Monday, July 3, 2017

IS MIDDLETON, OHIO CITY COUNCILMAN DAN PICARD SUGGESTING 1 IN 7 AMERICANS WHO ARE ADDICTED TO MEXICAN HEROIN BE LEFT TO DIE?.... Why no imprison for those politicians who have sabotaged homeland security to the benefit of the LA RAZA drug cartels?


Ohio politician proposes letting overdose victims die

The policy of “social murder” behind the US health care debate

By Barry Grey
5 July 2017
At a June 20 meeting of the Middletown, Ohio City Council, Dan Picard, a council member, offered a novel proposal to contain surging costs associated with a worsening epidemic of opioid overdoses in the town. Like cities across the United States, this southwestern Ohio town of some 49,000 people is being ravaged by the explosive spread of drug addiction linked to opioid pain killers. This year it has already recorded nearly 600 overdoses, more than in all of 2016.
Picard, who is not planning to run for reelection, proposed that the City Council adopt a “three strikes” policy, under which those who make use of emergency services two times to deal with an overdose will be denied help the third time. As he told the Washington Post, “When we get a call, the [emergency services] dispatcher will ask who is the person who has overdosed. And if it’s someone who has already been provided services twice, we’ll advise them that we’re not going to provide further services—and we will not send out an ambulance.”
Defending his proposal, Picard said, “I want to send a message to the world that you don’t want to come to Middletown to overdose… We need to put a fear about overdosing in Middletown.”
This call for what amounts to state-sanctioned murder evoked an angry response from the public in Middletown and wherever else people became aware of it. Numerous health care organizations and advocacy groups involved in dealing with the drug abuse epidemic denounced Picard and his proposal.
Alexis Pleus, the founder of Truth Pharm, a nonprofit that seeks to raise awareness of the issues surrounding substance abuse, did not mince words in an open letter to Picard: “To suggest that you withhold emergency medical response to overdose patients is manslaughter at best and premeditated murder at worst.”
Most of the American population, however, never learned of the incident. This is because the establishment media, fixated on its campaign against Russia and saber-rattling against North Korea, China, Iran and Syria, along with the political warfare in Washington between the Trump administration and its ruling class opponents, did not widely report the story.
There are other political reasons for the downplaying of the story by the corporate-controlled media. Picard’s brazen suggestion that drug abuse victims be allowed to die comes uncomfortably close to lifting the lid on a basic policy question underlying the current official debate on health care “reform.”
Behind the proposals in the Republicans’ bills to cut costs and boost profits by gutting Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor, and lifting the current requirement that insurance companies cover certain “essential benefits,” lies a deliberate and calculated effort to reduce life expectancy for working people overall and send many of the old, infirm and mentally or socially disabled to an early grave.
The effort, moreover, is bipartisan. The Democrats are pleading for negotiations on a “compromise” bill to “fix” Obamacare, a euphemism for incorporating the demands of the insurance monopolies for even higher premiums, copays and deductibles and fewer restrictions on their ability to gouge the public. Obamacare itself is a mechanism for cutting costs for corporations and the government, weakening the system of employer-provided health insurance and rationing access to health care on a more openly class basis. The Republican plans build on Obamacare to accelerate the health care counterrevolution it initiated.
The corporations, banks and hedge funds that are pushing health care “reform” and the politicians and policy experts who are doing their bidding are well aware that many thousands will die needlessly as a result of the measures being proposed. Medicaid, slated to be cut under the Republican bills by some $800 billion over ten years and terminated as an open-ended entitlement program with guaranteed benefits, provides about 80 percent of funding to treat drug abuse, which overwhelmingly affects working class and poor people.
In 2015, some 1.35 million low-income Americans had an opioid use disorder. As it is, only 25 percent of those people get treated in a year.
Last year some 60,000 people in the US died from drug overdoses, 60 percent of them from opioids. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. There is no starker barometer of the failure of the capitalist system and the descent of broad masses of the population into conditions of desperate social crisis.
Of the 22 million people who will lose medical coverage under the Senate health care bill, Medicaid cuts will account for 15 million of them. Moreover, both the House and Senate bills allow insurance companies to drop coverage of care for mental health and substance abuse, among other basic services.
Can there be any doubt that many will die as a result of these cuts? Lynn Cooper, director of the Drug and Alcohol Division at Pennsylvania’s Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, told National Public Radio last month: “It is a death epidemic all over the country. The loss of Medicaid expansion will be like the bottom dropping out for thousands of Pennsylvania citizens and their families.”
The impact is so self-evident, and public opposition so pervasive, that government officials are obliged to resort to the most brazen lying when defending their proposals. Typical was the performance of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a notorious and longstanding opponent of basic social program such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, in an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. Of the Republican plan to dismantle Medicaid, he said, “We want to make certain that Medicaid is a program that can survive.”
While claiming to be committed to addressing the opioid epidemic, he declared, “We don’t need to be throwing money” at the crisis.
Ruling class strategists speak more frankly on specialized think tank web sites meant for corporate and state officials and their academic advisers. In 2013, the World Socialist Web Site drew attention to two policy papers published by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) on the negative consequences for American imperialism and the national security apparatus of lengthening life spans for ordinary people resulting from advances in medical science and treatment and government health programs.
As the CSIS experts explained, the human and social achievement of better health and longer life for many millions of Americans spells disaster for the American ruling class and the capitalist system. The authors of the studies insisted that action had to be taken to deal with the “crisis,” including increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to force the “young elderly,” those aged 60-69, to forgo retirement and keep working.
One of the papers, titled “The Budget Crisis and the Civil-Military Challenge to National Security Spending,” was written by Anthony H. Cordesman, a longtime CSIS strategist who acts as a consultant for the US State and Defense departments. Denouncing the siphoning of money away from the military to pay for medical care for the elderly, Cordesman wrote, “The US does not face any foreign threat as serious as its failure to come to grips with… the rise in the cost of entitlement spending.”
Behind such discussion papers are systematic studies and actuarial tables calculating the likely effectiveness in shortening life expectancy for workers—a process that is already underway—of various proposals to “reform” the health care system.
In his immortal 1845 work The Condition of the Working Class in England, Friedrich Engels accurately characterized as “social murder” the horrific conditions imposed on workers by the capitalist class, which “placed hundreds of proletarians in such as position that they inevitably meet a too early and unnatural death…”
The present crisis-ridden and bankrupt state of American and world capitalism is once again bringing to the fore the incompatibility of the profit system and the rule of a financial aristocracy with the satisfaction of human needs such as health and longevity. The health care counterrevolution in the US is a case of “social murder” at the hands of the capitalist class.



