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Another Obamacare glitch: Landmark study shows Medicaid causes ‘no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes’

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

I’m not sure if this counts as one those health care “glitches and bumps,” President Obama talked about the other day. But whatever term you choose, it’s hardly a good harbinger for Obamacare and its dramatic Medicaid expansion.

New results from the Oregon Health Study — a “landmark study” in the words of The New York Times – comparing thousands of low-income people in Oregon who received Medicaid access with those who didn’t found that “Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes in the first 2 years, but it did increase use of health care services, raise rates of diabetes detection and management, lower rates of depression, and reduce financial strain.”

“It’s disappointing,” Zeke Emanuel, a former Obama health policy adviser, told The Washington Post.

Let’s be clear: A randomized control study — what the NYTimes calls “the gold standard in medical and scientific research” — found that the program responsible for half of Obamacare’s insurance coverage expansion (at the cost of $1 trillion) didn’t make people healthier in any key ways.

More: “We found no significant effect of Medicaid coverage on the prevalence or diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol levels or on the use of medication for these conditions.” (Even worse, a preliminary version of this study was used by Obamacare proponents to argue for states expanding Medicaid.)

Again, the Medicaid expansion is, in the words of the Center for American Progress, “a centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” And it doesn’t appear to make people healthier in the way proponents had hoped.

Oh, the Medicaid recipients used more health care services and felt happier and experienced less financial hardship. Not insignificant impacts — but these were not the big health care selling points by Obamacrats. It’s like returning a lemon to an autodealer and having the sales guy talk up the car’s great air conditioning and the sound system. The researchers running the study are talking up those positive results, but that is just a game effort to turn lemons into lemonade

A few other observations:

1. This is not the first time something like this has happened. During the run up to the health care battle, Team Obama argued that reform could cut $700 billion from US health care spending — a claim based on a study that later came under fire.

2. So if Medicaid spending doesn’t boost health outcomes, how can Paul Ryan’s Medicaid block-granting “cuts” hurt health outcomes?

3. Health economists Aaron Carroll and Austin Frakt argue that the study didn’t “show that Medicaid harms people, or that the ACA is a failure, or that anything supporters of Medicaid have said is a lie. Moreover, it certainly didn’t show that private insurance or Medicare succeeds in ways that Medicaid fails.”

No, but perhaps it’s time for another controlled study, one on the best ways to help low-income people get the health care services they need. And maybe that involves less government and more choice, competition, and personal responsibility.

34 thoughts on “Another Obamacare glitch: Landmark study shows Medicaid causes ‘no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes’

  1. Rand Study – similar results.

    Hmmm… maybe we ought to rethink this whole “prepaid” idea of abusing insurance programs – whether privately or publicly funded – to pay for health care.

    Dr. Drew Foy: “[w]e know from the Rand Study that individuals with ‘low premium’ coverage consumed LESS care than those with ‘comprehensive’ coverage but experienced no difference in outcomes. As this was a relatively short social experiment, the reduction in costs is not likely related to pricing mechanisms related to comprehensive coverage but rather, related to over-consumption of services. This is a critical point in my opinion that consumer-driven or low-premium high-deductible coverage would address.”

    http://bit.ly/ziaEkz

    Maybe if we stopped focusing on “low-income” people, the “uninsured”, etc., and started focusing on real solutions to bring the cost of health care ITSELF back into equilibrium with other necessities of life, the “low income” people might have an easier time of dealing with the issue. Because at the rate health care costs are being encouraged to skyrocket thanks to government meddling, pretty soon it won’t matter which income bracket one is in – access will be limited to only the very wealthy or the very well-connected.

    • “Maybe if we stopped focusing on “low-income” people, the “uninsured”, etc., and started focusing on real solutions to bring the cost of health care ITSELF back into equilibrium with other necessities of life, the “low income” people might have an easier time of dealing with the issue.”

      Agreed, but the leftists will fight any such common sense reforms tooth and nail. It’s not about health care, it’s about free stuff and equalizing outcomes.

