I’ve received a few pieces of push-back on my articles on the medical industry, including the recent one on Coronary Artery Disease. One of them, which I didn’t publish, included this snippet [from Dr. Statin Pusher]:
The current prevailing research does support that taking the statins produces a net benefit, regardless if the original intention of cholesterol lowering is the reason why.
But that’s not the test, you see, unless you’re a greedy fuck.
If someone is Type II diabetic and their blood sugar is out of control, prescribing insulin will of course produce a net benefit over not doing so. However, getting the carbs out of their diet might well effectively reverse their high blood glucose entirely.
But while the latter will do (far) more to help the poor sod with the disease it costs nothing and the medical establishment can’t make a lot of money selling insulin to someone who doesn’t need it any more.
The medical establishment also won’t make any money cutting off the toes of said person over time nor off their eventual need for dialysis, which is virtually always a final-stage thing in that a few years later you’re nearly always dead. In other words your suffering and ultimate demise is very profitable. Your health, not so much.
I note further that the American Diabetes Association recommends eating carbohydrates! If there was some essential nutrient that could only be gained by doing so, or was almost-impossible to gain otherwise, I could see the point of the recommendation. You take the good with the bad because the good is necessary.
But this is not true; there is no essential nutritional value found in carbohydrates that cannot be had without them and if you eliminate them you also largely eliminate variable insulin demand making it entirely possible for a Type II diabetic to either greatly reduce or even eliminate their requirement for medication!
So how does the medical establishment in any form justify the current recommendations? I don’t think they can, and in fact there is little argument for them other than “it’s easier — and more profitable — to sell someone a pill (or injection) than explain to them how their biochemistry works and further explain that while drugs are an option statistically speaking they are dramatically less-likely to be both sustainable over the remainder of your life and produce as good of an outcome as getting rid of the carbs in your diet will.”
Diabetes is by far the only circumstance where this is the case. Indeed, when it comes to chronic disease and disorder, particularly obesity and all of its related ills, virtually all follow the same script in this regard. Never mind so-called “mood disorders” and the various drugs prescribed therefor (Prozac, anyone?) I’ve written repeatedly about the fact that even if they so-called “work” they also appear produce rage monsters in a small percentage of people. We have pointedly refused to have the debate about whether that cost to society is worth the benefit for those who cannot be, either due to circumstance or refusal to comply, closely monitored to detect this problem before it becomes emergent but boy, those drugs are sure as hell profitable to have people chowing down on like candy corns.
I’m really just playing devil’s advocate at this point because it is rather fatiguing to see your posts be so one sided and then see some of the community of the site just jump on it as if the medical industry and doctors are all out to get each and every one of you.
Well what the hell do you call it when an “industry” appears to have manufactured disease and death and has massively profited from it, doing all of the following:
- Gone from ~3% of GDP to ~18% over the last 40 years and that’s on hard costs; it’s nearly certain to be over 1 dollar in five today. The cost of having a baby in 1963, in today’s dollars including a three-night stay in the hospital, was under $1,000. Today it typically runs eight times that much for an uncomplicated birth and involves a stay of only hours. This is flat-out financial rape.
- Taken obesity from a somewhat common and troublesome problem to an outright epidemic, more than doubling since the 1970s. More than 2/3rds of adults in America are either overweight or obese and 82% of black women are in this category! This has coincided with doctorsrecommending a meat-restricted, high-carbohydrate and high processed-plant-oil based diet over the same 40 years. It is a fact that this set of “recommendations” has done nothing but coincide with the largest explosion of waistlines in the history of the planet yet physicians almost to an individual continue to beat the same drum on “diet and exercise” that led us here and worse, profit tremendously from the pain, suffering, morbidity (hip and knee replacements anyone?) and ultimately mortality that come from it.
- Presents knowing falsehoods to the public on a literal daily basis, including those related to meat, diagrams of coronary artery disease that are factually wrong, continued presentation of disproved hypothesis (e.g. The Lipid Hypothesis, claims that coronary artery disease proceeds from direct absorption of cholesterol out of the blood despite knowledge to the contrary) and worse, when a hypothesis is under active questioning this is never presented to patients in an honest fashion with the clear statement that said “expert” doesn’t actually know what is going on but instead is guessing. This results in people having various treatments literally shoved down their throat (in the form of pills, operations or both) when there is noclear proof that this is the best option available and without any frank discussion of the risks and potential rewards of the alternatives.
- Rank profiteering and cost-driving is not only part and parcel of the profession it provides a tremendous motivation for doctors to not discuss the various alternatives openly and honestly. While there are certainly medical conditions for which there is no realistic alternative than the one propounded upon (e.g. if your arm is broken you need to have it set) in many if not most cases there are multiple alternative options and all have both risks and potential rewards. Because cost is not only almost-never brought into the equation the fact that there is a profit margin on various treatment modalities means that the physician and his friends all make the most money from the most-expensive treatment whether it’s the one you would choose on a risk:reward basis or not!
