Greed + Cartels = U.S. Sickcare/ObamaCare

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Sickcare/ObamaCare is fundamentally broken at every level.

The incremental nature of change makes it difficult for us to notice how systems that once worked well with modest costs have transmogrified into broken systems that cost a fortune. Exhibit # 1 is higher education: 40 years ago, four-year public universities were affordable and two-year community colleges were almost free. Now students have to borrow $1 trillion to pay for the exorbitant privilege of higher education.

And no, the difference isn't that states don't provide the same funding--the difference is costs have soared while the yield on the investment has plummeted. Please read:

The Mafia State of Mind

Our Two Most Onerous Taxes: College Tuition and Healthcare Insurance

Our Middleman-Skimming Economy

America's Make-Work Sectors (Healthcare and Higher Education) Have Run Out of Oxygen

Longtime correspondent Ishabaka (an M.D. with 30+ years experience in primary care and as an emergency room physician) responded to this article with an insider's account of what happens when greed and cartels take over healthcare. After reading What's wrong with American hospitals?, a scathing deconstruction of for-profit healthcare, Ishabaka submitted this commentary:

I could have told you what was wrong with our hospital system by 1989 - nobody would listen to me back then.

Up til the '70's, almost all hospitals in the United States were not for profit COMMUNITY HOSPITALS. They were LOCAL. The Board of Directors was made up of some senior doctors, maybe the head nurse, and various other prominent local businessmen and professionals. Others (mostly Catholic), were run as non-profits by religious orders. A very few, mostly very small hospitals were for profit, usually owned by a group of doctors, or even one doctor.

The mission of these community hospitals was to provide for the LOCAL COMMUNITY - one and all. Payment was various - private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, self pay - and the idea was to collect just enough money to keep the hospital going, and provide care for the poor who had no money to pay. If your grandma got bad care - you could go - in person - to the local, say, banker, on the Board of Directors, and tell him - and he would CARE.

THIS SYSTEM WORKED, and kept costs DOWN. Remember, the hospital just needed enough money to stay in the black. Often local wealthy people would will money to the hospital in which they had been cared for.

In the '80's - there was the arrival of the for-profit cartels - and I use the world cartels specifically - these were run by people with the sociopathic Goldman Sachs type mentality - their sole goal was to acquire huge sums of money for themselves, their hospital directors, and their SHAREHOLDERS. They used a typical sneaky technique - they'd come into town, and tell the locals they could run the hospital much cheaper, because of their economy of scale. People believed this, and the cartels bought out most of the community hospitals.

I worked at one such for-profit hospital and had a 21-year old indigent man come in who'd been struck by a car while walking, and was rapidly bleeding to death. The hospital administrator refused to open the operating room, even though I had a surgeon right there, willing and able to operate for free to save this young man's life. The surgeon threw a fit, and he was a big wheel at the hospital and the administrator backed down - otherwise I firmly believe the young man would have died. This was LEGAL back then, before the EMTLA law was passed because similar abuses were rampant NATIONWIDE.

Around this time, the administrators of the remaining community hospitals found out the administrators of the for-profit hospitals were making tens of times their salaries - and bonuses based on profits - and started demanding similar salaries and bonuses based on PROFITS - a contradiction of the old concept of community hospitals (the article does touch on this).

How do you increase hospital profits? Number one - avoid any care for the poor you can weasel out of. Number two - cut staff to the bone and beyond (one of hospital's biggest expenses). Most American hospitals now have UNSAFE nurse to patient ratios because of this.

As far as patient care goes, nurses are the most important people in hospitals. I know of one lady who DIED while in a monitored bed, and wasn't found dead until several hours later due to the criminally low nursing staff ratio in a hospital I worked in. I HAD complained about the dearth of nurses, and was threatened with the loss of my job. Another side effect of this is, nursing in hospitals has become unbearable for nurses who really cared about their patients - many good hospital nurses have left hospital work for other fields. The results are appalling.

