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Attention both libertarians and progressives: Obamacare is NOT single-payer!

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Author Topic: Attention both libertarians and progressives: Obamacare is NOT single-payer!  (Read 755 times)
Geolibertarian
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« on: August 23, 2010, 03:47:10 pm »

If this is news to anyone, please see the following:

------------------------------------------

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/singlepayer_faq.php#socialized

Is national health insurance ‘socialized medicine’?

No. Socialized medicine is a system in which doctors and hospitals work for and draw salaries from the government. Doctors in the Veterans Administration and the Armed Services are paid this way. The health systems in Great Britain and Spain are other examples. But in most European countries, Canada, Australia and Japan they have socialized health insurance, not socialized medicine. The government pays for care that is delivered in the private (mostly not-for-profit) sector. This is similar to how Medicare works in this country. Doctors are in private practice and are paid on a fee-for-service basis from government funds. The government does not own or manage medical practices or hospitals.

[Continued...]


http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/march/obama_to_single_paye.php

Obama to Single Payer Advocates: Drop Dead

Corporate Crime Reporter
March 3, 2009

President Obama’s White House made crystal clear this week: a Canadian-style, Medicare-for-all, single payer health insurance system is off the table.

Obama doesn’t even want to discuss it.

Take the case of Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan).

Conyers is the leading advocate for single payer health insurance in Congress.

Last week, Conyers attended a Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Obama at the White House.

During the meeting, Congressman Conyers, sponsor of the single payer bill in the House (HR 676), asked President Obama for an invite to the President’s Marchy 5 health care summit at the White House.

Conyers said he would bring along with him two doctors — Dr. Marcia Angell and Dr. Quentin Young — to represent the majority of physicians in the United States who favor single payer.

Obama would have none of it.

This week, by e-mail, Conyers heard back from the White House — no invite.

Why not?

Well, believe it or not, the Obama White House is under the thumb of the health insurance industry.

Obama has become the industry’s chief enforcer of its key demand: single payer health insurance is off the table.

[Continued...]


http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14444

Obamacare: A Health Care Rationing Scheme to Enrich Insurers, Drug Companies and Large Hospital Chains

by Stephen Lendman



Global Research
July 20, 2009


On February 24, Barack Obama told a joint session of Congress that "we must....address the crushing cost of health care....caus(ing) a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. In (each of) the last eight years....one million....Americans have lost their health insurance....Given these facts, we can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold....health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year."

Behind the facade of reform, Obama and leading Democrats ruled universal, single-payer coverage off the table before debate even began. Instead they've focused on taxing more, rationing care, placing profits above human need, disdaining vital change, shifting the cost burden to individuals and requiring everyone to be insured; imposing fines up to $1000 for non-compliance, and making a broken system even worse.

On June 10, Physicians for a National Health Program advisor Walter Tsou told the House Education and Labor Committee:

    "Attempting to reconcile the dual imperatives of universal coverage and cost control through alternative methods besides single payer is an exercise in futility. When some congressional leaders declare that single payer is off the table, they are in effect saying that insurers will be protected, leaving the pain to patients, taxpayers and health care providers."

At the same hearing, the California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee co-president Geri Jenkins said:

    "The current system rations care based on an ability to pay. Right now we are the only nation on earth that barters human life for money."

The administration and lawmakers have been unresponsive in moving ahead with House and Senate legislation to enrich health insurers, Big Pharma, and large hospital chains. It will ration care, curb expensive treatments and surgeries for those who can't afford them, leave millions in the country uncovered, deny it altogether to undocumented immigrants even though they pay income, payroll and other taxes, and claim it's real reform like they always do.

[Continued...]

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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 03:49:55 pm »

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5530Y020090604

Medical bills underlie 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies: study

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
June 4, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Medical bills are behind more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday in a report they said demonstrates that healthcare reform is on the wrong track.

More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.

"Unless you're Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," Harvard's Dr. David Himmelstein, an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States, said in a statement.

"For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection," he added.

[Continued...]


http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/january/denial-of-care-profits-73-million-for-cigna%E2%80%99s-retiring-ceo

Denial of Care Profits: $73 million for CIGNA’s retiring CEO

By Donna Smith, National Nurses Movement
January 7, 2010

It’s hard for most of us to imagine a lifestyle supported by a $73 million retirement bonus. It’s even harder to imagine a whole nation’s healthcare controlled by those who have benefited so wildly from denying healthcare to those who need it.

