Law” omits a key argument against PPACA’s “mandated purchase of private insurance, the key issue before the Supreme Court.”
He said 50 doctors and two nonprofit organizations filed an amicus brief. It argued that “Congress could avoid a mandate by legislating a national single-payer system that provides nearly universal insurance coverage.”
Though flawed, comparable systems exist – Medicare and veterans’ health benefits. “(N)o legal barriers prevent doing more.”
“Since a mandate isn’t necessary for Congress to exercise its legitimate role in regulating health insurance, there is no justification under the Constitution’s ‘necessary and proper’ clause for such a legislative requirement.”
How this argument influences the Court “remains to be seen. But the brief is another reminder that the single-payer idea, although currently off the table in Washington, should not be counted out.”
It’s all that’s worth counting in as the only acceptable alternative. Healthcare’s a vital need, a universal right no just society should deny all its citizens and permanent residents.
America isn’t just and never was. That’s the core issue. The High Court won’t touch or resolve it.
People power alone can with commitment enough to accept nothing less than equity and justice for all, and not just on healthcare.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.