Connecting the Dots Between Healthcare and Gun Control
Posted by Dr. Fay on April 12, 2013
During a speech at an NRA meeting in Alaska in 2009, Governor Palin predicted that the Obama administration would use healthcare to leverage gun control. (See our previous article here.) As we know, our founding fathers put the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment so that citizens can protect themselves against a rogue government.
Here is an excerpt from Tony Lee’s article at Breitbart.com:
On August 1, 2009–just seven months into President Barack Obama’s first term–former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin predicted Obama would attempt to leverage health care to “take away” the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
In a speech to National Rifle Association members in Anchorage, Alaska, Palin said Americans should be “wary” of this “tie-in” because Obama would attempt to “take away our rights under the guise of some new health care plan”:
And by the way, [with] health care being so big in D.C. right now, be wary when some kind of tie-in occurs. Because it will crop up: a tie-in with guns in an attempt to take away our rights under the guise of some new health care plan. You know that this is coming–that the two issues will somehow crop up and they’ll be tied together. So we have to be very wary of that.
During a press conference wherein he issued 23 executive actions regarding guns and unveiled his gun control proposals, including a ban on so-called assault weapons, Obama said “doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients’ homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home.”
As Breitbart News reported, the American Medical Association (AMA) had sent the Obama administration a letter urging the White House to pass more strict gun control measures. The letter, which was signed by the AMA and 52 other organizations, used the Sandy Hook massacre to note that a ban on so-called assault weapons was “a step in the right direction,” called for a “ban on high capacity magazines,” and “requested increased funding” for medical programs from the White House:
In September of 2011, Sandy Pipes wrote in an op-ed at Forbes that in spite of the AMA’s strong support for Obamacare that only 13 % of physicians supported it.
For more than 160 years, the American Medical Association has served as the self-appointed chief lobbying group for doctors. But the AMA’s lofty status has been under threat over the last several years — and is under attack today. In fact, the AMA now only counts about 17% of doctors as members.
According to a new survey, the majority of doctors do not believe that the AMA represents their views and interests. Much of that dissatisfaction stems from the organization’s support for President Obama’s contentious health care reform package.
That shouldn’t be surprising. The AMA declares that its core mission is to “help doctors help patients.” But ObamaCare undermines that pursuit by making life harder for physicians and driving down the quality of care available to patients.
The survey — conducted by physician recruitment firm Jackson & Coker — is a brutal indictment of both the AMA and ObamaCare. Just 13% of doctors agree with their trade association’s support of the health reform law.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June of 2012 on the collusion between the White House and Big Pharma in passing Obamacare.
On Friday House Republicans released more documents that expose the collusion between the health-care industry and the White House that produced ObamaCare, and what a story of crony capitalism it is. If the trove of emails proves anything, it’s that the Tea Party isn’t angry enough.
Over the last year, the Energy and Commerce Committee has taken Nancy Pelosi’s advice to see what’s in the Affordable Care Act and how it passed. The White House refused to cooperate beyond printing out old press releases, but a dozen trade groups turned over thousands of emails and other files. A particular focus is the drug lobby, President Obama’s most loyal corporate ally in 2009 and 2010.
The business refrain in those days was that if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. But it turns out Big Pharma was also serving as head chef, maître d’hotel and dishwasher. Though some parts of the story have been reported before, the emails make clear that ObamaCare might never have passed without the drug companies. Thank you, Pfizer.
A study by Dr. Linda Hunt at Michigan State University revealed that Big Pharma is pressuring physicians to overprescribe drugs for chronic conditions. Sherry Baker at Natural News reports:
So why are so many people taking so many drugs? The new study, just published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, concludes more drugs are prescribed because the threshold for what constitutes an “illness” keeps getting lower and lower, thanks in large part to Big Pharma’s influence. For example, what was once normal blood pressure is now too high or, if approaching high, is called “pre-hypertension” and Big Pharma recommends treatment. And instead of telling someone with high blood sugar to lose weight and exercise and eventually they could improve or normalize their condition, it’s likely a doctor will emphasize that a person found to have type 2 diabetes will need to rely on medication for life.
Dr. Hunt points out in her study that physicians are caught up in an “auditing and reward system.” That means doctors are rewarded by drug companies for prescribing more and more drugs. Perhaps most disturbing is what Hunt calls a “prescribing cascade.” Simply put, drugs are prescribed to help relieve side effects caused by other drugs. Then still more drugs can be prescribed to relieve any new side-effects from the recently prescribed drugs.