I saved the life of a patient an unqualified, under-educated nurse gave the wrong medicine to - a medicine that IMMEDIATELY MAKES YOU STOP BREATHING, because it was cheaper for the hospital to hire her than a knowledgeable and experienced nurse. The medicine is pancuronium bromide, if you want to Google it. The nurse didn't know one of the effects was cessation of breathing - this is Pharmacology for Nurses 101, this drug is used all day long in every operating room in America (where doctors WANT patients under anesthesia to stop breathing, and put them on breathing machines during the surgery - which is very safe if done correctly).

I could go on and on. Simple things, like the instruments you use to suture cuts - community hospitals used to buy Swiss or German made ones that were of the finest quality, sterilize and re-use them over and over. This changed to disposable instruments that sometimes literally fell apart in my hands. Bandage tape that didn't stick, instead of quality Johnson and Johnson tape - anything to save a buck.

It is not getting better, it is getting worse. The nurses I know tell me hospitals are cutting staff even MORE now in preparation for Obamacare.

I will end with a story that illustrates the difference between Old School and New School hospital administrators.

I had the pleasure of working five years in a real community hospital. One of the senior administrators (R.I.P.) was a gentleman who'd made his fortune in the grocery business. In his late 80's, he would arrive at the emergency department entrance every morning between seven and eight am, and proceed to walk throughout the hospital. He would ask various and sundry staff how they were getting along - everyone from janitors to senior physicians. If something was amiss - HE RECTIFIED THE SITUATION. Tragically, this hospital was bought out, and is now part of a chain.

I had the displeasure of working in a "community" (really for-profit) hospital with a middle aged administrator who NEVER set foot outside his office or conference rooms - he NEVER appeared in the (very large and busy) emergency department once. This was in the early 90's, and one year it was revealed that his compensation was $600,000 - and a brand new Lexus as a "performance bonus". He was on the golf course by three pm every single day. That was the hospital where the woman who was being "monitored" (alarms and all that) was found very cold and dead after a delay of who knows how many hours.

Thank you, Ishabaka, for telling it like it really is. Needless to say, ObamaCare (the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act--ACA) purposefully ignores everything that is fundamentally broken with U.S. sickcare and extends the soaring-cost cartel system, essentially promising to stripmine the taxpayers of however many trillions of dollars are needed to generate outsized profits for the cartels.

Only those with no exposure to the real costs of ObamaCare approve of the current sickcare system. Government employees who have no idea how much their coverage costs, well-paid shills and toadies like Paul Krugman, academics with tenure and lifetime healthcare coverage--all these people swallow the fraud whole and declare it delicious.

Only those of us who are paying the real, unsubsidized cost know how unsustainable the system is, and only those inside the machine know how broken it is at every level. Greed + cartels = Sickcare/ObamaCare. Love your servitude, baby--it's affordable, really, really, really it is.

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sunnyside's picture

Never forget that this mess was planned.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, TPTB want a single-payer system, and by god, once everyone is bankrupt, they will get it...

zaphod's picture

What we are living through is a complete breakdown of the original sytem within US which focused on independance & self sufficiency tied together through english common law. 

In its place we are witnessing the buildup of a highly corrupt and centralized system which favors only the connected and maintains power through dividing the populace and encouraging dependance on the state.

Over the past couple of years I have come to realize that this trend will not reverse itself and the US will diminish (much in the way England has, god that place has gone to hell). I am honestly stuck on what to do about it, there is going to be no revolution (either through peaceful political change or something else), so what other options are we left with.

kralizec's picture

Duh!  Prepare for ruin and violence, obviously!

zaphod's picture

There will be no ruin and violence, just a quiet diminishing.

If there was ruin and violence then there would be something to kick start change, which is why quiet diminishing is the worse of all paths because it takes advantage of our apathy.

