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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Health Reform]

Oh yes it is.

My parents were just vacationing in Europe (they go often so they're aware of how stuff works). My mom is diabetic and had a shortage of insulin while in France, they went to the drugstore and she showed the bottle of Humalog which is what she uses in the United States and the price in the United States is around $240 a bottle which is charged to her Medicare and insurance and can only be prescribed by her doctor.

The pharmacist recognized the bottle and without having to go to a doctor sold her a bottle of insulin for US $25.00.

This is the same brand made by Eli Lilly that she gets in the United States and why in the in the world that should be 1/10 of the price without having to go to the doctor for a prescription.

Quoted with permission.

Note this well folks: No prescription needed and 1/10th the price for the exact same drug.

Fill your suitcase and bring same home with you and you'll go to prison.

Note that you're not counterfeiting anything, you're not adulterating anything and you lawfully own that which you're bringing into the country for the purpose of nothing other than making a profit.

If this sort of price-fixing, which is supposed to be a felony under 15 USC was to be stopped then the drug would cost $25/bottle -- or slightly more, since of course the person bringing it would like to make a profit --  here.

Even with a reasonable profit -- say, $5/bottle -- it would still collapse the price in the United States instantly.

Is this limited to drugs?  No, definitely not -- the same issue applies to both procedures and supplies.

Put a stop to the racket and the cost of obtaining medical care, whether it be drug, device, service or procedure will drop like a stone.  Further, no new laws are actually necessary since between 15 USC and state consumer protection laws are plenty-sufficient on their own.  The entire rubric of "must buy insurance or be bankrupted by any material medical emergency" certainly fits the definition of a force-tied sale that also facially appears to be unlawful under that very same body of law.

You have been and are today being robbed with the explicit cooperation and assistance of the Federal and State governments folks.

If it is not stopped now these practices will, within the next few years, consume the entirety of the Federal Budget at which point our economy and probability political system will collapse.

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There's simply no argument in defense of this sort of record.

Based on an analysis of prior research, the Johns Hopkins study estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. On the CDC's official list, that would rank just behind heart disease and cancer, which each took about 600,000 lives in 2014, and in front of respiratory disease, which caused about 150,000 deaths.

In other words medical errors -- that is, avoidable mistakes, not bad outcomes -- kill a quarter of a million Americans annually and that is third only to cancer and heart disease.

The real scandal, however, is the active complicity of both the CDC and the medical profession to avoid coding death certificate data, and of medical providers to furnish said data, so that this information can be accurately compiled.

The CDC tries to excuse itself but fails with the argument that what it codes is the underlying cause that led someone to seek treatment itself.  So if you have a heart problem and go to the doctor and he kills you with a misdiagnosis, improperly-administered drug or other clear error your death is listed as being due to "heart disease" -- even though the heart problem didn't kill you.  That it might have later doesn't matter; your demise wasn't due to that underlying condition.

Here's an equally-good question: If you took your car in to have new brakes fitted, they forgot to hook up the brake line when they were done and as a result you crashed the car would you consider it reasonable to pay for the brake job?

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Is that the sun I see this morning?

It might be.

Look folks, I don't trust Trump.  Then again I don't trust politicians generally, no matter who they are, simply because they have a proven record of lying and yet while their lies are never punished ours are turned into felonies whenever those they empower are asking the questions -- including themselves!

So here's the challenge before us: As I've pointed out repeatedly in these pages since 2009 when the health care debate came into the forefront of American politics, and turned into Obamacare, we have only two choices fiscally as a nation:

1. Enforce the law against hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical firms and those running clinics and diagnostic centers.

OR

2. Our nation will be fiscally and, in all probability politically destroyed.

This is not hyperbole.  It is arithmetic.

Anyone denying arithmetic is not only a fool they're both a tyrant and a thief.

To those who claim to be "conservative" yet who have failed to act on this matter for the last three decades: You're liars, thieves, tyrants and unfit to be citizens of this nation -- you most-certainly are not conservative.  Deliberately subverting the rule of law, whether done by action or intentional inaction, disqualifies you on all counts.