  2. For Carroll and Frakt: Yes, Medicaid under Obamacare/Abysmalcare will harm people. Medicaid only pays doctors 22% of reasonable billed amounts. Private insurance cheats doctors by paying 55-60%. They get away with this because the insurance companies own the patients. And Medicare pays 26 cents on the dollar…generally below overhead for a doctor’s office, and so bad that 30% of doctors cannot afford to see any Medicare patient, and do not. Many other doctors limit the number of Medicare patients they will see, for the same reason.
    So…In Massachusetts, under Romneycare, and with the same low reimbursement, patients are waiting longer to be seen. This will of course happen if more patients are put into an expanded Medicaid program…the reimbursement level for Obamacare. Obama and Congress are already cheating doctors by failing to pay them fairly under Medicare. And, as you see, Medicaid is worse.

    • Funny how AEI does not advocate more competition among providers, including giving nurse practitioners and pharmacists authority to write scripts. Is there any reason under the sun that getting a tetanus shot or a routine vaccination requires a doctor’s visit?

      Periodic access to heathcare, which is what Medicaid becomes, is not a reliable gauge of long-term access. And long-term access does not address the problem of destructive personal habits like smoking and overeating. Progress here, as in school reform, is a long slog.

      • Why would anyone in their right mind suggest that APRNs or Pharmacists WRITE prescriptions. We have an overmedicated population as it is!! We need LESS unnecessary health care consumption, not more.

        Progress here will only be achieved by rolling back decades of central planning applied to the way we pay for health care, which has encouraged the cost to skyrocket so severely that fewer and fewer people can afford it without spreading the cost around to others in their insurance plan. If that skyrocketing trend isn’t reversed, no “reform” is ever going to be enough.

        • There is no evidence that nurse practitioners would be more willing than docs to overmedicate. In Europe, you take your sniffles to the apothecary and get antibiotics on the spot. There is also no evidence that Europeans have immunity iissues that we don’t.

          • Way to miss the point on two levels…

            First, there is no evidence that APRNs are qualified to be writing prescriptions in the first place, much less pharmacists. Neither have the medical training or experience a doctor must achieve (through medical school, internship, etc.), I don’t care what the socially-suicidal folks in the doomed EU are doing.

            Second, once you open up Rx-writing to APRNs and pharmacists nationwide (APRNs can already do this in some States, sadly), you have automatically increased the amount of drugs being prescribed, simply by increasing the number of prescribers.

            We already have psych meds being handed out like candy after a 15-minute “consultation” by licensed M.D.s . Similarly, they’re now foisting “pre-diabetes”, “pre-hypertension” and statins meds onto perfectly healthy individuals as a “preventative” treatment. The idea of opening that potential for abuse up to APRNs and pharmacists is, in a word, insane.

          • Way to miss the point on all levels. We’re talking limited authority: immunizations, antibiotics, ointments — you know, the stuff that generates the majority of office visits. That way the doc gets paid for consults that require training — unless of course your concern is simply getting paid as often as possible.

            I saw an Austrian pharmacist prescribe — the sum total of my experience. He asked enough questions to determine bacteria or virus — hardly rocket science. My daughter was up and skiiing 24 hours later.

          • All levels? Really? How so? Oh… you never actually stated.

            In reality, now you’re just backpedaling. Your initial suggestion makes no such stipulations. And they’re irrelevant anyway. Americans are already way overmedicated, in part thanks to rampant DTC advertising, in part due to doctors’ conflict of interests (pharma benefits encourage more prescriptions, not fewer). We regularly have children, adolescents and teen-agers being prescribed psych meds, statins and other drugs that have only ever been tested on mature adults with fully-formed brains – despite the fact that there is no data showing what this does to brain maturation. Turning the Rx-writing keys over to LESS-qualified individuals in such an environment isn’t going to improve health. Just the opposite. Meanwhile, it will increase health care consumption, thereby increasing prices, not reduce cost. Why? Because insurance companies will STILL be setting reimbursement rates, and their inclination is to allow prices to steadily increase. Why? Because it only increases their cash flow and the cost is simply passed to the consumer as a premium increase. This is the mechanism that has allowed health care costs to skyrocket.

            You want competition between providers? The only way to achieve that is to restore the economic relationship between health care consumer and provider that keeps prices relatively affordable for EVERY necessity of life except for health care (which, non-coincidentally, is the only consumable we pay for by abusing a comprehensive insurance policy). And there is only one way to achieve that: legislatively eliminate comprehensive health care insurance plans and go back to a combination of catastrophic plans (preventing medical bankruptcy), tax-exempt (for ALL income brackets) health savings accounts and direct-pay arrangements between consumers and providers.

            http://bit.ly/ziaEkz

          • re: ” tax-exempt (for ALL income brackets) ”

            how would that affect income tax revenues if health care costs don’t go down but instead keep going up?

            wouldn’t that drive down income tax revenues for the rest of the budget?