AMERICA THE ADDICTED!

How America surrendered to Mexico’s invasion, occupation and looting.


The Mexican drug cartels now control most of America’s southern borders as LA RAZA “The Race” fascist party expands Mexico’s anchor baby welfare state from border to open border.

More significant still, a former Mexican official, Jorge CastaƱeda, threatened to unleash Mexican cartels onto the U.S. to retaliate for deportations of illegal immigrants and the construction of a border wall.  



“When we get a call, the [emergency services] dispatcher will ask 

who is the person who has overdosed. And if it’s someone who 

has already been provided services twice, we’ll advise them that 

we’re not going to provide further services—and we will not send 

out an ambulance.”

Picard states openly the widespread sentiment in the American ruling class and among its political flunkeys—that the life of a working class person has a price tag, which is dropping every day.

Ohio councilman proposes “three strike policy” to let opioid overdosers die

By Genevieve Leigh
3 July 2017
A city councilman in Middletown, Ohio, Dan Picard, has proposed a “three strike” policy for people who overdose on opioids, under which those reported to have overdosed on more than two occasions would be denied emergency treatment the third time. He made the proposal at a City Council meeting on June 20.
In what would amount to state-sanctioned murder, emergency responders would not be dispatched and the opioid user would be left to die. As Picard told the Washington Post on Wednesday: “When we get a call, the [emergency services] dispatcher will ask who is the person who has overdosed. And if it’s someone who has already been provided services twice, we’ll advise them that we’re not going to provide further services—and we will not send out an ambulance.”
Like hundreds of cities and towns across the US, Middletown, located in southwestern Ohio, has been wracked by the opioid epidemic. The town, which has a population of 48,791, has already seen nearly 600 overdoses this year, which is more than it saw in all of 2016.
Defending his proposal, Picard told the press, “It’s not a proposal to solve the drug problem. My proposal is in regard to the financial survivability of our city.” He continued, “If we’re spending $2 million this year and $4 million next year and $6 million after that, we’re in trouble. We’re going to have to start laying off. We’re going to have to raise taxes.”
Picard states openly the widespread sentiment in the American ruling class and among its political flunkeys—that the life of a working class person has a price tag, which is dropping every day.
The giant pharmaceutical companies played a central role in creating the opioid epidemic. They made billions of dollars in profits by systematically and knowingly pushing highly addictive opioid medications on the population throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s.
Now the epidemic has become a concern for the ruling class, not out of any compassion for those who suffer, but because it is creating a financial burden for the state. The proposals currently working their way through Congress to drastically reduce the availability of medical care for the working class, particularly by gutting Medicaid, the primary source of funding for the treatment of drug addiction, are calculated to accomplish on a national scale what Picard is proposing for Middletown.
Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies continue to profit from the crisis. Part of the reason emergency care for those who overdose on opioids is so expensive is that the price of the “miracle drug” Naloxone (trade name Narcan), used to revive users from overdoses, has skyrocketed over the past decade. The popular injectable version of the drug has gone from $0.92 a dose to more than $15 since 2007. An auto-injector version is now up to more than $2,000 a dose.
The pharmaceutical companies’ price-gouging, combined with the increase in demand, has caused revenues from the sale of Naloxone to jump from $21.3 million in 2011 to $81.9 million last year, according to data from the prescription-tracking company IMS Health. It is now costing state and local governments much more money to save lives.
Picard pointed to this in a statement defending his proposal, saying, “I want to send a message to the world that you don’t want to come to Middletown to overdose because someone might not come with Narcan and save your life. We need to put a fear about overdosing in Middletown.” He continued, “John Smith obviously doesn’t care much about his life, but he’s expending a lot of resources and we can’t afford it.”