Jumbotron's picture

Absolutely right.  There will be no ruin or violence.....(well...maybe small, isolated pockets of ruin and violence).  But concerning the violence....the Feds have an answer for that.  Enough ammo purchased lately to shoot every man, woman and child in this country 12 time and have enough left over to reload and try again in case the first 12 shots didn't do the trick.

graneros's picture

I don't think it will be a quiet diminishing.  We already are seeing violence and the ruin of our cities.  It has been on a steady increase for some years now.  People are just so used to it and we have this collective tendency to stick our heads in the sand and not pay attention until it hits our neighborhood. Take a good hard look at Detroit, New Orleans, Baltimore, St. Louis, Gary, IN, Chicago, most of Southern CA...  I could keep going but you get my meaning.

We are so numb to the violence and ruin taking place all around this nation on a daily basis that you can write a comment like you did and actually beleive it is a true statement.  I am not coming down on you Zaphod, didn't even give you a red arrow,  I respect your opinion and may have even thought that way myself at one point but now... not so much.  Will TSHTF all at once? No, I don't think we will wake up one morning and find zombies are running loose in the streets.  Myself I beleive TSHTF a while back and is spewing all around us.  Incrementally more and more people will be hit by said shit.  It will be a slower burn but it will defintely be accompanied by increased violence. As far as ruin goes?  Well, we are already there. The nation is kaput and I see no one from either the Red or Blue team with an inkling of what to do.  As far a kickstart to change goes?  If the people haven't pulled out their pitchforks by now they never will.

max2205's picture

Who needs a death panel, just go to the hospital. If your over 65 odds are about 35% that you leave above room temperature

zaphod's picture

Thanks for the reply, I think we are largely in agreement. By quiet diminishing I mostly meant a situation which is just not bad enough to kick start real change across the majority. As you said, if people haven't pulled out pitchforks by now, it is not happening.

I like your "slow burn" description, it is probably more accurate than quiet diminishing for many of the parts of the US you listed. At the same time many parts of the US are still relatively nice but are being dragged down by the policies placed around them, these are the parts that I was referring to with the quietly diminish description.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

thats how you keep the frogs in the pot, by slowly turning up the heat. cant throw them in there at a rolling boil

Jumbotron's picture

Zaphod....concerning your cogent and correct assesment of the breakdown of the original U.S. system.  It began breaking down the moment the Federalists won the debate on the role of the Federal Government over the objections of the Anti-Federalists right after the Revolution.

Long time in the making.....but now we have reached the platau of the roller-coaster.  It's all down hill and fast from here.


Kobe Beef's picture

The old American WASP elite was replaced by a hostile elite. Quite simply, they were too altruistic and inclusive for their own good. A foreign element was given succor, and in a short time has managed to spread corruption throughout the nation. The Constitution was rendered unto Admiralty jurisdiction, Common Law was replaced by the UCC, Lawful Money was replaced by Federal Reserve notes, the Free Press was consolidated under central corporate control, and the University system suborned to spread their propaganda. This is where the battlefield stands today. But--

Their Corporation is not Our Republic. And we will take our country back.

Landotfree's picture

Every version of the system is fatally flawed.  This version is by far the best based on size and based on the potential collapse and liquidation.   Of course, the ones that will be liquidated would replace the word "best", with "most horrible" in the future.

The fraudulent medical industry rides on top of the fraudulent financial system.   Without a fraudulent financial system most people would not be able to even see a doctor let alone get 24 hour care.  Hostipals back in the day were basically a place for the sick to die, care, hahah, in general did not exist way back in the day.  Familes filled the vold. 

Once the liquidating gets going in full force... they will be throwing those people out of those hostipals or in the alternative just pulling the plug like they did during Hurricane Katrina.


Lost Word's picture

Old Hospitals were built at minimal cost,

Modern Hospitals are built like Five-Star Hotels and Palaces for Emperor doctors.

Now everyone pays for that luxury overhead cost of hospitals,

with $20 aspirin tablets and $900 bags of saline solution,

$500 per hour hospital doctors.

Landotfree's picture

The medical industry has grown as the global financial system has grown, one problem, the system will eventually be unable to expand to pay for the prior.... "money for nothing and your chicks for free"   

$20 aspirin is just the fraud on top of the fraud... .remove the fraud and the hostipals that exist today will not exist tomorrow.   