To those who claim to be "evangelicals" or "Christians" yet who have failed to act on this matter for the last three decades: You are not Christian; no person who is can permit the sort of ravenous theft and fraud that has driven the expansion of this racket to nearly a full 20% of our economy.  You are Satanists to an individual and that's a fact. Either repent here and now or own and be proud of your serpent behavior.

The laws in question are very clear.  15 USC (collectively), otherwise known as the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts declare that attempting to restrain trade or fix prices is felonious at a federal level.  Further laws at the state level typically declare that it is a criminal act to, through any means, deceive people as to the cost of a good or service or bill them at a rate exceeding that quoted without their affirmative and prior consent.

There are other laws that also bear on this matter, including laws prohibiting extortion (the obtaining of something, particularly money, through threats or force) which facially appear to be violated thousands of times on a daily basis by the medical and insurance industries. Then there are laws that prohibit discriminatory pricing; the usual means of getting around this is to claim that the "chargemaster" price is the actual price but that then turns the so-called "negotiated price" on your EOB from the insurance company into a kickback to the insurance firm which is also prohibited in many cases and in those where it's not that's taxable income to the insurance company as debt forgiveness yet they have never been prosecuted for the outrageous level of tax evasion -- to the tune of over a trillion dollars of undeclared and untaxed income a year -- that such a scheme involves.

Hillary Clinton, should she win the Presidency, will not only refuse to address this problem she'll make it worse.  We know this because she, along with her husband Bill, tried to cram down our throat what is now Obamacare when Bill was in office -- an attempt to take a set of facially unlawful acts by an industry and compel compliance through the use of government force.

Trump has hinted at dismantling this scheme, but he hasn't come out with a full-throated intent to do so.

He needs to, and he needs to do it now, explaining why it has to happen and what will come if we both do and don't take that path.

To be clear, doing it will not be painless.  There will be an industry that is turned on its head and, for a short time, a nasty recession.  We must accept this, because in doing so we will take roughly 15% of the cost structure out of not only your personal life but also that of every business in America.

This will not end drug R&D in the United States or anywhere else.  It will cause prices to go up elsewhere in the world, in some cases by a lot, but it will also cause them to come down here in America by as much as 85%.

It will render paying cash for medical care, even fairly complex care, practical for most Americans.  For those events where it is not it will turn the cost of insurance into a bill similar to that which is paid for homeowners insurance on a modest home -- a reasonable and routine expense, since with the cost of care coming down by 85% so will the cost of insurance similarly fall.

It will permanently resolve not only the Federal Deficit and, over 30 or so years, the entirety of the federal debt, it will also permanently resolve the financial problems our state and local governments face -- threats that if not addressed will cause property and other taxes to rise to unpayable levels for most Americans.

By replacing the federal deficit with a 30-year unbroken records of surpluses it will also take the current ~2% loss of real purchasing power that you have suffered every year for the last 30 and turn it into a 2% compounded annual gain over the same amount of time.  You may not get a raise but you don't need one when you are gaining 2% in real purchasing power each and every year; over 30 years this will almost double your real buying power without a single penny of increase in your wages.

And finally the dramatic reduction in business cost will mean that firms will flock to both manufacture here and run their offices and administrative functions in the United States, freed from what is currently certain fiscal disaster that any reasonably-competent CEO can and has foreseen and thus is trying, in today's business climate, to avoid.

Will Trump do any of the above?

Maybe.  Or maybe not.

But unlike the other candidates he has hinted at it, and he knows where the problem is, because he's lived with it through the 1990s forward, as have I.  As a former CEO myself this was the issue I identified while running MCSNet that was guaranteed to destroy my company financially given sufficient time if it was not addressed.

Competitive pressures are always present in any business; they're a function of the market and part of the job is navigating them.  Arithmetic is not something you can navigate; you must face it and, if you cannot convince the political powers that be to change the underlying facts that lead to these disasters you have no choice but to move as much of your operations as possible away from the jurisdictions where these disasters will take place, lest your company be destroyed.

We have a choice in this country and the time to choose is now.  In 2009 my best estimate was that we had 10 years left before the fiscal pressures reached the point of doing critical and possibly irreversible damage.

It is now 2016, and that means we have less than four years remaining.

We either act now or we fail to act at all, and our decision determines whether the light that I see this morning is in fact the dawn of a new and better day..... or an oncoming train.

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