But Cigna’s Edward Hanway knows well what it feels like to rest in the lap of luxury thanks to all those profits he helped secure as he led one of the nation’s for-profit insurance giants through some very successful times. And as we lumber toward a new piece of healthcare legislation with new promises of expanded health insurance coverage and mandate for both individuals and employers to purchase private health insurance plans, insurance companies will have even more control over our healthcare – and the denials of care that make companies like Cigna pay out such obscene bonuses.

According to CIGNA’s press releases, Hanway had served in leadership capacities with America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the Alliance for Health Reform. “He is an outspoken advocate at the national level for greater transparency regarding health care quality and cost information available to consumers and a strong proponent of national quality standards for health care providers. He is recognized as a leader in the effort to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the United States. Through the years, Hanway has been active in a wide range of issues and initiatives associated with health, education and international business.”

BEFORE you read further…National Nurses United, the new national union for RNs, is asking nurses and patients to demand Congress remove the mandates that would force Americans to purchase products from the CIGNA’s of the world. Call Rep. Pelosi (415-556-4862) and Sen. Reid (702-388-5020) and tell them to strip this bill of the CIGNA-mandates immediately!

Under Hanway’s leadership, Cigna also did what for-profit insurance companies do so very well to enhance the profits that become multi-million dollar bonuses. They denied care to thousands upon thousands of policyholders, and the company profits were protected.

[Continued...]
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 03:50:43 pm »

http://pnhp.org/news/2010/march/pro-single-payer-doctors-health-bill-leaves-23-million-uninsured

Pro-single-payer doctors: Health bill leaves 23 million uninsured

A false promise of reform

For Immediate Release     
March 22, 2010

Contact:
Oliver Fein, M.D.
Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H.
David Himmelstein, M.D.
Margaret Flowers, M.D.
Mark Almberg, PNHP, (312) 782-6006, mark@pnhp.org

The following statement was released today by leaders of Physicians for a National Health Program, www.pnhp.org. Their signatures appear below.

As much as we would like to join the celebration of the House's passage of the health bill last night, in good conscience we cannot. We take no comfort in seeing aspirin dispensed for the treatment of cancer.
Instead of eliminating the root of the problem - the profit-driven, private health insurance industry - this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers' defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money.

The hype surrounding the new health bill is belied by the facts:

*  About 23 million people will remain uninsured nine years out. That figure translates into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering.

*  Millions of middle-income people will be pressured to buy commercial health insurance policies costing up to 9.5 percent of their income but covering an average of only 70 percent of their medical expenses, potentially leaving them vulnerable to financial ruin if they become seriously ill. Many will find such policies too expensive to afford or, if they do buy them, too expensive to use because of the high co-pays and deductibles.

*  Insurance firms will be handed at least $447 billion in taxpayer money to subsidize the purchase of their shoddy products. This money will enhance their financial and political power, and with it their ability to block future reform.

*  The bill will drain about $40 billion from Medicare payments to safety-net hospitals, threatening the care of the tens of millions who will remain uninsured.

*  People with employer-based coverage will be locked into their plan's limited network of providers, face ever-rising costs and erosion of their health benefits. Many, even most, will eventually face steep taxes on their benefits as the cost of insurance grows.

*  Health care costs will continue to skyrocket, as the experience with the Massachusetts plan (after which this bill is patterned) amply demonstrates.

*  The much-vaunted insurance regulations - e.g. ending denials on the basis of pre-existing conditions - are riddled with loopholes, thanks to the central role that insurers played in crafting the legislation. Older people can be charged up to three times more than their younger counterparts, and large companies with a predominantly female workforce can be charged higher gender-based rates at least until 2017....

It didn't have to be like this. Whatever salutary measures are contained in this bill, e.g. additional funding for community health centers, could have been enacted on a stand-alone basis.

Similarly, the expansion of Medicaid - a woefully underfunded program that provides substandard care for the poor - could have been done separately, along with an increase in federal appropriations to upgrade its quality.

But instead the Congress and the Obama administration have saddled Americans with an expensive package of onerous individual mandates, new taxes on workers' health plans, countless sweetheart deals with the insurers and Big Pharma, and a perpetuation of the fragmented, dysfunctional, and unsustainable system that is taking such a heavy toll on our health and economy today.

This bill's passage reflects political considerations, not sound health policy. As physicians, we cannot accept this inversion of priorities. We seek evidence-based remedies that will truly help our patients, not placebos.

A genuine remedy is in plain sight. Sooner rather than later, our nation will have to adopt a single-payer national health insurance program, an improved Medicare for all. Only a single-payer plan can assure truly universal, comprehensive and affordable care to all.

By replacing the private insurers with a streamlined system of public financing, our nation could save $400 billion annually in unnecessary, wasteful administrative costs. That's enough to cover all the uninsured and to upgrade everyone else's coverage without having to increase overall U.S. health spending by one penny.