As with all social problems, the opioid epidemic is treated by the political establishment as the result of the personal failings of individuals. In fact, it, and drug abuse more generally, are the result of the increasingly dire social conditions facing broad masses of the people, under conditions of unprecedented and growing levels of social inequality. These conditions are themselves rooted in the rapacious drive of the pharmaceutical corporations and the corporate-financial elite in general for profit, intensified by the worsening crisis of the capitalist system.
Picard’s homicidal proposal has evoked an angry response from the public. Middletown City Manager Douglas Adkins wrote in a blog post Wednesday about the overwhelming backlash. “We’ve received hate mail, national news coverage and overloaded voice mail and email in-boxes,” he said.
Many health care organizations, recovery centers and advocacy groups have spoken out against Picard’s plan. Truth Pharm, a nonprofit organization that seeks to raise awareness of the issues surrounding substance abuse, released an open letter to Picard denouncing his proposal.
Alexis Pleus, the founder of Truth Pharm, wrote in the letter: “In short, our goal is to save lives, so, needless to say, we were more than appalled by your recent proposition to refuse medical treatment to overdose patients. It pains and infuriates us to see how easily you have turned human lives into dollar signs and an impact on your budget… To suggest that you withhold emergency medical response to overdose patients is manslaughter at best and premeditated murder at worst.”
Pleus spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the issues raised by Picard’s proposal. On the use of Naloxone as a solution, Pleus explained: “At first, Naloxone and Narcan seemed like a pretty fast and cheap solution to save lives. And that was true to a point. It is still a very important tool we have to help people.
“The problem is that they have never dedicated the follow-up... There is no governmental body that has given the proper resources necessary to complement the use of Naloxone. It is not a fix in itself, is not a cure to the epidemic. We set ourselves up for frustration because we keep using this life-saving device but don’t ever get to the root causes of addiction. I think ultimately the fault goes right back to each state government and the federal government as a whole.”
Pleus told reporters she wasn’t surprised that lawmakers would propose a measure not aimed at addressing the epidemic but rather at saving money. “Look at how easy it is to get legislation to pass when there is money to be made,” she said. “But try and get something through that simply helps people--it just won’t happen…this problem does not have a quick cheap fix. But still, all the while, the pharmaceutical companies are profiting, profiting, profiting.”
When asked how President Trump’s new health care plan might affect the opioid problem, Pleus said, “It will be absolutely devastating.” She continued: “At our organization we try and help people find treatment. About 80 percent of those we help have Medicaid. If they repeal it, I cannot even fathom what we will do. The new plan also will not mandate addiction treatment as part of insurance coverage. I can’t imagine turning away eight of ten people and telling them there is nothing we can do.”


HEROIN: are you addicted yet?

1 in 7 Legals are!

HEROIN!  Mexico’s Gift to Occupied Aztlan America!


The LA RAZA drug cartels haul back $100 BILLION from heroin sales.

More significant still, a former Mexican official, Jorge CastaƱeda, threatened to unleash Mexican cartels onto the U.S. to retaliate for deportations of illegal immigrants and the construction of a border wall.  

AMERICA THE ADDICTED: 1 in 7 are addicted
CAUTION: GRAPHIC IMAGES!
MEXICO’S BIGGEST EXPORTS TO U.S.: Heroin, Criminals, Anchor baby breeders for 18 years of gringo-paid welfare.


AMERICA’S BLUDGEONED YOUTH: Homeless, Hopeless and Addicted…. Will they start the revolution?


"Public education as a whole came under brutal attack as part of the Obama administration’s effort to shift the burden of the financial crisis onto the backs of the working class."

AMERICA THE ADDICTED: 1 in 7 are addicted
CAUTION: GRAPHIC IMAGES!
MEXICO’S BIGGEST EXPORTS TO U.S.: Heroin, Criminals, Anchor baby breeders for 18 years of gringo-paid welfare.


 

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