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Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Getting to Galt’s Gulch: Everyday Secession | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2021

The political pendulum brings hope or disappointment for those loyal to a particular party. Instead, journal the grievances against Uncle Sam and hypothetically block him from dominating your life. 

Secession is needed daily, especially in education and healthcare. The immense suffering of individuals in 2020 caused by government bureaucracy and politics illustrates the importance of personal independence. 

https://mises.org/wire/getting-galts-gulch-everyday-secession

Felicia A. Jones

This month, the United States once again celebrated her independence on the Fourth of July. After a year of lockdowns, masks, and now even mandatory vaccinations in workplaces and universities, the idea that the USA is a beacon of freedom to the rest of the globe seems far-fetched. This attitude was reiterated in the new Toby Keith song “Happy Birthday America.” Keith’s downtrodden lyrics reflect on his observed disappearance of the American patriotism which had been present not long ago. 

The problem with the version of national pride of the singer of “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” is that it equates love for his country with approval of imperialist tendencies. When invading foreign countries and toppling their governments is the source of pride in one’s country, then diminishing military power and a disrespected flag at the Olympics feels crushing.

For the libertarian with a foundation in property rights, personal responsibility, and financial literacy, the way forward is not joining in left-right political boxing matches, but secession. When the rule of law fails Derek Chauvin and common sense regarding gender-based separation in sensitive spaces disappears, libertarians need not wallow in their pillows and chocolate like after a devastating breakup. The political pendulum brings hope or disappointment for those loyal to a particular party. Instead, journal the grievances against Uncle Sam and hypothetically block him from dominating your life. 

Secession is needed daily, especially in education and healthcare. The immense suffering of individuals in 2020 caused by government bureaucracy and politics illustrates the importance of personal independence. 

Education

The character of the public education system revealed its true colors. Many teachers protested over returning to in-person teaching in the classroom despite the unsubstantiated fears that children are superspreaders. Where schools resumed formally, administrations and states masked children without evaluating secondary consequences such as extended exposure to bacterial growth on masks. 

The outcomes of virtual schooling were worse. Accusations of virtual truancy prompted Child Protective Services visits, especially where internet access was problematic. The “learning loss” disparity was largest in low-income communities, hurting academic outcomes for black and Hispanic students.

Unfortunately, the priority is not the health outcomes of children even now, a year later. With covid vaccination being required for school attendance, there is concern that for children, the vaccines are statistically more deadly than the illness. In Washington, DC, minors may be coerced by school administrators into vaccination without a parent’s consent or knowledge.

The public education system is failing children and, thankfully, school secession provides a silver lining. Homeschooling rates approximately tripled during the pandemic, when public education options were unsatisfactory. In 2021, a plethora of options for home education are present, ranging from self-paced curriculums to more community-based plans. Support for this lifestyle can be obtained through formal online communities, co-ops, and homeschool groups. 

“Unschooling” for the elementary grades supports flexible education styles where children are free to discover and obtain skill proficiency based upon their interests. This early learning supports specialization and entrepreneurial tendencies from youth, benefitting children far into adulthood.

If the purpose of education is to enrich the whole child, public schooling clearly falls miserably short of this goal. Secession enables primary caregivers to raise their children with their values, over those of government overlords, and keep them safe physically from bullying, emotionally, and socially from teachers and students with misplaced priorities alike.

Healthcare

Similar to public education, American healthcare already had preexisting conditions of inadequacy. The pandemic clearly demonstrated the problems that plague the US medical care system, directly covid related or otherwise. Mothers suffered poor birth outcomes resulting from the policies of hospitals and government bureaucrats. Inexpensive, unpatented drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were either made unavailable altogether or certainly more difficult to obtain despite having positive success at treating the manifested illness. 

In the current healthcare system, doctors, even those with good intentions, are restricted by hospital procedures and follow the recommendations given by larger authorities, both public and private. The reality is that the American medical system is not free market in any sense of the word, no matter how often the claim is countered.

