A Medical Hydraulic Empire

Never let a good crisis go to waste. — Winston Churchill

In the headlong rush toward socialized medicine in America, all sorts of arguments have been made. Here’s one we haven’t heard, and we find it one of the most unsettling.

Wikipedia says, “A hydraulic empire (also known as a hydraulic despotism, or water monopoly empire) is a social or government structure which maintains power and control through exclusive control over access to water. It arises through the need for flood control and irrigation, which requires central coordination and a specialized bureaucracy.” But a hydraulic empire need not be based on water. It can be some other commodity precious to human life. Like medicine.

Larry Niven wrote a novel about a hydraulic empire based on vitamins, Destiny’s Road. (1998) It should scare the hell out of you.

What is socialized medicine but a hydraulic empire based on medicine?

When one of us first wrote about this on Facebook in 2018, the post foresaw Soviet style direct political intervention in the health care system. “Sorry, Comrade, no vitamins for you today. You shouldn’t buck the Party.” “Your surgery has been postponed, Comrade. Comrade O’Brien took sick, and the party needs him.” Or maybe Venezuelan style socialism.

But recent events show it doesn’t take Soviet style authoritarianism. All it takes is political correctness and Critical Race Theory (CRT) as now practiced by a country’s governing elite. Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), under a Conservative government, may deny health care to “Racist” or “Homophobic” patients. While racism apparently is a problem in British health care, denying health care simply because a patient is racist is the wrong (but oh-so-politically-correct) solution.

Oh, and they are also using it to enforce so-called “equity”. For example, New York will prioritize non-White people in the distribution of COVID-19 treatments in short supply. “Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”

Similarly, Minnesota now requires healthcare providers to provide non-white patients with preferential access to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). mAbs are used to treat and to avoid infections of COVID-19. Since the article was published, Minnesota has removed the specific mention of BPIOC in the scoring factors. Instead, as of January 12, 2022, providers are supposed to “Strive for fairness and protect against systematic unfairness and inequity. It’s anyone’s guess as to what that actually means and how it will be implemented. But worry not: Minnesota has a “Resource Library for Advancing Health Equity in Public Health”[]. Utah was apparently also following race-based guidelines in providing medical care for COVID-19 patients, and now both Utah and Minnesota are threatened with lawsuits from America First Legal, a conservative law firm founded by Stephen Miller.

In democratic Germany, rules banning adults unvaccinated for COVID from public places are being applied to the Bundestag, prohibiting citizens from participating in the national legislature. It also applies to MPs, thereby denying thousands of Germans their right to parliamentary representation. Now that the left-leaning Social Democrats (SDP) and Greens are in power (in a coalition with the liberal Free Democrats), the political target is clear: the right-wing Alternative for Germany party (AfD). The AfD has the largest number of unvaccinated MPs and has campaigned against vaccine mandates.

For some months now, patients on waiting lists for organ transplants have been ordered to get the COVID vaccine or be taken off the waiting list for the limited number of organs available, which usually means death when their own organs fail. Strangely, the fact that myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) is a known and listed side effect for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has not altered the demand by medical authorities that all patients must have the COVID vaccine in order to make them better transplant candidates. Concerned about the 5-year 50% death rate caused by myocarditis, a 31-year-old heart transplant candidate in Boston refused the COVID vaccine. He was removed from the heart transplant list.[][] The heart transplant failure post-COVID vaccine that we read about last month has been deleted from search engines, so unfortunately we cannot cite it.

British National Health Service “front line” medical staff were ordered to take COVID vaccinations or be fired. This at a time when medical staff are over-worked and in short supply. In London alone, some 18,500 NHS staff were not vaccinated by the February 3, 2022 deadline, when firings were to start. Someone in the NHS got a clue and rescinded the order at the last minute.

Similarly, Quebec abandoned a short-lived plan to tax the unvaccinated after fierce opposition.

Is it really health care if you’re told you must follow orders and not ask questions?

Is it really science if results are hidden from view? Is it really transparency?

Let’s take another example, a more widespread problem: drug manufacturing.