Moreover, only a single-payer system offers effective tools for cost control like bulk purchasing, negotiated fees, global hospital budgeting and capital planning.

Polls show nearly two-thirds of the public supports such an approach, and a recent survey shows 59 percent of U.S. physicians support government action to establish national health insurance. All that is required to achieve it is the political will.

The major provisions of the present bill do not go into effect until 2014. Although we will be counseled to "wait and see" how this reform plays out, we cannot wait, nor can our patients. The stakes are too high.

We pledge to continue our work for the only equitable, financially responsible and humane remedy for our health care mess: single-payer national health insurance, an expanded and improved Medicare for All.

Oliver Fein, M.D.
President

Garrett Adams, M.D.
President-elect

Claudia Fegan, M.D.
Past President

Margaret Flowers, M.D.
Congressional Fellow

David Himmelstein, M.D.
Co-founder

Steffie Woolhandler, M.D.
Co-founder

Quentin Young, M.D.
National Coordinator

Don McCanne, M.D.
Senior Health Policy Fellow

******

Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) is an organization of 17,000 doctors who support single-payer national health insurance. To speak with a physician/spokesperson in your area, visit www.pnhp.org/stateactions or call (312) 782-6006.
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 03:51:43 pm »

http://www.prisonplanet.com/kicked-in-the-groin-health-insurance-companies-are-dramatically-%20increasing-premiums-due-to-the-new-health-care-law-and-there-is-not-much-we-can-do-about-it.%20html

Kicked In The Groin: Health Insurance Companies Are Dramatically Increasing Premiums Due To The New Health Care Law And There Is Not Much We Can Do About It

The Economic Collapse
Aug 18, 2010

Wasn’t the new health care reform law supposed to make health care more affordable for everyone?  Well, imagine my surprise when I opened up a letter from my health insurance company recently and found out that my health insurance premiums were going up by nearly 50 percent.  I am in perfect health and I have never had a single health insurance claim with this company.  Unfortunately, after doing a little research, I discovered that I am far from alone.  All over the United States, people are being hit with double-digit percentage increases in their health insurance premiums even as the health insurance predators continue to rake in record profits.  At a time when millions of American families are barely making it from month to month, the last thing they need is to be figuratively kicked in the groin by the health insurance companies.  But that is exactly what is happening.

Not that health insurance companies ever needed an excuse to raise rates, but in 2010 many of them are blaming changes in health care law for the dramatic rise in premiums.

Of course it is true that there are over a dozen new taxes on the health care industry in the “health care reform” law that Barack Obama and the Democrats rammed down the throats of the American people, and everyone should have realized that those taxes would ultimately be passed on to the consumer.

But what is also true is that the health insurance companies basically wrote large sections of the health care reform law and health insurance company stocks rose when this new law was passed.

So why is this new law so good for health insurance companies?

Well, the new health care law requires all of us to purchase health insurance from them.

We are no longer going to have the choice of opting out of their system.

We are going to be forced to buy health insurance.

And since they are all raising rates, there is no escape from the pillaging.

As the new health care bill was being debated, Obama promised that the average American family would save $2,500 in yearly premiums under the new law.

If any of you still believe that claim I have got a bridge to sell you.

The Congressional Budget office says that yearly health insurance premiums are actually going to increase by about $2,300 each year as a result of the new law, but that estimate is probably far, far too low.

The truth is that rates are already shooting through the roof. Just consider the following excerpt from a recent article on Fox News….

Here is the terse reason CareFirst/Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Washington gave its subscribers for raising a monthly premium from $333 to $512 on a middle aged man who is healthy, is not a smoker and is not obese: “Your new rate reflects the overall rise in health care costs and we regret having to pass these additional costs on to you.”

Could you afford to pay $512 a month for health insurance just for yourself?

Unfortunately, the truth is that this is nothing new. Many health insurance companies have been increasing health insurance premiums by double-digit percentages year after year after year even as they continue to reel in record profits.

In particular, health insurance companies seem to love to stick it to small businesses and the self-employed.

According to an article on the Mother Jones website, health insurance premiums for small employers increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.

The greed of the health insurance companies seems to know no bounds. For example, the 39% hike that Anthem Blue Cross sent some California customers last year made headlines across the nation. But executives defended the dramatic premium hikes as perfectly justifiable.

The reality is that health insurance is becoming so insanely expensive that millions of Americans can’t even afford it anymore.

But thanks to the new health care law they are being forced to keep shelling out their hard-earned money for it.