Doctors in mainstream medical care do not have the autonomy to make specialized decisions for their patients. For example, insurance companies require that a certain percentage of children be fully vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended vaccine schedule, otherwise the pediatrician may not meet the threshold for quality of care bonuses. Unyielding support for these one-size-fits-all recommendations comes not only from the governing agency and the health insurance company, but also from the major professional organization for pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics. Swimming counter to the stream is neither financially nor reputationally wise for physicians, even if specific patients have a higher risk of adverse reactions.

In the specific treatment of covid, procedure dictated that hospitalized patients be placed on ventilators (with a death rate for covid patients on ventilators being approximately 58.8 percent). Oxygen supplementation, a noninvasive treatment, should have been provided initially for low oxygen levels but there were financial incentives to diagnose for covid-19 and ventilate. Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bureaucracy, doctors were limited in their ability to prescribe drugs with high success rates to patients earlier in the pandemic. How many lives were needlessly lost due to red tape?

With the release of Dr. Tony Fauci’s emails, the public may now observe that the CDC pandemic recommendations were not based on “science” or concern for the public’s health. Fauci understood masking was inefficacious at halting viral spread, kept successful treatments from becoming widely practiced, and knew that the covid death rate was similar to that of a severe influenza season. Shutting down the economy was never warranted.

Under a system bogged down with the conflicting interests of regulating agencies, medical practice procedures, and health insurance companies, patients may have a simple solution: fire the doctor. Demand more midwives and home births because of better health and birth outcomes. Visit alternative care providers who prescribe highly successful vitamin C and zinc treatments. Take business to noninvasive practitioners like chiropractors and naturopaths, who desire to treat the underlying conditions rather than purely symptoms.

Fear is sadly associated with taking this leap. But the overlooked reality is that preventable medical error persists as the third leading cause of death in the US. Secession from health insurance networks may not only provide better overall health outcomes but may be more affordable as practitioners resort to refusing health insurance payments to gain greater autonomy.

Getting to Galt’s Gulch

The success of libertarianism is independence from the state’s influence. Increasing one’s reliance on free markets, where personal responsibility and decision-making prevail over complacency, makes for an effective patriotism. Stopping the Randian motor of the world so that libertarians may thrive in the hypothetical Galt’s Gulch beyond government’s grasp (i.e., in external markets) requires exit. Leave a school or healthcare system which does not deliver desired ends.

Finally, be brave. Courage is not restricted to standing in the public square at Tiananmen. The defense of liberty is often more mundane: removing your children from the influence of tyrants in schools or exiting a job where an employer requires injections, which violate your moral principles. While these actions seem daunting, and they indeed are, those who love liberty are the ones who will be the impenetrable bulwark against evil. In the words of Mises’s favorite motto by Virgil, “Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.” (Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.) Author:

Contact Felicia A. Jones

Felicia Aileen Jones works as the registrar and student services coordinator at the Mises Institute. She is a former summer fellow and a Troy University graduate, earning her MA in economics in 2020 and her BBA in economics in 2017.

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Canada’s Wait Times for Healthcare Are Huge. Activists Blame Free Markets. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2021

Ontario, of the approximately nine thousand deaths in the province, 41 percent, occurred in these homes. The public response to this tragedy has become a growing outcry to “nationalize” or rather have the province make all residences publicly funded and controlled. The worst part of this rallying cry, noble as it may be, is the assumption that LTC homes are private to begin with. In reality, the only thing “private” about long-term care homes is their name. These homes are almost entirely funded by the province, with the rest of the cost highly regulated. Doomed from the start, it is no wonder that these institutions collapse under the slightest amount of external pressure.

https://mises.org/wire/canadas-wait-times-healthcare-are-huge-activists-blame-free-markets

Trevor Schleihauf

For the past sixteen months, headlines have been broadcast across our televisions cautioning us that the elderly and vulnerable populations are most at risk of this life-threatening COVID-19 virus if we do not stop the spread. Despite the preventative measures, long-term care (LTC) homes have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. In Ontario, of the approximately nine thousand deaths in the province, 41 percent, occurred in these homes. The public response to this tragedy has become a growing outcry to “nationalize” or rather have the province make all residences publicly funded and controlled. The worst part of this rallying cry, noble as it may be, is the assumption that LTC homes are private to begin with. In reality, the only thing “private” about long-term care homes is their name. These homes are almost entirely funded by the province, with the rest of the cost highly regulated. Doomed from the start, it is no wonder that these institutions collapse under the slightest amount of external pressure.