Americans prefer their medications to be manufactured in clean facilities and not be contaminated. Yet nearly all of our generic drugs as well as some brand-name medications are now manufactured in China, a country now infamous for counterfeits of every sort, including drugs. China even put diethylene glycol in counterfeit Colgate toothpaste and sold it to Brazil, infuriating the Brazilians who discovered it. In 2008, the Chinese company making the injectable anticoagulant heparin sodium for Baxter Pharmaceuticals didn’t do a very good job. In fact, the heparin was so contaminated that 81 Americans died and 785 others were seriously injured. Unbelievably, all the FDA did was send a warning letter to the company. The FDA stated that it “doesn’t have the resources” to inspect overseas companies and therefore will not do that.

Well, the truth is that they were much harsher in their treatment of Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals in India in 2013, which ended with Ranbaxy paying 500 million in fines for making adulterated products, mislabeled wrong-dose products, and other products contaminated with broken glass. The FDA also prohibited them from manufacturing any FDA-approved drugs and then inspected their facility in Toansa, India. Why were they so much harder on India than China? For those interested, the 2019 book ‘Bottle of Lies’ by investigative reporter Katherine Ebon takes a deep dive into this unlovely subject.

The final problem of allowing political decisions to trump the cost-benefit analysis that every doctor should apply to every prescription involves the re-definition of what is normal. Levels of testosterone have been dropping for the last 20-30 years in men all over the globe. While some of these men are treated, most are told that they should expect this to happen as they get older — yes, even men in their 30s are told this. New normal for a man is defined as a blood level of 300 to 1,000 ng/dl, dropped from the traditional minimum level of 400 ng/dl. Shouldn’t the FDA and CDC asking why this is happening, perhaps even sounding the alarm about Atrazine affecting not only the sexual development of frogs, but maybe our own as well? Or perhaps they’ll rule the use of estrogens to fatten cattle illegal, as Europe did in 2011? No, none of that happened. Many of these low-T men are given anti-depressants instead of testosterone, and if they want children they’re told to see a fertility doctor. Hint: just because someone is depressed does not mean their body has an anti-depressant deficiency. Meanwhile, kids who feel uncomfortable in their bodies at puberty (i.e. everyone) are told that it’s because they’re actually the opposite sex, and whisked into cross-sex hormones and surgery. Many other examples spring to mind, but we don’t want to get caught up in the weeds.

The point is, it’s clear that we’re already well on our way to a medical hydraulic empire the U.S. and world-wide. Where will the demands end?

The truth is, if people understood how fraught our traditional medical system is, fewer people would go to a traditional American doctor. The United States’ health outcomes place us at either 18th or 30th in the world, depending on which study you look at.  Neither ranking is particularly glorious, especially considering that the US has the most expensive health care in the world. Our doctors are punished by insurance companies when they take extra time to look for causes rather than just treat symptoms. The end result is the equivalent of putting duct tape over the “check engine light.” Who wants to pay for that, even with a zero co-pay? Anyone?

Perhaps the blatant manipulation of our medical system by drug companies and paid-off politicians is a blessing in disguise. It’s really hard for the average person to ascertain if their abnormal labs have been redefined as normal, other than that they feel terrible. But now that race has become a trump card for antibody treatment, and nobody at the CDC or WHO has any real science behind their proclamations, and it’s been evident from the start that lockdowns did more harm than good… anyone who opens their eyes to this will no longer trust their life to this system. See this.

So how do you exit the system? Find an alternative _not_ controlled by government.

Obviously there’s little alternative to emergency surgery, but for less urgent things there’s natural or herbal medicine. Maybe the 80% of the world population that tries herbal medicine before going to the doctor is on to something.

The best way to get out of America’s looming medical hydraulic empire is to never get in it. Hard as it may be to step up and take ownership of your health, it is your right, and given the above facts, the only sensible course of action. At best, get healthy and stay healthy.

Charles Curley is a retired software engineer and policy wonk living in the wilds of Wyoming.

Fran Van Cleve, a retired pharmacist, is happily married and writes science fiction in the Florida Panhandle.