            Can you name another country in the world that does what you advocate or some version of it?

          • So you’re one of these folks who seems to think government has a right to our income?? Huh. I’d have thought that taking money from wasteful, fraudulent, bureaucracy-ridden, unaccountable, overweening government – and putting it instead to use directly for the benefit of those who actually earned it – would be a good thing. You say no?

            And how are other countries relevant? Can you name one country that is presently cannibalizing the largest free market economy in human history in order to create a welfare state? Explain how the rules of other countries apply here.

          • “So you’re one of these folks who seems to think government has a right to our income?? Huh. I’d have thought that taking money from wasteful, fraudulent, bureaucracy-ridden, unaccountable, overweening government – and putting it instead to use directly for the benefit of those who actually earned it – would be a good thing. You say no?”

            well you have to pay the bills, right! Can’t have the largest national defense in the world, 10 times over for free.

            “And how are other countries relevant? Can you name one country that is presently cannibalizing the largest free market economy in human history in order to create a welfare state? Explain how the rules of other countries apply here.”

            do you think that all the industrialized countries in the world are welfare states that are dismantling their free market economies?

            Not even the Heritage folks believe that, given their rankings of countries with the most economic freedom:

            http://www.heritage.org/index/

            Singapore is rated number one by the way and they have a payroll tax, individual mandate twice as high as ours, everyone has to have insurance, and the govt tells health care providers what they can charge – and they pay less than 1/2 what we do per person..

            so my question was – are there countries that do better than the industrialized countries… on these issues?

            looks to me that the only countries that don’t have payroll taxes and UHC are 3rd world countries, right?

          • - well you have to pay the bills, right!

            Yep. And that will be a lot easier to do once the federal government has been pared back to the spending it is constitutionally authorize to engage in. Like defense. As things are proceeding, that’s going to happen either through default or collapse, if it’s not driven by demand of the electorate first.

            - do you think that all the industrialized countries in the world are welfare states that are dismantling their free market economies?

            No, they aren’t. That’s exactly my point. No nation on the face of the earth is undergoing – or has ever undergone – the transition from largest free market economy in human history to a hyper-regulated welfare state filled with citizen-subjects who are pathologically and generationally dependent upon the state (read: that minority of citizens who still pay taxes) for some form of welfare or entitlement benefit. As such, what any other country has done or is doing with respect to health care is utterly irrelevant.

          • “- well you have to pay the bills, right!

            Yep. And that will be a lot easier to do once the federal government has been pared back to the spending it is constitutionally authorize to engage in. Like defense. As things are proceeding, that’s going to happen either through default or collapse, if it’s not driven by demand of the electorate first.”

            but National Defense currently spends a trillion and we only take in about 1.4T total in taxes.

            “- do you think that all the industrialized countries in the world are welfare states that are dismantling their free market economies?

            No, they aren’t. That’s exactly my point. No nation on the face of the earth is undergoing – or has ever undergone – the transition from largest free market economy in human history to a hyper-regulated welfare state filled with citizen-subjects who are pathologically and generationally dependent upon the state (read: that minority of citizens who still pay taxes) for some form of welfare or entitlement benefit. As such, what any other country has done or is doing with respect to health care is utterly irrelevant.”

            so none of the other industrialized countries with Universal Health Care UHC are welfare states that once were free market economies?

            if all the other industrialized countries in the world can provide UHC for their citizens and we do not – why is that not relevant?

            we are the ONLY industrialized country in the world that does not do that. isn’t that relevant if health care costs are going to consume 1/3 of our GDP?

          • - but National Defense currently spends a trillion and we only take in about 1.4T total in taxes.

            And…? Sounds like that leaves plenty for the rest of the stuff the feds are actually constitutionally authorized to spend money on.

            - so none of the other industrialized countries with Universal Health Care UHC are welfare states that once were free market economies?

            Maybe they were. But if you’re claiming they’re relevant to the U.S.’ policies in any way, you didn’t read what I wrote. Or didn’t understand it.

            - we are the ONLY industrialized country in the world that does not do that.

