My Mind On Money

How money affects our hearts and minds.

Archive for August 2009

The Illness Profit Industry

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Until Medical Bills Do Us Part
NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, Columnist – The New York Times
This is how sick we have become with the illness profit industry.

Thanks to Rick Ingrasci, MD.

Critics fret that health care reform would undermine American family values, not least by convening somber death panels to wheel away Grandma as if she were Old Yeller.

But peel away the emotions and fearmongering, and in fact it is the existing system that unnecessarily takes lives and breaks apart families.

My friend M. – you’ll understand in a moment why she’s terrified of my using her name – had to make a searing decision a year ago. She was married to a sweet, gentle man whom she loved, but who had become increasingly absent-minded. Finally, he was diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

The disease is degenerative, and he will become steadily less able to care for himself. At some point, as his medical needs multiply, he will probably need to be institutionalized.

The hospital arranged a conference call with a social worker, who outlined how the dementia and its financial toll on the family would progress, and then added, out of the blue: ‘Maybe you should divorce.”

‘I was blown away,” M. told me. But, she said, the hospital staff members explained that they had seen it all before, many times. If M.’s husband required long-term care, the costs would be catastrophic even for a middle-class family with savings.

Eventually, after the expenses whittled away their combined assets, her husband could go on Medicaid – but by then their children’s nest egg would be gone, along with her 401(k) plan. She would face a bleak retirement with neither her husband nor her savings.

A complicating factor was that this was a second marriage. M.’s first husband had died, leaving an inheritance that he had intended for their children. She and her second husband had a prenuptial agreement, but that would not protect her assets from his medical expenses.

The hospital told M. not to waste time in dissolving the marriage. For five years after any divorce, her assets could be seized – precisely because the government knows that people sometimes divorce husbands or wives to escape their medical bills.

‘How could I divorce him? I loved him,” she told me.

‘I explored a lot of options with an attorney here in town,” she added. ‘The attorney said, ‘I don’t see any other options for you.’ It took about a year for me to do the divorce, it was so hard.”

So M. divorced the man she loves. I asked him what he thought of this. He can still speak, albeit not always coherently, and he paused a long, long time. All he could manage was: ‘It’s hard to say.”

Long-term care constitutes a difficult and expensive challenge in any health system. But the American patchwork, full of cracks through which people fall, has a special problem with medical expenses of all kinds bankrupting couples.

A study reported in The American Journal of Medicine this month found that 62 percent of American bankruptcies are linked to medical bills. These medical bankruptcies had increased nearly 50 percent in just six years. Astonishingly, 78 percent of these people actually had health insurance, but the gaps and inadequacies left them unprotected when they were hit by devastating bills.

M. still helps her husband and, quietly, continues to live with him and care for him. But she worries that the authorities will come after her if they realize that they divorced not because of irreconcilable differences but because of irreconcilable medical bills. There were awkward questions from friends who saw the divorce announcement in the newspaper.

‘It’s just crazy,” she said. ‘It twists people like pretzels.”

The existing system doesn’t just break up families, it also costs lives. A 2004 study by the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, found that lack of health insurance causes 18,000 unnecessary deaths a year. That’s one person slipping through the cracks and dying every half an hour.

In short, it’s a good bet that our existing dysfunctional health system knocks off far more people than an army of ‘death panels” could – even if they existed, worked 24/7 and got around in a fleet of black helicopters.

So, for those of you inclined to believe the worst about President Obama, think it through. Suppose he is indeed a secret, foreign-born Muslim agent who is scheming to undermine American family values while killing off as many grandmothers as possible.

If all that were true, why on earth would he be trying so hard to reform our health care system? We already know how to prod families into divorce and take a life unnecessarily every 30 minutes – all we need to do is reject reform and stick with exactly what we have.

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Written by Ilana

August 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Graviola — the cure that worked too well

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(note: I deleted the sections attempting to sell you HSI’s (Health Sciences Institute – see link below) “exclusive” report.  I published this as a demonstration of how profit driven medicine leads to withholding natural pharmaceuticals that can’t be made “profitable” by big corporations…)

One of America’s biggest billion-dollar drug makers began a search for a cancer cure and their research centered on Graviola, a legendary healing tree from the Amazon Rainforest.

