Recently it was reported by the Washington Times that WebMd received $4.8 million dollars from the federal government to “teach” doctors about ObamaCare (as if we are idiots). It’s another example of the federal government buying influence to sell an inferior product.
And, it’s another example of Corporatism taking root in the United States of America and slowly destroying the founding principles this country was founded upon. Corporatism is frequently called “crony capitalism” but it’s misleading because it has little to do with capitalism – it’s a way of destroying capitalism.
To better understand Corporatism in America I refer you to this article by Robert Locke written in 2002. The trend to Corporatism has acclerated exponentially since Mr. Locke first published his article.
What’s unique is that both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives gravitate to a Corporatist model but for different reasons as Mr. Locke states in his article.
Socialism has been a failure where ever tried. I challenge you to find one example where socialism has outperformed what the capitalist system in the USA has accomplished. But, the government does not have to own the means of production (as in socialism) to control an industry. It just has to so heavily regulate that it essentially has de facto control of an industry without owning it – and that is what Corporatism is. And, that is what is happening in this country and especially in medicine at an ever increasing pace. Large corporations and their CEOs are becoming nothing more than puppets for the federal government. The executives financially benefit and therefore are willing participants in a movement that is destroying the individual and true capitalism. From Locke’s article, Under corporatism, it is not (referring to free markets), instead being systematically manipulated to deliver goods to political constituencies.
The practice of medicine has sold out to large corporations. Big Pharma has infiltrated medical education at all levels. It’s hard to find an article on a drug that isn’t funded by a pharmaceutical company. There’s a push by some within the federal government to make it more difficult for nutritional supplements to be sold as they cut into pharmaceutical companies’ profits. Big Pharma makes donations to most if not all politicians’ campaigns (on both sides of the aisle to hedge their bets). Pharmaeutical companies, insurance companies, large hospital systems have all found it’s better (so they think) to buddy up with the government and exchange favors with the federal government. Medical practice guidelines promoted by the government usually benefit some politcally favored group.
Most people hate excessive government regulation. But, large corporations many times find government regulation desirable because complying with government regulation is expensive (but they have enough money) and that limits competition – just what large corporations want – no competition. So they find it advantageous to promote the agenda of whoever is sitting in the White House in exchange for preferential treatment and limits on competition. The government benefits because by controlling a relatively small number of large corporations it indirectly controls most of the population – its ultimate goal. This was not the goal of our Founding Fathers. Their goal was for the government to protect individual rights.
The AMA, or the American Medical Association is a classic example of Corporatism in Medicine. The AMA supposedly represents physicians but less than 15% of practicing physicians are actually members of the AMA and many of them come from academia which tends to have a distorted and impractical view of the world. The AMA receives 70% of its revenue, not from membership fees, but from ownership (the result of an exclusive license granted by the federal government) of the CPT codes used to set fees schedules that it sells to physicians and hospitals. See this Forbes article on the AMA. The AMA played a huge role in the promotion of ObamaCare against the desires of many of its physicians members. If it doesn’t play ball with the federal government it runs the risk of losing its exclusive license and 70% of its revenues. It’s a form of blackmail and one day Big Pharma, insurance companies, and hospital systems will find that they have been played by the federal government. Some already are finding that out as we are beginning to find what’s actually in ObamaCare.
Corporatism stifles medical innovation and there is a paucity of visionary leaders within HealthCare. In HealthCare there are no Steve Jobs (Apple), no Bill Gates (Microsoft), no Herb Kellehers (Southwest Airlines), no Fred Smiths (FedEX), no Larry Ellisons (Oracle), no John Mackeys (WholeFoods), no Jim McCanns (1-800-Floweres), no Jeff Bezos (Amazon), etc.
The Real Goal of ObamaCare
At the end of the day our current federal government does not really care about you the individual. It just wants to control you and the combination Corporatism and Health Care is the perfect way of doing it. Listent to Ronald Reagan’s words from this speech he gave in 1961 twenty years before he became President.
ObamaCare: A Bad Idea Getting Worse
Truly good ideas don’t need much help to take root. Good ideas naturally flourish and the great ones will flourish in nearly any environment. ObamaCare isn’t one of them. The federal government is trying hard to make ObamaCare work. And, it can only work through coercion. Forcing patients, physicians, insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and more to particpate in a system that a free market system would never allow to exist because it cannot work of its own volition.
Take a look at your new HealthCare system that your elected members of Congress voted for and signed into law by President Obama. Certainly something this simple should succeed shouldn’t it? Why would a company like WebMD promote such a “train wreck” according to at least one member of Congress who voted for it (Max Baucus)?