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Medicare drug benefit program

Government's Medicare drug benefit program is an unmitigated disaster

Thursday, June 15, 2006
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Medicare drug benefit program, government spending, prescription drugs

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Do you want to know what happens when a government that cares nothing about the people gets put in charge of administering a drug benefit program? You get an unmitigated disaster, and that's what we're seeing today with the Medicare prescription drug benefit program. This program, which is just legalized theft from one group of American taxpayers to another group of American consumers (mostly the elderly), originally promised to give people discounts on prescription drugs.

The program was supposed to cost "only" a couple hundred billion dollars. It turns out that, as usual, the politicians were lying. The drugs being offered through this program are not offered at much of a discount at all, and the program is going to cost $750 billion over the next 10 years. That's three quarters of $1 trillion. Scratch that. As of this writing, the figure has now escalated to a whopping $1.2 trillion according to new figures from the White House, as reported in the Washington Post.

For those who don't immediately grasp the difference between million, billion and trillion (they all just run together when the federal government is talking about spending, don't they?), here' what it looks like: $1,200,000,000,000.00. That's over $4,200 per person living in the United States, and it's all a windfall handout to Big Pharma.

The best part -- that is to say the most entertaining part -- is that the program is so confusing, most people who try to participate in it can't figure out which plan to choose. It's administered through a partnership between private industry and government, and participants in this program must choose which plan they want to be on.

Each plan covers a certain number of prescription drugs and offers certain rip-off prices. All the prices, of course, are sky-high profiteering markups that would be considered criminal in any other industry. These are the highest prices in the world for these drugs, and yet somehow, consumers think they're getting a discount because it's a little bit less than what they might have been paying retail.

However, six out of 10 participants in this program are saying they're not saving any money at all. It sort of makes you wonder what the point of this whole thing is. The big news is that this program is so darn confusing that the federal government had to expand its toll-free help hotline from a couple hundred staff members to 4,000 staff members just to answer questions from senior citizens who can't figure out which plan to join. The administration of the plan is falling flat on its face as well, because when senior citizens go to pharmacies and try to buy prescription drugs, it turns out that their name isn't in the computer where it's supposed to be.

The plan isn't working out how it was supposed to, people can't get their drugs, and they are panicking. All of this demonstrates what happens when you put the federal government in charge of "negotiating" drug prices with the very same for-profit corporations that contribute enormous sums of money to the political party currently in the White House.

The real purpose behind the Medicare benefit program

Think about the administrative overhead, the paperwork, the fraud and corruption that will inevitably crop up in this program. Think about the time wasted by all the people involved in this system. What's the purpose of it? Is it really just to help senior citizens?

This plan really has two purposes: First, it makes President Bush popular by making sure he has lots of handouts for senior citizens, a demographic that happens to have a high number of active voters. Secondly, it's a big Bush handout to campaign supporters, notably Big Pharma. You see, drug companies have supported the Bush administration for years, and this is a great way to thank them, by actually having the government steal money from taxpayers and send that money to pharmaceutical companies. It's legalized inter-generational theft.

Want to get elected? Offer big handouts and entitlements to voters

I'm always amused when one generation of taxpayers or voters steals money from another group. It's usually the older generation stealing money from the younger, because it's a lot easier to pass on the cost to your children or grandchildren than to actually pay it yourself. Politicians are getting very good these days at making people believe they can actually get something for nothing. In fact, getting elected has really become a competition of who can offer the biggest handouts of all.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger got swept up into this recently. After the defeat of four different propositions that were going to introduce some fiscal sanity to the State of California, he returned to the podium and announced, "Message received," and then proceeded to detail all kinds of new spending programs that would put the State of California even deeper into debt, and the voters loved it!

That's what the voters want you see -- more spending and less accountability. And why not? The government has been spending more money than it has for decades, so why can't the voters do it too? While we're at it, let's vote ourselves some free prescription drugs. Isn't democracy a wonderful thing?

I call it the tyranny of the masses, because whatever the majority wants to do -- no matter how unethical, irrational or illegal it may have been before -- it's suddenly justified under law. I don't know about you, but if my grandpa broke into my house, stole my wallet and used it to go out and buy Viagra at the local pharmacy, I'd be upset about that, but somehow when the whole nation does it, it's okay.

Welcome to America, and remember, now that this program is in place, there's going to be competition among presidential candidates to see who can offer the biggest health care handouts. I predict the next such debate will be about something even bigger than just a drug handout. It will be a national health care plan that offers mandatory screenings for all sorts of diseases so that every person in America -- newborn, child, adult -- can be diagnosed with something and "treated" with pharmaceuticals that will make the drug companies even more filthy rich than they are already.

Think about it: Do you want the federal government in charge of mandating what kinds of treatments your child might get for depression, a mental disorder or a learning disability? The government has no interest in prevention. We invest almost nothing in prevention in this country. The money will all go to prescription drugs. The government has no interest in teaching people how to actually prevent or reverse chronic diseases. It only has an interest in treating people who are managing their symptoms in a way that keeps the pharmaceutical industry profitable.

The best option for free-thinking people is to avoid this whole system altogether. Live outside conventional medicine like I do and like many Americans have chosen to do. We're healthier, happier and guess what? We have more money because we didn't spend it all on overpriced prescription drugs that you can buy anywhere else in the world for pennies-on-the-dollar.

Do you know why drugs are so expensive in this country? It's because we don't have a free-market system when it comes to drugs. Everything else is free-market. You can buy a car from Japan, you can buy T-shirts made in Mexico, you can buy computer memory chips from Korea, or you can buy plastic spatulas from Hong Kong, but how dare you try to buy prescription drugs from anywhere except the monopoly-controlled U.S. market? How dare you? That's why I call it a drug racket. It's a monopoly racket defended by the FDA, Big Pharma and corrupt legislators who get reelected thanks to campaign contributions from drug companies.

It's a simple system, but hardly anybody is willing to tell the truth about it, and this big Bush handout -- this Medicare drug benefit program -- only really benefits the drug companies. It doesn't benefit the senior citizens, and it doesn't benefit the taxpayers who are footing the bill. It certainly doesn't benefit any honest, hardworking American whose income continues to dwindle under the assault of do-gooder government programs like this one. It really only benefits Big Pharma, and, of course, that was its purpose.

The Medicare drug benefit program is really just another clever way to extract productivity from U.S. taxpayers, and it's working extremely well. Practically no one in the mainstream press has noticed any of what's really going on here. We see all sorts of articles about how terrible the system is, but I haven't seen any articles on real solutions.

You know what the real solutions are? They don't start with drugs; they start with food. If you want to get people healthy, it's very easy: Change what they eat. You can cure diabetes in three weeks by changing what you eat. You can cure virtually every type of cancer with changes in diet and nutritional supplementation. You can reverse Alzheimer's disease. You can reverse osteoporosis. You can reverse depression. You can reverse and eliminate all of these chronic degenerative diseases by changing what you eat, how you exercise, your exposure to environmental toxins, your stress levels and by availing yourself of natural sunlight and fresh water and air.

You'll never hear that from the federal government, and you won't hear that as a benefit program, because no one profits from it. No one profits when the U.S. population is healthy. Pharmaceutical corporations only make money when you're sick and when you stay sick.

I'm curious as to what program they'll come up with the next. How can they top this one? I can't wait for the next presidential election to see who's going to come up even more grandiose lies and try to convince even more voters that they can get something for nothing because "the gub'ment will pay for it."

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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