Craig Stellpflug at Natural News also describes the incentives given to physicians by Big Pharma to encourage them to use their drugs.
Big Pharma companies such as Merck and Eli Lilly have disclosed $258 million in payments nationwide in 2009 and the first half of 2010. ProPublica reports $26.4 million dollars paid out to doctors in California in that same period. But these are just totals from the seven pharmaceutical companies while over 1,000 other drug, device and medical supply companies were not included in this figure.
Big Pharma companies are well known for paying kickbacks and other inducements to physicians, hospitals, and pharmacies for prescribing their drugs. Some doctors who prescribe large amounts of drugs are given gifts such as liquor, gift cards, lavish meals, paid travel, tickets to sports events, paid golf outings and gift certificates. Others receive direct cash payments of up to several hundred dollars to watch a sales representative flip through a book of promotional drug “visuals,” or to watch a video on the sales representative’s laptop.
Big Pharma targets high prescribing doctors for expense paid resort events called “drive-to’s” and “fly-to’s.” Big Pharma “consultant” meetings are staged at high-end restaurants with lavish diners and sometimes lucrative “honorariums” are paid to the physicians for showing up. Big Pharma companies pay doctors thousands of dollars to give presentations about off-label use of a product or device and likewise, doctors attending these presentations are paid to listen.
A NY Times article mentions that large numbers of doctors receive payments of sometimes hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars from drug and device companies every year in exchange for providing advice and giving lectures. All told, about a quarter of doctors take cash payments and about two-thirds of doctors routinely accept gifts of food, including lunch for staff members and dinner for themselves.
Now how can corporate greed be related to the recent push for gun control? What type of health issue can be exploited to take people’s guns? And what class of drugs is used to treat this type of health issue? The answer to those questions has become glaringly obvious in the recent chain of events, starting with the Obama adminstrations’ exploitation of the Sandy Hook massacre to push gun control. We’ve seen veterans who have fought for our freedoms denied their Second Amendment rights if they are diagnosed with PTSD. And now we see that New York City is attempting to confiscate guns from people taking anti-anxiety drugs. Which psychiatric labels and drugs are next?
The first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association. It is based on consensus by professionals rather than scientific tests. The first DSM was published in 1962 and listed 106 psychiatric labels. The number of psychiatric labels increased to 182 in 1968 with the DSM-2; to 265 in 1980 with the DSM-3; to 297 disorders and over 400 specific diagnoses in 1994 with the DSM-4. A brief history of the DSM can be found here, and a critique of psychiatric diagnosis can be found here.
Although there was not a large increase in labels in the DSM-5, which comes out in May of 2013 , Dr. Allen Frances of Duke University criticized the manual in his article at Psychology Today and listed the 10 most serious problems he found with the manual.
This is the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry. The Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound. My best advice to clinicians, to the press, and to the general public – be skeptical and don’t follow DSM 5 blindly down a road likely to lead to massive over-diagnosis and harmful over-medication. Just ignore the ten changes that make no sense.
This is no way to prepare or to approve a diagnostic system. Psychiatric diagnosis has become too important in selecting treatments, determining eligibility for benefits and services, allocating resources, guiding legal judgments, creating stigma, and influencing personal expectations to be left in the hands of an APA that has proven itself incapable of producing a safe, sound, and widely accepted manual.
New diagnoses in psychiatry are more dangerous than new drugs because they influence whether or not millions of people are placed on drugs- often by primary care doctors after brief visits. Before their introduction, new diagnoses deserve the same level of attention to safety that we devote to new drugs. APA is not competent to do this.
People with real psychiatric problems that can be reliably diagnosed and effectively treated are already badly shortchanged. DSM 5 will make this worse by diverting attention and scarce resources away from the really ill and toward people with the everyday problems of life who will be harmed, not helped, when they are mislabeled as mentally ill.
DSM 5 violates the most sacred (and most frequently ignored) tenet in medicine- First Do No Harm! That’s why this is such a sad moment.
Dr. Francis has also written an article at the New York Post entitled “A disease called ‘childhood’ in which he expresses concern about the overdiagnosis and overmedication of children.
Getting the right diagnosis and predicting its future course is especially difficult in kids because their symptoms have such a short track record and are often heavily influenced by transient factors like developmental differences: family, school and peer stress; and the use of drugs.
It usually takes a while before an illness declares itself — and often, it turns out that no diagnosis is necessary because the symptoms go away without intervention.