When one says that a business is private, it conjures images of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. Even if that is not the first picture that comes to mind, one likely imagines that the consumer, or in this case, the patient, pays for the services. The unfortunate side effect is that people also think, “The greedy capitalist murdered my grandmother.” Those who think this way are the folks that wish to gallop down the trail to full public ownership. While one can understand the sentiment, the basis of this outcry is flawed at best.

In the 2020 April budget, the Ontario government spent $5.76 billion on LTC homes. This egregious sum of money goes toward all medical staff and supplies, recreation programs, support services, and even the groceries purchased for the home. The price charged to the residents is effectively an administration fee and covers nonmedical support staff as well. The catch to this cost is that the province sets maximum levels for these fees, essentially regulating what extras the homes can and cannot afford. At most, LTC homes are allowed to charge eighty-eight dollars a day for a long-term private room. It should be evident that although LTC homes are owned by private entities, they are hardly private in the economic sense, with the government picking up most of the tab and regulating the rest.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) of Ontario has put together a plan to end for-profit healthcare. Still, they really have to ask themselves, “If the government is already paying for all the medical care and controlling the rest of the system, how will more government control make this better?” Although the answer is that no amount of further intervention could make it better, and it’s best to examine why.

Like all central planning, the NDP’s plan and public healthcare in general face the economic calculation problem and knowledge problem hanging over them like the sword of Damocles. The problems that we see with the long-term care homes, such as lack of beds, long waitlists, shortage of nurses, and overall lackluster patient care, are the exact same problems that plague the rest of public healthcare in Ontario and Canada. In Ontario, wait times from the initial doctor’s visit to treatment are approximately 17.4 weeks, which also happens to be the shortest wait time in Canada. When one considers that Canada has the worst wait times out of all the countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the situation is dire. Further, it is significant to note that Canada is the only OECD country with a 100 percent public healthcare system. As the government has no competition, there are no price signals in the market. Without these signals, no economic calculation can occur, and thus no optimum can ever be attained. If the goal is to make LTC homes better, why hand the system over to a government that clearly cannot run the healthcare sector they already control? If 100 percent public control doesn’t work for primary healthcare, how could it ever improve the standards for LTC homes? Andrea Horvath, the leader of the Ontario NDP, and the rest of the party have no answers for these questions in their plan and likely never will.

We know rent control and subsidies distort equilibrium for the worse, reducing overall welfare and inevitably harming more people than it helps. This is, in effect, what the government is doing for LTC homes. There is an enormous market for safe and affordable LTC homes; let us increase investment and competition, and thus availability. I highly doubt any politician would develop a plan that would lead to an improvement in healthcare. The best way to improve long-term care homes is for the government to stop planning, stop paying, and stop interfering. The sad reality is that no politician would sacrifice their votes in favor of a real solution. Author:

Trevor Schleihauf

Trevor Schleihauf is a twenty-year-old economics student at the University of Ottawa in Canada. To supplement his undergraduate education, he devotes his free time to researching Austrian economics, specifically money and banking.

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Nazi Healthcare Revived Across the Five Eyes: Killing Useless Eaters and Biden’s Covid Relief Bill – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 12, 2021

Another key behaviorist assigned to create Obamacare was MIT professor Jonathan Gruber who created a scandal when he admitted on camera to using obscurantist language and secrecy when he said “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass”.

That’s right: Emmanuel’s “cost-effective” curve asserts that the life of a 20-year-old is more worthy of life than that of a 3-year-old, or 75 year old. In the latter two cases, society has invested either too little to make that young life worth saving or has invested too much already (relative to the financial worth of the low QALY senior).