Various parts of the Graviola tree — including the bark, leaves, roots, fruit and fruit-seeds — have been used for centuries by medicine men and native Indians in South America to treat heart disease, asthma, liver problems and arthritis.

Going on very little documented scientific evidence, the company poured money and resources into testing the tree’s anti-cancerous properties — and were shocked by the results. Graviola proved itself to be a cancer-killing dynamo.

But that’s where the Graviola story nearly ended.

The company had one huge problem with the Graviola tree — it’s completely natural, and so, under federal law, not patentable. There’s no way to make serious profits from it.

It turns out the drug company invested nearly seven years trying to synthesize two of the Graviola tree’s most powerful anti-cancer ingredients. If they could isolate and produce man-made clones of what makes the Graviola so potent, they’d be able to patent it and make their money back.

Alas, they hit a brick wall. The original simply could not be replicated. There was no way the company could protect its profits — or even make back the millions it poured into research.

As the dream of huge profits evaporated, their testing on Graviola came to a screeching halt. Even worse, the company shelved the entire project and chose not to publish the findings of its research!

Luckily, however, there was one scientist from the Graviola research team whose conscience wouldn’t let him see such atrocity committed. Risking his career, he contacted a company that’s dedicated to harvesting medical plants from the Amazon Rainforest and blew the whistle.

When researchers at the Health Sciences Institute were alerted to the news of Graviola, they began tracking the research done on the cancer-killing tree. Evidence of the astounding effectiveness of Graviola — and its shocking cover-up — came in fast and furious…

…The National Cancer Institute performed the first scientific research in 1976. The results showed that Graviola’s “leaves and stems were found effective in attacking and destroying malignant cells.” Inexplicably, the results were published in an internal report and never released to the public…

…Since 1976, Graviola has proven to be an immensely potent cancer killer in 20 independent laboratory tests, yet no double-blind clinical trials — the typical benchmark mainstream doctors and journals use to judge a treatment’s value — were ever initiated…

…A study published in the Journal of Natural Products, following a recent study conducted at Catholic University of South Korea stated that one chemical in Graviola was found to selectively kill colon cancer cells at “10,000 times the potency of (the commonly used chemotherapy drug) Adriamycin…”

…The most significant part of the Catholic University of South Korea report is that Graviola was shown to selectively target the cancer cells, leaving healthy cells untouched. Unlike chemotherapy, which indiscriminately targets all actively reproducing cells (such as stomach and hair cells), causing the often devastating side effects of nausea and hair loss in cancer patients.

…A study at Purdue University recently found that leaves from the Graviola tree killed cancer cells among six human cell lines and were especially effective against prostate, pancreatic and lung cancers…

Seven years of silence broken —
it’s finally here!

A limited supply of Graviola extract, grown and harvested by indigenous people in Brazil, is finally available in America.

(to visit HSI go to: http://hsibaltimore.com/)

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Director, Health Sciences Institute

The Health Sciences Institute

The Health Sciences Institute (or HSI) is a unique members-only organization that’s dedicated to doing one thing: breaking the barriers big-money medicine has placed before revolutionary natural cures — and bringing breakthrough information on those cures to you RIGHT NOW! No more waiting.

As a result, the Health Sciences Institute has become one of the world’s most important and revolutionary sources for cutting-edge medical information. Unlike anything before it, HSI doesn’t represent the opinion of a single, self-appointed “guru,” but contains the unmatched combined wisdom of the world’s most formidable medical minds.

The HSI network is more than 550,000 strong now and getting stronger every day. And through our daily HSI eAlert news service, we rush you the latest news about Big Pharma’s hypocrisy, the shocking failures of mainstream medicine and the “forbidden” natural cures that leave best-selling drugs in the dust.

Almost overnight, the clear and easy-to-read HSI eAlert has become a legend in the alternative medical industry as the quintessential source for cutting-edge news and medical discoveries. Many physicians all over the world use the HSI eAlert to educate themselves about medical solutions and treatments available nowhere else.

Written by Ilana

August 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized