Healthcare and Health Insurance: How We Got Here and a Warning About Where We’re Going

I agree that our healthcare system is broken and needs fixed. I agree that there should be at least a a safety net for those who can’t afford care. 

I disagree strongly with putting the Federal government in charge of it. Again, who owns the Federal Government? The banks and corporations that buy the politicians. 

Why is healthcare so messed up? Because our Federal government, working for the benefit of corporations and oligarchs, legislated and regulated us into the situation we have today. 

Rockefeller Medicine

Down the Rabbit Hole: The Rise of Western Medicine September 24, 2016

Further down the rabbit hole: J.D. Rockefeller
When I think of Bayer I think of aspirin, not heroin.   I was curious about the use of acetyls to produce heroin.  Where did the acetyls come from in the late 1800s?  Well, just like today they come from petrochemicals, which then led me to John D. Rockefeller, the oil baron.

In the late 1800s, Rockefeller came up with an idea to use coal tar, a petroleum derivative, to make substances that affect the body and nervous system.  This was not a new idea; his father Old Bill Rockefeller sold bottles of raw petroleum mixed with a little opium as a cure for cancer.  Young Rockefeller just needed a vehicle to extend and capitalize on petroleum derivatives as medicines.

The rise of the American Medical Association
In the early 1900’s there were many types of healing practices in the US and Europe: chiropractors, naturopathy, midwives, homeopathy, osteopathy, herbal medicines, diet, and steam baths.  Western medicine in the 18th and 19th centuries was called Heroic Medicine and included methods such as blood-letting, purging, leeching, blistering, mercury and lead therapy.

Through much of history, healers were those who worked with herbs and food, and charged little or nothing for their expertise.

The rise of heroic medicine brought about the idea of healing as a job.  Heroic medicine practitioners charged more money for treatments than traditional healers.  In many places only the wealthy class could afford a doctor of heroic medicine.

Because heroic medicine treatment was so often unpleasant and often lethal, more of the populace chose the milder treatments of the herbalists. Thomas Jefferson called heroic medicine physicians an “inexperienced and presumptuous band of medical tyros let loose upon the world.”

The underpinnings that created the AMA were based on a strategy to enhance the medical profession’s position in society. According to Richard E. Brown, author of Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America, “Scientific medicine gained the support of the medical profession in the late nineteenth century because it met the economic and social needs of physicians.”

The American Medical Association (AMA) began in 1847, but it was a small, weak organization until John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie took on a “philanthropic mission” to help the AMA, marking the point when allopathic (Western) medicine took a huge turn.  Since there were many types of doctors and healing methods, Rockefeller wanted to eliminate these competitors, thus ensuring that drugs would be the main course of treatment.   Capitalists like Rockefeller and Carnegie and others “embraced scientific medicine as an ideological weapon in their struggle to formulate a new culture appropriate to and supportive of industrial capitalism.”  (Rockefeller Medicine Men; Richard E Brown, 1979).

Rockefeller and Carnegie hired Abraham Flexner, an American educator, to write a report, published and given to Congress in 1910, that concluded there were too many doctors and medical schools in the US and that all natural healing modalities which had existed for hundreds of years were unscientific quackery.  Flexner’s report called for standardization of medical education, whereby only allopathic AMA medicine institutions would be granted medical school licenses.  Congress acted on the conclusions and made them law.

Carnegie and Rockefeller used their tax-exempt foundations to offer huge grants to medical schools on the proviso that only an allopathic curriculum be taught.  Curricula in these schools was dismantled to remove herbs and plants, and the importance of diet. On the positive side, Flexner’s influence did heighten the importance of laboratory-based research and education.

The rise of science: Allopathic medicine
From heroic medicine arose scientific medicine, so called because it replaced healing as art, and represented a method of practice “not based on dogma but on verifiable truths” (JAMA, 36 (1901), 1599-1606). Scientific medicine focused on disease as an engineering problem.  “The technical expertise associated with scientific medicine helps to mystify the role and work of the physician more effectively…thereby support[ing] the claims of the profession for a monopoly of control over all healing methods.” (Rockefeller Medicine Men, Richard E Brown, 1979).

Scientific medicine made physicians more dependent on capital-intensive commodities, especially drugs, which were the essential base of their practices.  Prescription drugs gave doctors new power by forcing the public to see a physician in order to obtain the benefits of medical research.

Allopathy and homeopathy
The term allopathy refers to the practice of healing through opposites. If the patient is retaining water, then a drug that promotes urination is the answer. Homeopathy is derived from the Greek homoios, which means similar and pathos, which means suffering.  Homeopathatic means “like cures like.”

The Rockefellers and their pharmaceutical empire
With the AMA and allopathic medical schools firmly in place, the abolition of other medicinal therapies, and the enforcement of regulated licensing of doctors, the Rockefeller empire continued to expand.  Sterling Drug Inc., the largest holding company in the Rockefeller drug empire and its 68 subsidiaries were maintained under an umbrella with the Rockefeller-owned bank Chase Manhattan (now known as JP Morgan Chase Bank) and called the Drug Trust.

We cannot forget that the pharmaceutical empire of the Rockefellers includes vaccines, sedatives, analgesics, antibiotics, heart drugs, and hypnotics.

Under the directive of the Rockefeller Foundation, funds to medical colleges in 1948 alone swelled to $32 million, which in today’s money would amount to $323 million.  This ensured that the medical schools would teach and indoctrinate the names and uses of thousands of drugs.

In the 1930’s John D. Rockefeller, Jr. campaigned for the prohibition of hemp and cannabis through generous political and Baptist church donations.  Hemp could produce ethanol, which competed with petroleum, and cannabis was a competitor with opium and with the Rockefeller-owned member of an opium cartel: Bayer, creators of heroin.

Rockefeller investment in chemicals and drugs
John D. Rockefeller purchased shares in what was to become  a massive German chemical and pharmaceutical cartel: I.G. Farben, a conglomerate of several big chemical manufacturers including Bayer, Hoechst, and BASF.   This conglomerate would invent, produce and distribute the Zyklon B used in Nazi concentration camps, producing enough of the gas to kill 200 million humans.  In 1939, I.G. Farben purchased $20 million worth of high-grade aviation gasoline from…Standard Oil of New Jersey, owned by Rockefeller.   That same year a new company was formed with Standard Oil taking 15% of the stock to protect Germany’s holdings in chemicals and drugs.  This new company was called The American IG Farben.

Read More:

How the AMA Got Rich & Powerful: “The AMA’s Seal of Approval”