EUGENICS The 800 lb gorilla.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/no_author/nazi-healthcare-revived-across-the-five-eyes-killing-useless-eaters-and-bidens-covid-relief-bill/

By Matthew J.L. Ehret

“The ill-conceived `love of thy neighbor’ has to disappear, especially in relation to inferior or asocial creatures. It is the supreme duty of a national state to grant life and livelihood only to the healthy and hereditarily sound portion of the people in order to secure the maintenance of a hereditarily sound and racially pure folk for all eternity….”

-Dr. Arthur Guett, Nazi Director of Public Health, 1935

The words spoken by Dr. Guett 85 years ago should send shivers down the spine of anyone following the radical transformations of healthcare policy now underway within the Five Eyes zone of influence.

As many people are now aware, embedded within the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package is a $40 billion program to revive and expand the corpse of Obama Care’s enrollment protocols and the worst aspects of State directed medical resource allocation for the most vulnerable (and financially burdensome) of society. While few details have been unveiled beyond a mass expansion of enrollment into the plan on a revived healthcare.gov, several red alarms have been raised which began with the appointment of Obama-care architect Ezekiel Emmanuel to Biden’s COVID task force last year and the re-ascendency of hives of cost-cutting behaviorists to positions of power.

Before I proceed, a small disclaimer is in order.

Just because I am about to viciously criticize Biden/Obama-care, and the accelerated expansion of euthanasia across Five Eyes nations, it does NOT mean that I support free-market “greed-is-good” HMOs that were brought online by Nixon in 1973.

As I wrote in my recent trilogy exposing the contrived debates between “statist” Malthusian John Maynard Keynes vs “individualist” Malthusian Friedrich von Hayek, the schism of top down vs bottom up economic thinking which has brainwashed several generations of Americans is a chimera with no bearing in reality. Real economics that befits human life and dignity has always defended the whole of society while also protecting the unalienable rights and liberty of each individual within society.

If you are a technocrat looking down upon the world from your ivory mathematical tower at the impending crises hitting civilization, you would not believe a word of what I just said. Rather you would be looking at a glaring “mathematical disequilibrium” rushing towards us like a tsunami: The western population concentrated in the Trans Atlantic nations is facing a demographic time bomb the likes of which has never been seen in history called by some “the babyboomer demographic time bomb”.

Even before COVID-19 annihilated much of the world economy, the baby boomer demographic time bomb was discussed by think tanks and policy makers far and wide. During the past 25 years, young people increasingly put off having children (with a 4.4% collapse in birthrates during the Dec. 2019-Dec 2020 year of COVID). Today western fertility levels have fallen to 1.7 children/woman which is far below the 2.1 levels needed to replace the population.

During this time, the baby boomer generation born between 1945-1960 increasingly found themselves beset with grey hair, and increased healthcare needs in their old age with the first wave having hit retirement years in 2010. While technological advances has extended average life expectancies from 61 years (in 1935) to 81 years today, the demographic imbalance of young : old means that society will essentially be incapable of supporting itself under current dynamics.

For example:

By 2030, it is currently estimated people over the age of 85 will triple while seniors between 65-85 will double. The financial costs of sustaining this demographic will skyrocket as healthcare services double from their currently massive $1.4 trillion/year to $3 trillion/year by 2050 (in the USA).

As cost-effectiveness experts look at this dismal trend, all they can see is a cold numbers game.

These experts don’t tend to see humans with cognitive powers and souls and they certainly don’t recognize the existence of such immaterial notions as the “sacred” which might prevent the culling of lives in order to satisfy monetary constraints.

They certainly don’t recognize the injustices of a system that allows trillions of dollars to be spent for Wall Street bailouts and Middle East wars but which fails to provide the medical resources to service its own population fairly. The experts I am talking about who once ruled America under Barack Obama and who have resurged into power under Biden only see the cold fact that 80% or more of the healthcare costs absorbed throughout one’s life occur after 65 years of age. These experts can only think in terms of adapting to scarcity and supposedly “fixed limits” but never eliminating scarcity through systemic changes that place human life and creative thought on a higher priority than mere money.

