(Author’s Note – the following was inspired by the 1999 film, The Matrix, which the author has long found to be philosophically consistent with the American healthcare crisis)
The Medtrix is everywhere. It is all around us; it is visible or audible in almost every room. You can see it when you look into your cabinet, when you drive down the street, when you read a magazine, when you scroll through social media, and when you turn on your television. You can feel it when a healthcare topic comes up, when you go to the doctor’s office, and when you pay your insurance bills. It is the blinder that has been pulled over your eyes to keep you ignorant to a rather harsh reality…
What harsh reality?
That healthcare in America, though a highly influential and profitable system, is broken. For multiple generations and counting, it has been imprisoned by a fundamentally flawed mindset that health is, rather than a multi-factorial personal responsibility, a state of being that can seemingly be achieved only by surrendering control to various forms of pharmaceutical medicine and its supporters.
Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Medtrix is…you have to see it for yourself. So, this is your chance to gain clarity on a subject that can make you feel a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit-hole. You cannot unlearn the information about to be shared. Figuratively, you may take the blue pill, stop reading this, and move on with your day; but you may also take the red pill, read on, and learn how deep the rabbit-hole goes. All that is being offered here is the truth, nothing more.
Consider the definition of health by American standards – when you are free of injury or illness or symptoms – and the means about which that definition of health is achieved – drug therapies primarily, followed by surgical procedures. 80% of all the pharmaceuticals in the entire world are consumed in the United States, despite Americans making up just 5% of the world’s population. Doctors and researchers at the prestigious medical universities of Harvard and Johns Hopkins have attempted to make public knowledge that, in large part because we over-consume pharmaceuticals, the 3rd leading cause of death in America is medical error; and both institutions have made inferences to the accuracy of conclusions drawn by other researchers that medical error is actually the #1 cause of death in the United States. Is it really so hard to believe? We see and hear drug ads that warn of these dangers daily, but they rarely register.
The USA also ranks #1 worldwide in unnecessary surgeries. In fact, a quarter of the spending on healthcare in America has been deemed unnecessary – unwarranted labs and diagnostic imaging included. Of all the industrialized nations, the United States grossly outspends its peers, with nearly 20% of the gross domestic product dedicated to pharmaceuticals and surgeries; dollars spent on so-termed “alternatives to medicine,” for reference, is 0.001% of the $10,379 average per person spent on drugs and surgery. Yet, while we spend far more than the other industrialized countries, we rank last among them in outcomes. The truth, it seems, is not without a sense of irony; we spend more money than everyone else to be sicker than everyone else.
“Health” insurance premiums being so high are both a by-product of the above and fuel to sustain it. Whereas once it was used to protect against the financial burdens of hospitalization, it has in modern times been heavily over-utilized for situations that are mostly inappropriate. The third party payer trend has created a dynamic in which premiums organically keep rising. After all, the law of insurance states that the greater the likelihood of grim circumstances, then the more money it will cost to purchase insurance against them. Free your mind, walk through the door; insurance is most affordable when fewer claims are being filed, but if the majority of health issues are designated as “in need of a conventional doctor's pharmaceutical recommendations” and if those physician-recommended drugs are only affordable through insurance, then premiums cannot decrease.
What is the Medtrix? Control. The Medtrix is a system of diagnosing and treating symptoms and disease masquerading as something it is not by attaching words like “health” and “wellness” to its literature and social lexicon; it has tragically convinced the population, including most doctors, that health is an instantly-gratifying proposition that requires little to no personal effort, stimulating reliance on its methods and its methods alone. We have adopted rules and regulations perfectly suited for the Medtrix that are built not on being healthy, but rather on addressing the various symptoms that stem from being unhealthy; and the insurance industry that supports it is no more about health than life insurance is about life.
Many who are reading this already knew something about the Medtrix. What you knew, perhaps you could not have explained, but you felt it. You have likely felt it ever since the first time that you questioned the teachings of conventional medicine; that there is something wrong with American healthcare. You may not have known how to fully contextualize it, but the feeling had been there, like a splinter in your mind, at odds with simple logic and basic laws such as cause and effect. Some of you have even attempted to speak out against the flaws of the system and encountered great and at times torrid resistance from those so inured and so hopefully dependent on the system that they would fight for it even in the face of overwhelming statistical evidence.
To you and the others in the process of getting unplugged, if you will, from the Medtrix, there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. The information shared today is not a reflection of how the story of American healthcare is going to end; rather, it sets the stage for how the story of American healthcare is going to begin. The grassroots movement away from the pharmaceutical philosophy is going to continue to exemplify that health can be achieved without its methods, to empower people with proper education on healthy lifestyles, to prioritize drugs and surgery as the last resort instead of the only option, and to only use third party payers for emergencies, as is the case with all other insurance types. We can change American healthcare. Where we go from here is a choice left to you.
Thinking good things for you, as always,