By Plebius Common
President Obama’s answer to the question of what to do with a serious illness of cancer or for those that need a pacemaker. His response: “Give them a pill and let them die.” This is the beginning of death panels.
Well, no, not for my mother! The great “push back” begins.
The Democtrat strategy is to blame the GOP for, “step one: Create problems for Obamacare. Step two: Blame Obamacare for the problems. Step 3: Political profit!”
Thirty percent of our population is obese (30% of 320 million is 96 million). The preventative medicine argument thus has substance. It is also where the government can rob the populous of efficient and effective real health care usurped for the collectivists’ ideology, Castro’s communism, the false narrative of a successful socialist healthcare system. Where, pray tell, has it ever worked?
In all truth, the GOP could have prevented this train wreck a decade ago. But, better late than never. If the Democrats deserve any praise it is for forcing a solution through creative destruction. The GOP, with free trade has always wanted a public driven healthcare system, in our representative republic, with the catastrophic insurance from the government. The liberals have wanted a one payer system controlled by the government. It is a major factor in creating a “permanent underclass,” beholding to progressives. The unintended consequences begin.
“Insulin was discovered nearly 100 years ago. It is a life-saving medication used to treat diabetes. Yet the price of the drug has now spiked by 700 percent in just two decades. Certain insulin has risen from $21 a vial in 1996 to $255 a vial in 2016.”
“Rising cost of potentially life-saving EpiPen puts pinch on families.” Since 2009, the beginning of the Obama administration, Epipen has skyrocketed from $60 to $600. This is the unintended but predicted consequences of ObamaCare and suppressed, but real, inflation. This is a tragedy of leadership lost.
It is a truism that given enough research, you or I could justify anything. This is a powerful tool of Big Farma (Pharmaceutical Companies). This must not impede a free flowing dialogue, a mandate for and about a formed decision.
Remember Big Farma and Medicare were so very cozy with the Obama administration. These unprincipled capitalists, donated billions. Medicare supported ObamaCare via forced political fund bundling. This is a mechanism for absolution from the corrupt strong arm tactics so ingrained in the last eight years in the White House, the DOJ, regulations and use of executive privilege.
The “give grandma a pill” and let her die comfortably is calmly, but arrogantly, right up there with the rational of murdering the unborn or a viable fetus, butcher and selling its parts. It is the sanctity of life that is denied for the advancement of ideology.
A Diabetic Case History
Let me tell you a true story about a diabetic and his journey with a fabulous private health care provider and the pending destruction of a cost effective therapy, accomplished by a bureaucrat placed in-between the patient and the doctor. The back story is Obama robbing from Medicare, where many may justifiably feel, through the paradox of health policies, to save ObamaCare.
If 30% of our population, 96 million people, endures this malady, please suffer a little background.
The body uses glucose for an effective and efficient functioning metabolism. An example through conversion of energy through the Krebs (Citric Acid) cycle. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism. Disruption of this cycle causes many great metabolic dysfunctions including death.
Diabetes mellitus type 1 (also known as type 1 diabetes) is a form of diabetes mellitus. In this disease not enough insulin is produced.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 (also known as type 2 diabetes) is a long term metabolic disorder. It is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and a lack of insulin.
Patients of both of these medical issues, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, use diabetic test strips. They prick a finger, and guide a small drop of blood onto a test strip positioned in a “self-monitoring glucometer.” The subsequent readings allow a patient to adapt “immediately,” in real time, to a therapy that can control syndrome X, self-regulate blood glucose without or with insulin, diet, exercise and diabetic medicines.
This is a lifesaving medical advance that has only been around since the 1923 Nobel Prize for the practical extraction and manufacture of insulin. The patent for insulin was sold to the University of Toronto. The cost: one-half a dollar.
Thirty percent of America’s population is obese. Obesity is a precursor to Syndrome X and diabetes. Self-monitoring brings blood chemistry testing down to the “patient level.” It is a tool for healthier living, a therapy with life style decisions, which can improve the quality of life for those disadvantaged.
These test strips, with manufacturers properly rewarded for initial investment, cannot carry a material, labor and burden (overhead) to manufacture, of no more than a mere fraction of a cent ($.01?).
So like printers, sell the printer or glucometer inexpensively, and charge as much as the market will bear for the “print cartridge, or test strips. Without printer cartridges you will not risk serious health problems.
This is a reasonable free market principle. However, when the sanctity of life comes into question, people cannot afford the cost of the unprincipled (culturally aberrational business decisions) capitalistic profit margins. Compare!
“Unistrip 24850 Unistrip Glucose (generic) Test Strips For Use With One Touch Blood Glucose Monitors.” Cost of $7.26 per Qty of 50.” Testing four times a day is a 12 day supply.
“Onetouch Ultra Blue Blood Glucose Test Strip with Doublesure Technology.” Cost of $56.93 per Qty of 25.” ($113.86 per Qty 50).
Now if one assumes the manufacturing cost of $.01 per strip, very possible with robotic automation, then, the generic test strips retail cost $.15 per strip. The Onetouch Ultra Blue test strips retail cost $ 2.33 per strip. Then the mark-up generic to brand is 15 to 233 times. Everyone assumes, with competitive comfort, that the generics are still making a profit. The factor of 10 times inflation, or profit, for Insulin and Epipen is the usury “mortar.” It is the unprincipled profit “brick” when competition is suppressed.
