OBUMMER CARE #14
If we named the four constituents, if you will, in health care we would obviously list the recipients of health care, the people, the primary providers of this health care, the doctors and nurses, the regulators of this health care, the government, the insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical companies. This seems clearly obvious and no one would contest the this listing of players. People will more than likely start having problems if I had said that of these four players the government and the people are minor players at best and have very little to say on how health care is delivered in America. If I said that between the insurers and the pharmaceutical industry, the pharmaceutical industry had the most influence on health care delivery in America many people would protest and claim this an outlandish statement. If I said that the largest influence of all, the shadow influence exercising power over all the other players, that controls the whole industry was a cartel of private international banks, well, 90% of you would claim this is just delirious paranoid thinking not supported whatsoever by reality based facts. Though it would not necessarily be that easy, I am confident that a case could credibly be made to substantiate this statement. The attempt to do so would clearly be beyond the scope of this piece because it would entail an analysis of factors that go much beyond health care and we would have to delve into a fairly basic but still relative detailed breakdown of the entire financial structure of our so called economy. However, I hope to be able to make a credible case here that Big Pharma is, by far, the largest mover in determining how health care is delivered in the United States.
We do this by first making some verifiable statements. First I must qualify this verification by published figures by saying it depends on what sources one goes to get one’s figures. If one goes to enough sources one can average and compare the reported data and come up with a figure that is more or less consistent with other reported figures and could thusly be determined to be not wholly un reliable. On this basis the total annual revenues of the United States pharmaceutical industry surpasses $US 300 billion. This is about equivalent to the GDP of Denmark and about equal to the United States real estate business which is tied with the pharmaceutical business in amount of revenues among U.S.industries. Of course, real estate is a very broad term and eventually when one says real estate one has to practically equate it with the banking industry and we again quickly get beyond the scope of this piece. The petroleum industry has revenues well in excess of US$ 300 billion annually but the petroleum business is not involved in health care in any significant way. The medical insurance industry may come close to the revenue figures of the pharmaceutical industry but it is hard to find reported figures- The pharmaceutical industry is reported to have the highest profit margins on revenues of all U.S. businesses. The industry itself reports an ROI of 10% and some financial analysts claim that a figure of 19 % would be more representative. This is quite an impressive number considering that most U.S. businesses have a ROI of about 2-3 %. This gives the pharmaceutical industry a lot of cash to throw around for influence peddling and a truly enormous amount if one considers that influence peddling as a budget item may very well come out of expenses/liabilities and not profits. This is a consideration also way beyond the scope of this piece. We must also bear in mind that an industry or business in our economy enjoys this kind of profitability for two predominant reasons. One, the industry enjoys a significant design/technology advantage over its competitors, or two, it is a cartel that enjoys significant protection and subsidies not enjoyed by its competitors. There is only one source of protection and subsidies in the American economy and these emoluments are bought by lobbying dollars.
We usually think of the attack industry has spending the most money on lobbying or influence peddling. This turns out not to be the case. Big Pharma spends nearly three times more on lobbying that the entire military industrial complex. Of course, there are many reasons for this, the main one being that the attack industry hardly has to convince anyone to throw money its way. A strong attack sector is an indisputable given in our permanent war economy. However, it may take some effort to convince doctors and all of us that we need all them pills.Read More