That said, there’s been a massive mislabeling of psychiatric diagnosis among children because of recent medical fads.
In the last 20 years, rates of attention deficit disorder have tripled, while autistic disorder and childhood bipolar disorder have each increased by a remarkable 40-fold.
Human nature just doesn’t change that quickly, but the labels follow fashion and can escalate dramatically without there being an actual increase in symptoms. Our kids haven’t suddenly become sicker, it’s just that diagnoses are applied to them more loosely.
Some of the broadening usefully captures missed cases, but there has been a big overshoot because of aggressive drug-company advertising. Once the adult market was saturated, pharmaceutical manufacturers turned their greedy attention to kids and began a sometimes illegal campaign to convince doctors, parents and teachers that every childhood problem is a mental disorder, the result of a chemical imbalance that requires a pill solution.
Medication use in children has skyrocketed — great news for the shareholders, but potentially quite dangerous for the children.
Another example of how Big Pharma has colluded with government to increase its profits are the Texas Medical Algorithm Project (TMAP) and Teen Screen, which is based on that model. TMAP was developed by a collusion between Big Pharma and Texas government officials during George W. Bush’s tenure as Governor.
The Medical Whistleblower site has this to say about TMAP:
The controversial New Freedom Commission on Mental Health was established by the 43rdU.S.A. president, George W. Bush, in April, 2002.[i] The Commission was established to conduct a comprehensive study of the U.S.A. mental health service delivery system and make recommendations based on its findings.[ii] The controversial New Freedom Commission on Mental Health was established by U.S. President George W. Bush in April 2002 to conduct a comprehensive study of the U.S. mental health service delivery system and make recommendations based on its findings. The commission, using the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) as a blueprint, subsequently recommended screening of American adults for possible mental illnesses, and children for emotional disturbances, thereby identifying those with suspected disabilities who could then be provided the newer psychoactive drugs. The strategy behind the commission was developed by the pharmaceutical industry, advancing the theory that the primary purpose of the commission was to recommend implementation of TMAP based algorithms on a nationwide basis. TMAP, which advises the use of newer, more expensive psychiatric medications based on a protocol developed by pharmaceutical industry consultants at the University of Texas. The goal was to help pharmaceutical companies to get human subjects for clinical trials and access to citizens locked in prisons and state and private psychiatric hospitals and to get these clinical trials paid for by Medicaid.
Since the TMAP project and the projects in other states modeled after it paid for the pharmaceuticals with Medicaid through state programs, one of the natural outcomes was overmedication of foster children. Mark Roth at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on this issue in December of 2012.
In December, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report saying that foster children were far more likely to be prescribed psychiatric medication than children who weren’t in foster care.
Among the thousands of children studied in five states, the federal agency found, hundreds were taking five or more psychotropic medications simultaneously, and many of the children on such drugs were under a year old.
During more than two decades of work with foster children in California, Tony Stanton faced that reality every day.
Most of the children who arrived at Seneca were on at least four psychotropic medications, from Ritalin to antidepressants to antipsychotics, he said. Many were taking eight to 10 medications at once.
And his goal, with each and every child, was to wean them off all those drugs.
A statement by Allen Jones, the whistleblower in Pennsylvania who exposed the corruption inherent in the TMAP program can be found here.
There has been a lot of controversy and resistance to the TeenScreen program, which is an outcome of and based upon the TMAP model. David Kramer at PsychSearch has this to say about TeenScreen:
TeenScreen is a very controversial so-called “diagnostic psychiatric service”, aka suicide survey; done on children who are then referred to psychiatric treatment. The evidence suggests that the objective of the psychiatrists who designed TeenScreen is to place children so selected on psychotropic drugs.
“It’s just a way to put more people on prescription drugs,” said Marcia Angell, a medical ethics lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of “The Truth About Drug Companies.” She said such programs will boost the sale of antidepressants even after the FDA in September ordered a “black box” label warning that the pills might spur suicidal thoughts or actions in minors. (The New York Post, December 5, 2004)
Dave Hodges at The 4th Media is even harsher in his criticism of the program:
Through the former President, George Bush, and the current President, Barack Obama, the government has unleashed a modern day version of the mind control police in America by attacking the psychological well-being of America’s school children and veterans by forcibly incarcerating veterans who are not drinking from the globalists’ Kool-Aid.