See the rest here

The author can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

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The Government Invites a Black Market for Covid-Tainted Blood – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 7, 2020

They are so skilled at this, that crises are even manufactured as a preferable state for government to operate in. I’ve lost count of how many “wars” the US is now in. Individuals who shackle themselves by obediently listening to government at such moments have themselves to blame for their slavery.

Your disobedience opens those shackles.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/allan-stevo/the-government-invites-a-black-market-for-covid-tainted-blood/

By

How much would you pay to resume normal life? $100? $1,000? $10,000? Maybe more?

What if paying was the only way to avoid returning your life to normal without giving the surveillance state a sample of your blood? They assure you they would never store the sample, would never study, would never catalogue, would never use it against you, or engage in any other nefarious behavior with this sample.

Government has begun debating widespread blood testing to get society up and running again.

If your blood wasn’t tainted by SARS-CoV-2, you don’t get to live a normal life again. If your blood was tainted by SARS-CoV-2, you can have permission to go back to living life under the new normal.

I wonder how many barely-scraping-by phlebotomists would take a few bucks to taint your blood sample with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

It’s a non-zero number.

How many others in the health system would do the same? Fraud is believed by some to represent anywhere between 3 and 10% of total healthcare expenditure in the United States. Certainly healthcare professionals are not beyond bending the laws to make a few dollars. It is sad to see such incentives built into a system. Such poorly designed incentives are common to see under socialized systems. They pervert the natural and voluntary alignment of incentives that free markets so easily encourage.

In communist Czechoslovakia, you could find all manner of illegal goods that came into your possession outside of the official economy.

Police officers were often on the take. Border officials. Government officials. Anyone who had a chance to make a few extra bucks subverting the rules probably considered doing so. Countless stories exist around how people would capture a little extra value for themselves: from a stock boy never putting out the most in-demand products and bartering them for other goods and services, to physicians and school principals scowling unhelpfully and responding curtly until a bottle of hard alcohol was presented to ease the tension.

In the era post-communism, in former Czechoslovakia, many people repeatedly shared a bit of folk morality on the topic of property rights under a totalitarian regime: “He who does not steal from the government, steals from his family.”

As a testament to this appreciation for the effectiveness of black markets to provide for human wants, is the vast drug problem in American prisons today, which should, in theory, be impossible to smuggle contraband into or out of. Some in prison have pointed out that “Drugs are easier to get than soap.” Michael Jones curiously overdosed in 2016 on death row in a single-cell in California’s San Quentin State Prison. He died, despite, according the Los Angeles Times, being one of hundreds who spend “most of their time locked down, isolated from the rest of the prison system under heavy guard with regular strip searches and checks every half-hour for signs of life.” Another 1,000 overdosed in California prisons in 2018.

Forever the enemy to logic and reality, governments are telling the American populace to get ready for mandatory blood testing.

No matter how mandatory, a percentage of the populace will comply, and a percentage will not.

In classic government over-reaction, in March 2020, Covid tainted blood was a liability for a person. Death was around the corner. Stay on house arrest to avoid it. By May 2020, Covid tainted blood is suddenly an asset.

How much would you sell a few vials of your Covid tainted blood for? $100? $1,000? $10,000?

Once a few of your friends hear about the success of your cottage industry, I bet they will consider themselves unfortunate for not having gone around hugging Covid sufferers throughout the spring of 2020.

In repressive society after repressive society throughout history the sovereign individuals — the creatively disobedient, the individual who insists he’ll live free, the attentive dissident — they have found ways around oppression. The marketplace has been their constant ally, as they devise the latest parry to deflect the attempts to push them into obedient submission.

That is the reality of human existence on this planet. It makes no sense to construct yet another government edict so out of touch with reality.

Rather than try to outdo the illogical and ineffective tyranny of China or the USSR, America is best served by leaning into the American experiment of seeing how free an individual can live in a society. This is the competitive advantage of the United States, and the only approach that will stop it from splintering apart as its disconnected leaders demonstrate that force is more valuable to them than reason.