            Oh don’t be ridiculous. Of course we do. As presently administered, comprehensive health care insurance is socialized medicine where care is pre-paid and the costs are spread out over the entire rate-paying membership. From the consumer’s standpoint it’s no different from single-payer UHC, as the contribution toward the plan is deducted from earnings before employees ever see it. That this is all managed by private enterprise doesn’t change the fact, since it’s been highly regulated (read: actively encouraged) by the state for decades. Those not directly covered by such plans are provided care through Medicare, Medicaid and a host of other welfare/entitlement programs funded by Taxpayers (on TOP of what they contribute toward their OWN care) and managed by the state.

          • - but National Defense currently spends a trillion and we only take in about 1.4T total in taxes.

            And…? Sounds like that leaves plenty for the rest of the stuff the feds are actually constitutionally authorized to spend money on.

            but that’s simply not the current fiscal nor political reality.

            “- so none of the other industrialized countries with Universal Health Care UHC are welfare states that once were free market economies?

            Maybe they were. But if you’re claiming they’re relevant to the U.S.’ policies in any way, you didn’t read what I wrote. Or didn’t understand it.”

            well they are if the US is trying to do something that no other country in the world is doing except for 3rd world countries.

            “- we are the ONLY industrialized country in the world that does not do that.

            Oh don’t be ridiculous. Of course we do. As presently administered, comprehensive health care insurance is socialized medicine where care is pre-paid and the costs are spread out over the entire rate-paying membership.

            pre-paid? how so?

            Medicare (Parts B,C and D) and MedicAid are not pre-paid – right? Nor is the VA nor TRICARE….

            “From the consumer’s standpoint it’s no different from single-payer UHC, as the contribution toward the plan is deducted from earnings before employees ever see it. ”

            only for Medicare Part A (hospitalization). the rest is heavily subsidized and it does not cover everyone.

            “That this is all managed by private enterprise doesn’t change the fact, since it’s been highly regulated (read: actively encouraged) by the state for decades. Those not directly covered by such plans are provided care through Medicare, Medicaid and a host of other welfare/entitlement programs funded by Taxpayers (on TOP of what they contribute toward their OWN care) and managed by the state.”

            no.. Able-bodied people are not eligible for MedicAid unless they are seriously sick and destitute which contributes to the high costs – because people who do not get regular care do not catch diseases early when they can be treated less expensively.

            this is why we pay twice as much as the other industrialized countries for health care and our total health care costs are going to consume 1/3 of our GDP if we don’t get our costs down to what the other countries have done.

            that WILL make us less and less competitive to other countries, right?

            I’m familiar with your point of view. It’s fairly common in this blog – and I’m always trying to better understand it because it appears that we’re trying to have a system of which there is no other one like it in the world except for 3rd world countries – and perhaps what this country was like a hundred years ago.

            so you believe that we should do what – exactly….???

            get rid of MediAid and Medicare, and EMTALA?

          • - that’s simply not the current fiscal nor political reality.

            See above. Reality is going to change either pro-actively or reactively. And the window is closing fast on that first option. If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.

            - well they are if the US is trying to do something that no other country in the world is doing except for 3rd world countries.

            This is hyperbolic nonsense, and still completely missing the point.

            - pre-paid? how so?

            Pre-paid in the sense that SOMEONE pays for the health care BEFORE it’s consumed. Taxpayers and premium payers contribute money to policies and programs to put them in place BEFORE those programs cover costs. Consumers’ health care expenses are already *covered* by comprehensive plans before they go for care. That is, in point of fact, what “coverage” means: one knows it’s paid for BEFORE incurring the expense. I.e., pre-paid.

            - no.. Able-bodied people are not eligible for MedicAid

            Heh. Not sure what world you live in. You’ll have to explain to all the perfectly able-bodied – albeit chronically unemployed – individuals here in my State who have all found ways to make copious use of this program how they weren’t eligible for it.

            - this is why we pay twice as much as the other industrialized countries

            Absolutely wrong. We pay multiple times that of other countries – at rates of increase in cost that are MULTIPLE that of inflation – because the cost of health care here has been actively encouraged to skyrocket due to decades of government meddling in the way we pay for it – influenced by politicians, the AMA and insurance companies who all benefit.

            - I’m familiar with your point of view.

            Not hardly. You’re clearly familiar with a straw man point of view you’re projecting because it’s easy to poke holes in.