The price will be paid in the lives of the walking unfunded liabilities one the collapse and liquidation starts.

In europe during the last liquidation phase... they were dumping crops at sea in a disperate move to try and get prices up... at the same time people were going hungry.   Eventually, there will be nowhere to get care not because there is no sick, but because there is no expansion of the fraudulent financial credit system.

InflammatoryResponse's picture

enough with the 20 dollar aspirin spaz you two.


you go to the grocery store to buy a bottle of aspirin.  perhaps 3 people have touched that WHOLE bottle.  All of whom can be minimally educated.




at a hospital here is how it goes.


1) Doctor prescribes the aspirin  EDUCATION 10 years

2) in the past but not as much now with the more electronic systems a Nurse places teh order with the pharmacy   EDUCATION 4 YEARS

3) in the Pharmacy the pharm tech gets the order  probably 2 YEAR cert. or 4yr degree

4) Pharmacist checks against other meds for the patient(lots of this is more automated now)   Pharm  7 years including BS degree

5) Nurse delivers meds


steps 1 through 5 are all directly involved to varying degrees

Oh, but I left out:

Biomedical Engineering deptartment  all 4yr degrees that keep the systems etc. running

huge janitorial staff to keep the place clean(no illegals named JOSE in this area, unlike at the groc store)

Left out the admin folks that maintain all of hte records for when the Joint Commission folks roll in to certify the hospital.

They are also trying to manage cost shifting, so anybody that pays pays for those that don't



NOW do you understand a 20 buck aspirin?


Miffed Microbiologist's picture

You forgot the 15 indigent or illegal patients that paid nothing for their care per one person who did. This is a much greater problem than the overhead of which you spoke.


tunnelvizn's picture

And not a one of them added any fucking value to the aspirin . 


Doc : Here take this aspirin

Patient : OK - I feel better

Done .  Where is the need for the rest ?  No where but some but in some scammer's dream - a Rube Goldberg vision . 

ElvisDog's picture

Not only that. I live in WA, and medical buildings are enormous and they're everywhere. Just the maintenance/carrying costs of the healthcare infrastructure must be enormous. Each office in every one of them has 2-3 people working the front desk. A staggering number of people work in those buildings who have no direct connection to providing health care.

StychoKiller's picture

Meh, those insurance forms (now Obamacare) ain't gonna fill themselves out!

BandGap's picture

And unfortunately the plan is working.

Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Indeed.  TPTB are calling the in the chips.  Their plan to move all wealth from the middle class to themselves and nudge along the poor with enough welfare to keep them quiet is going along quite nicely.

Ignatius's picture

ObummerCare is first and foremost a TAX.

Feds need revenues and they'll take it while pretending to deliver healthcare.

Lost Word's picture

ObamaCare is a subsidy for Insurance companies and Hospitals.

DaveyJones's picture

Hey you stole that conspiracy theory from our Supreme Court

Anyone who knows anything about healthcare and the insurance industry called this for what it was from the beginning.

PartysOver's picture

Who cares.  Amican Idol is on.  Yea.  And in a few weeks March Madness.  Big Yea.

The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

Don't forget mardi gras where all the drunk females go to show their tits!

robertsgt40's picture

I can tell you first hand this doc is right on target.  I've spent over 25yrs in the biz. I was an orthopedic rep and spent a lot of time in surgery in the early 90s.  The biggest cartel I came accross was HCA.  Rotten to the core. We called HCA the "Pac-Man" of hospital aquisitions. Once profit becomes the driving force, everything else turns to sht. 

Chuck Walla's picture



Chuck Walla's picture



LawsofPhysics's picture

The ACA has accomplished for the "healthcare" and insurance companies what The Federal Reserve Act accomplished for the big banks...

another cash cow/monopoly.

Say it with me, you know you want to...

roll the motherfucking guillotines, nothing changes otherwise.