- Monopoly and “captive customer” practices are not an exception, they’re the rule. Doctors performing a “drive by” consultation in the hospital, for example (e.g. sticking their head in the room, saying “hi” and then billing for a “consult”) constitutes an epidemic. States with “CON” laws have their review boards staffed by doctors and administrators who usually own the competing businesses. Laws requiring prescriptions to obtain utterly-ordinary things (such as having virtually any minimally or non-invasive test done, as is the case for virtually any blood-draw related test) drive costs to the moon and serve to prevent people from monitoring their own health without paying someone their hourly rate. Not one physician in 100 will recommend, for example, that you check your own fasting blood sugar level despite the fact that you can buy a meter that is calibrated and known accurate (after all, diabetics need such a device) and “starter” test strips to do so and check it in 30 seconds any morning upon awakening you wish at almost any pharmacy in the country over-the-counter for about $20; exactly where in this nation can you get an office visit for such a purpose for $20, say much less the test? Why is it that I can’t walk into any diagnostic center, plunk down $20 and have a CBC, for example, done with the results given to me and only me — on demand?
- Have and do, on a daily basis, collude together and act in a means intended to reduce competition and monopolize markets. Whether it’s arguing for and supporting “prescription” requirements to limiting the number of MRI machines in an area to outright price-fixing and refusing to quote a price for a procedure in advance, doctors and other parts of the medical establishment engage in such actions daily. Anti-competitive behavior and collusion is a felony in this country generally under the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman Acts; exactly why should I trust someone with my lifethat has chosen to affirmatively act and profit from geting laws passed to excuse them from behavior that for anyone else would land them in prison for a decade or more? Every one of the persons involved in any such act should be doing life in prison — the penalty is 10 years for each act.
- If it’s my body why are not my medical records my property – – exclusively so? Medical providers, down to dentists, routinely refuse to see anyone who won’t give them personally-identifying information and allow them to keep all of it. In the world of paper records this might not have been that big of a deal but it sure is in the world of electronic records, where you no longer have any control over what happens to that data once it’s collected. While HIPPA allegedly protects this on a legal basis the fact is that no medical provider or related firm has ever been held criminally or civilly accountable to any material degree for breaches — including Anthem which was just hacked and likely had the records of millions of people stolen including children. Simply put it’s none of anyone’s damned business what my health records look like except me and, perhaps, those who I contract with to pay for my treatment. If I fail to disclose something to my doctor then it’s on me if I get a bad outcome as a result, not on him or her. In short is that doctor interested in my health or my data?
I say that the so-called “medical establishment” is out to get each and every one of us. Maybe they don’t want to shove all of us in the hole, but they sure do want all of our money. Virtually all of the medical personnel in civilian medicine engage in practices that in nearly any other line of business would be considered felonious when it comes to long-standing law on competition and restraint of trade. How in the hell can anyone in this line of work argue that I should respect them when they engage in, aid and abet acts that, were I to have done so when running my ISP, would have landed me in federal prison?
Being a physician used to be a decent middle-class job; now it’s a treadmill deal where gross and net income are grotesquely misaligned and yet doctors whine about the cost of things like malpractice insurance and similar when it is in fact their own actions that led them to being where they are in the market today.
And don’t give me this crap about how there aren’t choices or alternatives. That’s the same defense that Nazis used at Nuremberg, and it didn’t work for them. It won’t work for you in the end either and as long as I can grab my Passport, head to the airport, fly to Narita in Japan, get an MRI done there and fly back home for less than the “billed price” for the same service in the exact same device made by the same company a mile up the road from my house you can all take that outright lie and shove it, along with the AMA, your closest hospital and the pharmaceutical industry where the sun doesn’t shine.
This crap — all of it — must stop not only because it has not produced any net improvement in these chronic diseases in terms of prevalence among the public but also because trees cannot grow to the sky and the continued financial rape of the public is both unacceptable and unsustainable. It will destroy this nation if it is not halted; arithmetic cannot be argued with or bargained over. Those in the medical or pharmaceutical profession who refuse to cut this crap out must be imprisoned.
If there are persons in the medical field that recognize any of this they’re a tiny minority. Silent acquiescence is consent folks, and I refuse to give anyone who consents to this crap in the so-called “industry” a pass. Rather, they deserve to be shunned, prosecuted and their various interactions with others subjected to the same sort of rapacious pricing they inflict on all of us — and that’s being kind.
I’ll stop ripping on doctors and the medical establishment when, and not before, they stop trying to financially screw me and every other American in the ass, then shovel my dead — and dead-broke — butt in the hole.