What we learned in spring 2020, yet again, is that government should never be trusted in times of crisis. Government must never be misled to think that they are effective in such moments. Granting those powers in calm times, encourages that misleading thinking in crisis times. Contrary to what is needed, abusing power and mismanaging crises is what government does.

They are so skilled at this, that crises are even manufactured as a preferable state for government to operate in. I’ve lost count of how many “wars” the US is now in. Individuals who shackle themselves by obediently listening to government at such moments have themselves to blame for their slavery.

Your disobedience opens those shackles.

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Fascist-Marxist Healthcare for All – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 15, 2019

The real motive behind Bernie Sanders’ call for “Medicare for all” is to confiscate wealth, redistribute it and turn America into another impoverished Venezuela, where despite their policy of a guaranteed social safety net, there is no food, water, medicine or freedom, except for government apparatchiks.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/lk-samuels/fascist-marxist-healthcare-for-all/

By

Single-payer healthcare programs for all operated by government is nothing new, even by Bernie Sanders’ standards. The National Socialists of Germany inherited a socialized medicine and welfare society in 1933, and made it stronger. Hitler quickly ordered the National Socialist People’s Welfare (NSV) organization to “see to the disbanding of all private welfare institutions,” which began the Nazis’ effort to completely nationalize charity and healthcare in Germany.

And yet, the banning of privately-operated welfare and medical organizations implied far more. By banning private healthcare and welfare in Germany, the Nazis exhibited their true red-revolutionary colors, following in the socialist footsteps of the Soviet Union. Even today, most American left-wing progressives would be hard pressed to deny Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) the opportunity to do social work. So, does this place American progressives on the far right because the Nazis’ social welfare programs were so extremely left-wing?

One of the biggest cheerleaders of mandatory socialism was Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister and briefly the Chancellor of Nazi Germany. Considering himself a communist in his college years, Goebbels, continuously applauded the generosity of Hitler’s welfare state, boasting in a 1944 editorial, “Our Socialism,” that “We and we alone [the Nazis] have the best social welfare measures.” He did not stop there. He proclaimed that “English capitalists want to destroy Hitlerism” because of the Nazis “generous social reforms.”…

Of course, this same hypocrisy has occurred in every Fascist-Marxist and “social justice” nation, especially the Soviet Union. Here, equality became another word for inequality. The bourgeoisie in communist Russia suffered the same fate as the Jews; some 7-10 million Ukrainian Kulaks were denied food and perished. In late 1929, it was Stalin who demanded the liquidation of the Kulaks as a “class enemy.” He defined wealthy Kulaks as “peasants with a couple of cows or five or six acres more than their neighbors.”

For socialists, equality is an empty phrase. Today, it is recognized that Nazism included many of the same tenets as Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. Hitler even admitted several times that he was a “Social Democrat” who favored a “national Social Democracy” movement.

The real motive behind Bernie Sanders’ call for “Medicare for all” is to confiscate wealth, redistribute it and turn America into another impoverished Venezuela, where despite their policy of a guaranteed social safety net, there is no food, water, medicine or freedom, except for government apparatchiks. It appears that under fascist socialism, some are indeed more equal than others.

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Millions of Ukrainian peasants starved to death under ...

 

 

 

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Of Two Minds – Can We Finally Have an Honest Discussion about the Opioid Crisis?

Posted by M. C. on January 27, 2018

So while law enforcement got helicopters and other toys to play with and the War on Drugs Gulags filled up with citizens who should never have been imprisoned, the War on Drugs has killed tens of thousands by outlawing a safe pain-killer and legalizing deadly, highly addictive pain-killers because those deadly, highly addictive pain-killers reaped Big Pharma billions of dollars in profits.

.https://oftwominds.bmobilized.com/?task=get&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.oftwominds.com%2Fblogjan18%2Fcauses-opioid-crisis1-18.html

If we are going to have an honest conversation about the opioid epidemic, then we need to recognize the real causes of the epidemic:

1. The Pharmaceutical industry falsely claimed synthetic opioids were non-addictive , and a complicit, toothless regulatory system did nothing, egged on by politicians who were bought off by mega-bucks campaign contributions from Big Pharma. Read the rest of this entry »

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