ElvisDog's picture

It's interesting that the modus operandi of the cartels is the same - to stripmine most or all of the wealth of the middle class. You get sick and go to the hospital and are presented with a $50K bill. You can't get a decent job without a college degree - that will be $50K a year please. Can't pay, then take a student loan and be a debt serf for life.

The problem for the cartels is you can only impoverish someone once. If all my money goes to college tuition, I can't pay that $50K hospital bill. At some point (soon?) the cartels will have stripmined every one they can stripmine. That's when the whole ponzi collapses.

Radical Marijuana's picture

"At some point (soon?) the cartels will have stripmined every one they can stripmine."

That applies to the whole planet!

texas sandman's picture

We've never had a healthcare system's always been a health care financing problem.


Get rid of pharma-big medicine protections under Sherman and Clayton Acts...get rid of all 3rd party payors...make it a true free market of healthcare, not healthcare insurance...and watch prices fall 80-90%.  If a heart procedure that costs over $100, 000 here can be done for under $1, 500 in India, it can be done here, but only if we get KStreet out of the way.  


Good luck with that.

LawsofPhysics's picture

That's still too complicate.  Here, allow me to simplify;  If you make poor choices regarding your health then YOU should pay for the fucking consequences of those choices, not someone else.

roadhazard's picture

Yeah, that was my down arrow and a minus 100 for you too, ahole. You should check yourself, son.

LawsofPhysics's picture

LMFAO!  Another liberal fuck who wants someone else to pay for their poor choices. 

< Meh > Sorry asshat, the laws of Nature and physics really don't give a shit what you "think" or "believe".

Ignatius's picture

You think poor health is only bad life choices?

LawsofPhysics's picture

No, you think the majority of people are making smart health choices?

That must be why so many americans are fat asses. 

Ignatius's picture

No argument on the fat asses!

WillyGroper's picture

Agree on the personal choices LOP.

What if it wasn't your choice?

Genetics? Thalidomide a perfect example.

Autism is rising at a rate of 50% every 5 yrs due to RF/EMF exposure. Is being blanketed by both with smart meters & cell towers a choice?

It's more complicated than starving lard asses.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Life is hard, always has been, always will be.  be a fucking adult and suck it the fuck up.

However, one thing is for sure, if people made better choices, the energy and resources to deal with those things that are not your choice might actually be available.

What a novel fucking concept huh?

Doctor of Reality's picture

Just had a 66 y/o pt. today who's lost 160lbs and is now OFF all medications. So... LIFESTYLE has almost everything to do with health. I say insurance should be for accidents and not lifestyle choices.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Absolutely there is a difference between equality and equivalence. Care part is the equivalence the equal part is accidents/shit happens vs poor lifestyle choices.

DaveyJones's picture

There are a great number of real doctors who have concluded that diet and lifestyle are responsible for almost everything. That it prevents and cures cancer along with just about every other disease. While it's true some stuff is the result of genetics or bad luck, that is a small, very small percentage. Not the heardest concept to "swallow" given that we are living breathing animals on a living breathing planet trying to survive in what is quickly becoming a strange, poisoned, crowded and depleted environment.

The last thing the medical and drug industry and Monsanto want you to know is that fact. Add to that your government. Oh wait, they work for those guys.

WillyGroper's picture

Absolutely. Last week WebMD & Lancet said that Vite D supplements do no good. Hogwash, it's at the top of he pyramid responsible for 200 functions in the body. Deficiencies linked to auto-immune diseases, osteoporosis & many more.

There's a very clear disinfo campaign in progress. 

Nefarious indeed. 

WillyGroper's picture

The energy & resources are distributed as TPTB see fit. You're deluding yourself on that one.

See medical protocols from your Ivy's designed to keep you in their clutches.

The medical system is a copy of the penal system only without physical bars.

Man you got a big fucking burr under you saddle today. 

LawsofPhysics's picture

Bullshit.  Go talk to a homesteader, TPTB don't distribute shit to these folks.  Fucking wanker.

Like everything else, don't like your situtation, quite complaining and make different choices loser.