On the surface, screening the mental health of children for suicidal tendencies is a noble idea worth pursuing. Yet, when the screening is mandated by the President of the United States and is done without the knowledge and consent of the parents of the children being tested, an eyebrow should be raised.
When children, under this program can only be medicated with the most expensive psychiatric drugs which contain 2 to 20 times higher suicide rates and are contraindicated for use by children, all of America should begin to dismantle this unholy marriage of the Police State and the pharmaceutical fraudsters that first, former President Bush, and now President Obama, is trying to force down the throats of America’s children and its latest set of victims, American veterans!
There is an ongoing battle for the psychological health and welfare of America’s children and eventually all Americans, under the New Freedoms Commission (NFC), as it is the eventual intent to screen and treat, with mind numbing drug, all Americans for mental illness by using criteria designed to elicit false positives.
Reporting on a new attempt to apply psychiatric labels to babies still in the womb, Mike Bundrant at Natural News had this to say .
If the medical establishment indoctrinates parents and young children with their catalog of mental illnesses and gets them hooked on drugs early, they may have them for life.
Medical promoters are going too far as they prowl around after children, even before they are born!
Testing of the brain waves of newborns before they leave the hospital is now being done in studies such as this one. The big question is whether databases such as this could be exploited by a rogue government. Here is one application being suggested for the techniques developed in this laboratory.
We are aware of the financial incentives to Big Pharma to label as many people as possible with psychiatric diagnoses and to encourage physicians to prescribe as many of their psych meds as possible. But the motives of government in this collusion come into question when psychiatric labels and the use of psych meds prescribed as a result are used to deny citizens the right to bear arms.
Another red flag should be raised by Obama’s announcement of the federal government’s commandeering Neuroscience research under the guise of the recently announced Brain Initiative. Luke Dittrich writes at Esquire:
And here’s where things get sketchy. The technologies required to map the brains of lower life forms won’t cut it with us. Our brains are too big, too complicated. While nanoprobes and other extensions of existing technology might get us part of the way, in order to get deep inside we’ll have to invent an entirely new class of what the Neuron paper calls Wireless and Synthetic Biology Approaches. “We think that it will ultimately become feasible to deploy small wireless microcircuits, untethered in living brains, for direct monitoring of neuronal activity,” the paper’s authors write. A little later, they add that “potential options for a human BAM Project include wireless electronics, safely and transiently introducing engineered cells to make tight (transient) junctions with neurons for recording and possibly programmable stimulation, or a combination of these approaches.”
Two things should leap out from reading the above quote. First, the redundant and distracting use of the words “transient” and “transiently,” a heavy-handed way to assure us that these untethered, internal brain monitors don’t have to be permanent, trust us. Second, note the reference to “possibly programmable stimulation.” Let’s be clear about what that means: These probes they envision injecting into human brains will not only be able to record the firing of vast networks of individual neurons, but will possibly be able to control the firing of those individual neurons as well. Later in the paper, they come back to a variant of this same point, writing that they anticipate the project will foster the “development of novel devices and strategies for fine control brain stimulation.”
Of course, you could argue that these neuronal stimulators would just be more highly tuned versions of the implanted brain electrodes that the FDA already approves for the treatment of certain conditions like Parkinson’s disease. There’s a huge difference, though. It’s one thing to give a coarse and leveling shock to a relatively huge swath of dysfunctional brain tissue. It’s something else altogether to be able to wirelessly and independently stimulate every single neuron in the insanely complex intertwined circuits that make up the human brain. The Brain Activity Map Project wants to understand how our brains do what it is that they do, but it just so happens that the technology the project will develop to gain this understanding could also be used to make our brains do whatever they want. Wirelessly. From a distance. The truth is, most major scientific breakthroughs, like the human minds that give birth to them, have light and dark sides. And some of those dark sides are darker than others.
The project’s leaders are not blind to this darkness. At the end of the paper, they note that the project has “potential ethical ramifications,” and that these include “issues of mind-control.” To assuage concerns about these ramifications, they write, it’s going to be up to the scientists participating in the project to engage “diverse sets of stakeholders and the lay public early and thoughtfully.” Speaking of those stakeholders, is it any surprise that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will reportedly be involved, or that Google and Microsoft have already taken part in some of the preparatory groundwork?
It is conceivable that under a rogue administration, psychoactive drugs and remote control of networks of neurons could be used for brain control. Is that Obama’s longterm goal – a compliant society whose ability to defend themselves has been taken away through gun confiscation? We should be asking these questions now, rather than later.