It is getting really hard for anyone to deny that the health care system in the United States is deeply, deeply broken. The new health care law is not going to reduce costs. It is only going to help the health insurance companies continue to rake in obscene profits.

But wasn’t the new health care law supposed to prevent the health insurance companies from abusing all of us?

Well, as it turns out, the new health care law does not give the federal government much regulatory power at all to prevent premium increases.

But what about the states?

Can’t they do something?

Well, yes they can, but unfortunately most state legislatures have been bought off by the health insurance industry.

Since 2003, health insurance companies have shelled out more than $42 million in state-level campaign contributions.

That is a lot of money, and they wouldn’t be spending that kind of money if they did not expect a return for it.

“The pressure that the industry can bring to bear in state legislatures is unbelievable,” J. Robert Hunter, a former insurance commissioner in the state of Texas recently told the Los Angeles Times. “They pretty much get what they want.”

The cold, hard reality is that health insurance companies are not in business to help people and provide affordable health care. They are in business to make money and they are very good at it.

But there are a few states that have stood up to the health insurance companies. States that have “prior approval” laws have been able to successfully fend off some of the over-the-top rate increases that health insurance companies have been trying to ram down the throats of consumers. For example, the Los Angeles Times recently reported on what has been happening in the state of Oregon….

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon was forced to cut back a proposed 26.4% increase in one of its individual plans to 17.3%. Other carriers were ordered to scrap altogether hikes as high as 20%.

Unfortunately, a number of these states that have these “prior approval” laws are now being sued by insurance companies.

That is how these folks work – they will either try to buy off politicians or they will keep filing lawsuits until they get what they want.

Meanwhile, the top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States received nearly $200 million in total compensation in 2009.

Are you upset yet?

You should be.

And you know what?

When it finally comes time to actually use your health insurance, these predators will do anything they can to get out of paying up.

In fact, it has been documented that some of the largest health insurance companies actually pay their employees large bonuses for denying claims. The employees who deny the most claims are the ones that get the largest bonuses.

The health care system in the United States is messed up beyond all recognition, and the new health care law has made things worse than ever. Americans pay more than anyone else in the world for health care, and all that we get in return is a system that is deeply, deeply broken.

If you have a health insurance horror story of your own, please feel free to share it in the comments section below….
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 06:04:22 pm »

http://www.prisonplanet.com/20-signs-that-the-health-care-industry-has-become-all-about-making-as-much-money-as-possible.html

20 Signs That The Health Care Industry Has Become All About Making As Much Money As Possible

Economic Collapse Blog
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Once upon a time in America, people became doctors and nurses because they wanted to help people, building hospitals was a labor of love, lawyers didn’t chase ambulances, health insurance companies did not openly abuse their customers and greedy pharmaceutical companies did not dominate the entire health care industry. But today all of that has changed. Why do most people choose a career in the health care industry today? It is because they want to make a lot of money and live a comfortable lifestyle. Why do most health facilities get built today? They get built because someone is hoping to make a huge profit. Why do so many lawyers specialize in medical malpractice? Here’s a hint – it is not because they want to make life better for people. Why do health insurance companies keep raising premiums even while they are making record profits? It is because they can and because they are greedy. Why are pharmaceutical corporations some of the most profitable companies on the face of the earth even though their products are harming tens of millions of people? It is because our health care system has become wildly corrupt and is now about making as much money as possible.

Not that everyone in the health care industry is motivated by greed. Some doctors and nurses volunteer a ton of their time to assist the poor and the needy. Others use their vacation time to go overseas and provide free medical care in third world nations. Many religious groups and non-profit organizations build hospitals and clinics because they are truly trying to help people. And there are a few health insurance companies that are trying to play the game honestly.

But unfortunately, those with noble intentions in the health care industry are the exception rather than the rule. Overall, the health care industry in America is all about the money, and it is about time that we quit pretending otherwise.

The following are 20 signs that the health care industry in the United States has become all about making as much money as possible….

1 – Even as the rest of the U.S. economy deeply struggles, America’s health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent in 2009.

2 – According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America’s five biggest for-profit health insurers ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.

3 – The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States received nearly $200 million in total compensation in 2009.

4 – According to an article on the Mother Jones website, health insurance premiums for small employers in the United States increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.

5 – Health insurance premium increases are getting totally out of control. For example, the 39% increase in health insurance premiums that Anthem Blue Cross imposed on some California customers last year was so obscene that it made national headlines.

6 – Since 2003, health insurance companies have shelled out more than $42 million in state-level campaign contributions.

7 – There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits in 2008.

8 – Each year, tens of billions of dollars is spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the United States alone.