Certainly there is room in that universe for a reasonable return on investment. But, hurting people who may die because they cannot afford the “burden” of “excessive” profit, for a proven medical therapy, must be opposed philosophically by Judeo-Christianity. This is a most reasonable argument within the realm of principled capitalism. It is an area for government intervention; not to usurp, but to manage.
It was mega studies, mentioned next, that charted the diabetics path to a healthy life style. It is a given that Type 1 diabetics must take the lifesaving Insulin, which is a miracle of modern medicine.
Please suffer a true Type 2 diabetic example. This is an approved therapy much within the guidelines of the UKPDS, DCCT and EDIC Studies, while fully embracing the concerns and risks of “tight control” exposed by the “Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes” (ACCORD) Study.
This is documented data for a patient. The following data covers physiology and blood chemistry markers that at some point in time registered out of “high” to “low” limits.
In 1995 2016
Blood pressure was 190/110, 142/77
Weight was pushing 300lbs, 203lbs
Blood Glucose was 470 mg/dl, 133 mg/dl
HbA1c (calculated) 15.5%, 7.9% (Actual)
Protein Bound Glucose 1.76 mg/g,
Triglycerides 622 mg/dl 117 mg/dl
Cholesterol (total) 299 mg/dl 196 mg/dl
HDL 24mg/dl, 43 mg/dl
LDL (unable to calculate). 130 mg/dl
Creatinine 1.2 mg/dl 1.29 mg/dl Controlled Trend Charts
eGFR 61 (2006) 53 Controlled Trend Charts
Potassium 4 4.3 Controlled Trend Charts
Early diabetes medicines, like Biguanides and Thiazolidinediones, were followed by ADOPT and Dream trials. Then, the era of the Sulfonylureas was ushered in. But, bad things were happening along with the good things. The medicines worked. However, often the “risks’ raised an ugly option. Some diabetic medicines, such as Rezulin, Avandia and DBI (Phenformin), were then pulled.
Was there a “control range” of elevated blood glucose, under 7% to 8% HbA1c, under 240 gm/dl, that the diabetic “medicinal complication risks” were not worth the benefit. Statistics showed no strong argument for increased benefits, in this control range, while terrible risks began to emerge for tight control.
The ACCORD study seemed to say yes. (Why did they terminate the study? Why did they have the internet scrubbed? What were the macro-cardio-vascular risks?) Then, Big Farma raced to scrub the internet, run counter studies, like ADVANCE, and bury the risks of “tight glucose control.”
President Obama often goes to the socialist’s or totalitarian argument, Canada or Cuba, to justify his takeover attempt of America’s medical system.
America’ rates poorly in preventative medicine due to factors like obesity, the profit driven risks of GMO (Genetically modified crops), and the chemical or DNA additive “risks” in the food chain. One of the problems is DNA transfers naturally between organisms. There is a mountain of research on this issue. And many will proclaim that Cuba’s health, if there is data, is due to the lack of nutrients corrupted, embargo enforced blockade of these “tainted” foods, tainted by these GMO factors.
Kim Jong-un probably has gout. This is something his people will not likely ever see as an epidemic. Why?
Preventative medicine, like glucose self-testing, vaccines and life style management, are the most effective. It is an interesting note that Obama feels Cuba has a better medicinal and educational system than America. Medical care is not free. Cuban medical care suffered following the end of Soviet “subsides” in 1991. Cuba’s healthcare program is in Article 50 of its revised Constitution.
Doctors in Cuba also have incentives to falsify statistics, as a spike in infant mortality will cost them their jobs. And we take issue with the “Death Panel” argument against public medicine, a rationing of medicine? Many certainly hope so!
A safety net for those in need, the private sector government funded competition. Medicaid and Medicare can remain available while disgorging the government of single payer socialized medicine. Free market principles work!
Doctors have fled Cuba under Castro’s oppressive system, leaving a depleted medical discipline, which Obama praises? Castro will not admit the poverty of the under nourished. Any health reputation of Cuba’s citizens can arguably be laid at the feet of a forced ultra conservative nutritional life style, and a forced lower caloric intake of food (such as gout producing) of kings. It is un-affordable, and a shear absence of dangerous genetically modified crops (GMCs, GM crops, or biotech crops), food preservatives, antibiotics, and steroids in crops and meat products. This is not a conscious free market decision but a fiat under communism and the American embargo. Cuba does not allow for independent verification of its health data. Ever wonder why?
This personal example for American medicine was accomplished without Death Panels. Until 2016, two and a half decades of trend analysis documented with a self-monitoring glucometer, multiple times a day, with close contact with doctors in first couple of years, biannual thereafter, some medicines with serious attention to cause and effect, risk and benefit, safety and side effects.
Then, as the research disclosed risk versus benefits of medicines, a controlled trend of medical “markers” was used to exit diabetic medicines. This includes where risks were dangerously high. It is self-monitoring that allows this approach.
The Coming Death Panels
And now, Medicare is rejecting this therapy, and their support thereof. But, give me insulin and I can test multiple times a day with Medicare support. However, there are few medicines, that if one doesn’t need, one must or should take.
America has the best medical technology, a flawed private medical system. And a disastrous public sector medical system called ObamaCare.
As we stray from the tight doctor/patient relationship, then, the reality of Death Panels becomes obvious. There is little difference between the chaos and deaths caused by unqualified paper pushing bureaucrats inserting themselves between doctor and patient. It is death by a thousand paper cuts. And, it is the great obliteration of transparency.
Repeal and replacing ObamaCare is only a start.
The more bureaucratic daylight, or policy tyrants, that appear “between” doctor and the patient, then the closer we get to Death Panels, socialized and rationed medicine.