Will the new Affordable Health Care Act actually provide more quality health care, at lower cost? Originally, economist Jonathan Gruber, paid nearly $400,000 by the Obama Administration to study the bill, asserted it would reduce insurance rates from 13 to 31 percent. But after the bill was passed, Gruber backpedaled, saying insurance rates will rise. This is the way it will work: Theoretically, universal health coverage requires everyone to purchase insurance, even the young and healthy. However, the penalty fee for not purchasing coverage is much less than insurance premiums, so many young people will choose to go uninsured. Those who do get coverage will be older and sicker, causing more claims to be paid. Gruber estimates that rates will go up from 19 to 30 percent because of this.
There are additional hidden costs embodied in the Act, most notably the 21 new Mental Health provisions, requiring and funding more mental health services and outreach programs to find and treat more people. Those targeted include the poor, new mothers, school children, the military, those over 55, and substance abusers. As benevolent as this sounds, psychiatric medications used to treat the list of over 100 “disorders” are highly controversial drugs. Because so many common human behaviors are now listed as disorders, millions more will be drugged to “treat” them. In actual fact the risks of psychiatric drugs heavily outweigh their unproven benefits, so pouring more money into them is unadvisable. Unfortunately, the new health care Act will do just that, at the outrageous prices listed below:
ADHD drug prices at a middle dose for 90 pills at DrugStore.com, are: Adderall $278, Concerta $412, Desoxyn $366, Strattera $464 and Vyvanse $385. Daytrana costs $437 for three boxes of 30 in-hour patches.
The SSRI and SNRI antidepressants include GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil and Wellbutrin, Pfizer’s Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Labs, Luvox by Solvay, Wyeth’s Effexor and Pristiq and Lilly’s Prozac and Cymbalta. The average price of these drugs is about $300 for 90 pills at DrugStore.com.
The prices for anticonvulsants can run as high as $929 for 180 tablets of Gaxo’s Lamictal, and $1170 for 180 tablets of Johnson & Johnson’s Topamax.
In 2008, the atypical antipsychotics took over the slot as the top revenue earners in the US, and include Seroquel by AstraZeneca; Risperdal and Invega marketed by Janssen, a division of J&J; Geodon by Pfizer; Abilify from Bristol-Myers Squibb; Novartis’ Clozaril and Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa. The average price on these drugs for 100 pills at DrugStore.com is about $1,000. Lilly also sells Symbyax, a drug with Zyprexa and Prozac combined, at a cost of $1,564 for 90 capsules at DrugStore.Com in May 2009.
The briefing material submitted to an FDA advisory panel in April 2009 reported that an estimated 25.9 million patients worldwide had been exposed to Seroquel since its launch in 1997 through July 31, 2007, in the US, and the second quarter of 2007 for countries outside the US. Of that number, an estimated nearly 15.9 million took Seroquel in the US, compared to only ten million patients in the rest of the world. In 2008, the US accounted for roughly $3 billion of Seroquel’s $4.5 billion in worldwide sales.
For the full-year of 2008, Eli Lilly reported worldwide Zyprexa sales of about $4.7 billion, with US sales of $2.2 billion and only $2.5 billion for the rest of the world. US Kids Represent Psychiatric Drug Goldmine
Strangely enough, while millions of children and adults are being medicated to supposedly re-balance their brains and cure these disorders, mental illness seems to be at an all-time high, with insane killing sprees occurring in schools and other public locations. Further, suicides by medicated soldiers outnumber battle-related deaths. If drugs were effective, then why is mental health not at an all-time? Because, factually, psychotropic drugs are not safe and effective, but a wild card with unpredictable and often disastrous results. Not even tested on children, they are wreaking havoc with the next generation, forced to take them by doctors, teachers and parents. Psychiatrists claim such violent acts are a result of the illness itself; but if that were true, why have their treatments not worked to cure, rather than worsen them?
Despite clinical evidence of the dangers of psychiatric drugs, the Affordable Health Care Act endorses programs to treat even more people. The mental health screening suggested in the Act, is itself highly controversial and suspect, often funded by pharmaceutical companies themselves, as a lucrative source of new patients. Screening questionnaires classify the normal responses of children and teens as “disorders”, then push drugs as treatment. Labeling and drugging school children has not improved school performances or helped children with life difficulties. In fact the altering of brain chemistry damages both physical and mental health, as well as learning, often putting children to sleep in school. Drugs like Ritalin slow body growth and stunt skull size, and at the same time enlarge the heart muscles as would any stimulant. This can and has resulted in death.
Though doctors paid through the Medicaid system are being investigated for over-prescribing, psychiatric drugging has nevertheless taken a strong foothold in society, and the Affordable Health Care Act would further entrench it. Drug companies continually seeking greater profits, developed the more powerful “anti-psychotics”, inappropriately being prescribed to children who will not sit still and pay attention. This behavior is so common in young children that none would call it “psychotic”, so why the heavy drugs? Perhaps it is simply that drug companies had the financial power to successfully lobby for legal advertising, being presented as science. Convinced of the validity of disorders and drugs to fix them, the public and many doctors have bought into them. Though usage has revealed their dangers, now posted as FDA warnings on box labels, few doctors reveal them to their trusting patients. Adequate control over this industry is lacking perhaps because the FDA is paid by pharmaceutical companies for all new drug applications (“NDAs”). This puts a federal agency in the employ of the private sector they are supposed to regulate. In fiscal year 2010 alone, the agency was paid over $250 million for NDAs.
The Affordable Health Care Act plans to place even more resources into a field which not only fails to preserve mental health, but is destroying lives. The faith being placed in psychiatry and their drug treatments might be broken if full investigations were made following the horribly senseless killings and suicides by those prescribed such drugs. This would reveal the true culprit behind such acts: the medical malpractice of irresponsibly prescribing “medications” resulting in drug-crazed killing sprees and/or suicides. But now the privacy of patient history law is being used to deprive investigators and the American public of vital information leading to the truth behind these tragic massacres: the drugs they had been prescribed. True justice would be to protect innocent and possible future victims by exposing the dangerous practices of doctors prescribing drugs that trigger these tragic acts. A recent Colorado movie theater massacre was in fact described in a written letter to the person’s psychiatrist a week before it happened. But this psychiatrist and drugging practices that led to this tragedy are being hidden behind this law. This is a parody of justice.
Though medicine is presumably based on science, the field of psychiatry has gone far afield. No one can argue that vitamin C cures scurvy or that insulin supplies diabetics with a vital hormone. There is no such proof, however, that ADHD exists as a chemical imbalance in the brains of children. Psychiatrists claim that drugs remedy various disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder, or learning disorders. The fallacy is that foster children and servicemen are both victims of environmental disorders; and to “correct” a natural response to being homeless, or to the horrors of war, is to criticize humans for being human. The Affordable Health Care Act will invest more funds into drugs powerful enough to cause servicemen and foster children to commit suicide.
Any medical ethics and human compassion one expects to find in the medical field seems lacking in psychiatrists and their companion drug companies. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that The Affordable Health Care Act will provide Americans with more quality health care at lower cost. What is more likely is that it will funnel more resources, funds and power to its true beneficiaries: pharmaceutical companies and their stockholders.