9Nearly half of all Americans now use prescription drugs on a regular basis according to a CDC report that was just released. According to the report, approximately one-third of all Americans use two or more pharmaceutical drugs, and more than ten percent of all Americans use five or more prescription drugs on a regular basis.

10 – According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.

11According to a very surprising new study, 85 percent of new pharmaceutical drugs are “lemons” and pose serious health risks to their users.

12 – The Food and Drug Administration reported 1,742 prescription drug recalls in 2009, which was a gigantic increase from 426 drug recalls in 2008.

13 – Shocking new research has found that expectant mothers taking antidepressants have an astounding 68 percent increase in the overall risk of miscarriage. Yet the pharmaceutical companies are essentially doing nothing to stop this.

14 – The use of psychiatric medications among 18 to 34 year old members of the U.S. military and their wives increased by 42 percent between 2005 and 2009.

15 – There are some disturbing new medical studies that suggest that many of the most popular anti-depressant drugs are no more effective than a placebo.

16 – Pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in billions of dollars from selling vaccines and are encouraging even pregnant women to take them, even though there is mounting evidence that taking vaccines while pregnant dramatically increases the rate of miscarriage.

17 – One woman in New Hampshire is seeking more than $24 million in damages from the manufacturer of a prescription drug that she took for shoulder pain. It turns out that as a result of taking the drug, she is now blind and has been left scarred by internal and external burns.

18According to one stunning new study, the medical liability system in the United States added approximately $55.6 billion to the cost of health care in 2008.

19 – Pharmaceutical companies have become so greedy that now they are even attempting to patent our genes. It is being reported that over three million gene patent applications have been filed with the U.S. government so far. Tens of thousands of gene patents have already been granted at this point. It is estimated that companies hold approximately 40,000 patents on sections of the human genome right now. Those patents cover approximately 20% of our genes.

20 – According to a recent report, Americans spend about twice as much as residents of other developed countries on health care, but get much lower quality and far less efficiency in return.
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2010, 06:05:29 pm »

http://www.infowars.com/secretive-executive-order-establishes-big-brother-health-bureaucracy/

Secretive Executive Order Establishes ‘Big Brother’ Health Bureaucracy

Eric Blair
Activist Post
September 15, 2020

On June 10th, 2010, amidst the chaotic 24-hour oil spill coverage, Barack Obama quietly signed an Executive Order that some claim lays the foundation for implementing Codex Alimentarius, which is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety (Wiki). Codex is widely viewed in the natural health world as a draconian measure to centralize control of all food and other ingestibles. While this Executive Order may not go that far, it does seem to lay the groundwork for much more control over our personal life choices.


Obama quietly signed an Executive Order that some claim
lays the foundation for implementing Codex Alimentarius.


Executive Order 13544, Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council is a short document outlining the goals and scope of the order. The title gives the appearance that it only creates a Council, but buried within are detailed plans to carry out the “goals” of the Executive Order. Let’s take a closer look at the order. To begin with, the document appears to create the foundation for a massive new multifaceted bureaucracy with 12 departments consolidated in the “membership” of the new Health Council:

       Sec. 2. Membership.

       (a) The Surgeon General shall serve as the Chair of the Council, which shall be composed of:

       (1) the Secretary of Agriculture;

       (2) the Secretary of Labor;

       (3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services;

       (4) the Secretary of Transportation;

       (5) the Secretary of Education;

       (6) the Secretary of Homeland Security;

       (7) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

       (8} the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission;

       (9) the Director of National Drug Control Policy;

       (10) the Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council;

       (11) the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs;

       (12) the Chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service; and

       (13) the head of any other executive department or agency that the Chair may, from time to time, determine is appropriate.

       (b) The Council shall meet at the call of the Chair.

This group, under Obama’s orders, is tasked with developing an “integrated health-care strategy” for prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices to make recommendations to the President and the Congress, presumably to create more laws to govern people’s life choices. And, of course, like all other Executive Orders, the Council will also be authorized to “carry out such other activities as are determined appropriate by the President.” — Sec. 3 (g)

Section 4 of the order allows the council to choose a 25-member civilian “advisory group” which is promoted as a “diverse group of licensed health professionals” which “shall develop policy and program recommendations and advise the Council” on preventative medicines and lifestyle changes. The notion that this group will be developing policy to manage preventative medicines and “healthy” lifestyles of Americans smells of Big Brother. It also seems to be another example of where a civilian advisory group (no doubt infested with corporate interests) will further control the herd of wild humans.

One of the goals is to compile the recommendations into a report for the President, within one year, to contain the following:

[Continued...]
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