Massachusetts is the first state to mandate health care for every citizen, and the health care insurers and providers are going nutso in an attempt to capture their share of what is now a huge captive market. Their sales pitches on radio, TV, the internet, and through targeted mailings are backed by strong messages from state health insurance officials that those without insurance may, come January, face the first phase of tax penalties that back up the mandate.
And this is just the beginning. As the January deadline looms larger and consumers face the ultimate deadline, you can expect the frenzy to reach a fevered pitch.
So what does it all mean?
This is the first attempt in the US to provide universal healthcare -- already the norm throughout much of the rest of the world. The difference here is that instead of the government providing health care for its citizens, it's mandating that its citizens provide it for themselves. This is actually less different than it might first appear.
- Either way, the citizen/consumer pays -- either through higher taxes or through mandatory payments to private insurers and/or healthcare providers.
- Either way, people are forced to subsidize a system that ultimately steals their health by forcing them into pharmaceutical and surgical options.
- Either way, the system supports the large pharmaceutical companies since their product is now mandated for everyone in the country.
- Either way, health care costs go up. Yes, I know, the claim is that it will make health care more affordable for everyone. Nonsense. True, it may do so for the first couple of years, but long term? Impossible. Demographics make that absurd. If more people are being run through the system, and if more of those people are living longer than ever before, and if medical equipment and procedures are getting ever more expensive, and if a far higher percentage of people are suffering from a whole host of self-inflicted diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, then where do you think the money is coming from? Lotto!! Bottom line: costs must go up, and health care must be rationed.
But most important, under universal or mandated healthcare, alternative therapies are dealt a severe blow.
- For those who prefer alternative health care and previously spent their dollars on alternative health care, they now have far fewer dollars to spend on alternative health care since their formerly discretionary health care dollars are now mandated to support a system they do not approve of. (That's a mouthful, but you get the idea.)
- Mandated or universal health care systems, by definition, must force people into a very narrow definition of health care.
- Allowing people a "choice" ultimately undermines the system -- particularly if those alternatives produce better results in many cases.
Think I'm crazy? Just look at alternative health care in Canada and Europe.
- Some of the "unacceptable" herbs in Canada include: dong quai, gingko biloba, goldenseal, and hose chestnut. Look at the list. If an herb works, it's on it.
- European Directive on Vitamin Supplements and the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive, which pretty much bans the use of most herbs in any amount and all vitamins beyond minimal doses.
- Codex Alimentarius, which when implemented will be the ultimate nail in the coffin of alternative therapies -- if allowed to stand.
As much as we complain about the FDA, the US has been a haven for alternative health care…at least until now.