            - so you believe that we should do what – exactly….???

            Sorry, that’s not something one can sound-bite or blog-comment: http://bit.ly/ziaEkz

          • - that’s simply not the current fiscal nor political reality.

            See above. Reality is going to change either pro-actively or reactively. And the window is closing fast on that first option. If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.

            I guess when I see the cuts .. to include both national defense and entitlements, I’ll believe it. Until then, I just don’t see it happening.

            “- well they are if the US is trying to do something that no other country in the world is doing except for 3rd world countries.

            This is hyperbolic nonsense, and still completely missing the point.”

            well no. how easy will it be to convince both houses of Congress and the POTUS to sign something that will be that different from now? that’s not hyperbolic. that’s a reality.

            - pre-paid? how so?

            “Pre-paid in the sense that SOMEONE pays for the health care BEFORE it’s consumed. Taxpayers and premium payers contribute money to policies and programs to put them in place BEFORE those programs cover costs. ”

            well no.. they pay a monthly premium which comes no where close to paying for say a bypass or knee replacement. that money comes from others.

            “Consumers’ health care expenses are already *covered* by comprehensive plans before they go for care. That is, in point of fact, what “coverage” means: one knows it’s paid for BEFORE incurring the expense. I.e., pre-paid.”

            well you pay a monthly premium – rather than building up a fund ahead of time to use when you encounter the expense. Only those with HSAs will be able to do that. Most folks with employer-provided insurance do not really pre-pay.. they just pay a monthly premium for “insurance” – like you do with car insurance and when you have a wreck, they pay ..an amount that often far exceeds what you “pre-paid” in premiums.

            “- no.. Able-bodied people are not eligible for MedicAid

            Heh. Not sure what world you live in. You’ll have to explain to all the perfectly able-bodied – albeit chronically unemployed – individuals here in my State who have all found ways to make copious use of this program how they weren’t eligible for it.”

            in Virginia, if you are able-bodied and do not have kids, you are not eligible for MedicAid unless you are destitute and have gone to the ER with a life-threatening illness. You cannot just visit a doctor not even to get normal screenings, etc…. only AFTER you become sick can you then get care.

            “- this is why we pay twice as much as the other industrialized countries

            Absolutely wrong. We pay multiple times that of other countries – at rates of increase in cost that are MULTIPLE that of inflation – because the cost of health care here has been actively encouraged to skyrocket due to decades of government meddling in the way we pay for it – influenced by politicians, the AMA and insurance companies who all benefit.”

            so how do you fix that? the other countries fixed it by making everyone pay into the system and in return they get health care.

            “- I’m familiar with your point of view.

            Not hardly. You’re clearly familiar with a straw man point of view you’re projecting because it’s easy to poke holes in.

            - so you believe that we should do what – exactly….???

            Sorry, that’s not something one can sound-bite or blog-comment: http://bit.ly/ziaEkz

            thanks for your blog link!

            so how about a basic framework?

            would you get rid of tax-free employer provided health insurance?

            would you make Medicare Part B people pay what it actually costs to provide them with insurance?

            what would you do with the uninsured?

            would you deny them care at the ERs? i.e. repeal EMTALA?

            how many current members of Congress would do what you advocate?

            how would you get through Congress what you advocate?

          • what countries currently come CLOSEST to what you are advocating?

            You’d do away with the FDA and let anyone produce any drugs totally unregulated?

            would doctors have to meet any particular requirements other than satisfying the person seeking his services?

            Could hospitals require payment/proof of financial ability to pay before they admitted you?

            Once admitted, if your illness exceeded your financial ability to pay, could the hospital make you leave?

            what countries currently work this way?

          • Well, one level would be assuming that nurses and druggists should be prescribing narcotics or any drugs that require trial and error (blood pressure, mood stabilizer.) Level 2 would be assuming that a typical gp visit would require either of the above. Level three would be insisting on one hand, that consumers can manage their own health, but on the other aren’t smart enough to get a tetanus shot without a doctor’s blessing. Level 4 would be assuming that consumers in life-threatening circumstances — that is to say, when the real bucks are spent — won’t pay any price necessary.

          • Again – your original suggestion made no stipulations regarding these “levels” you’re backpedaling into.

            No matter. Given the current situation, there’s no compelling evidence that allowing APRNs and pharmacists to write scripts would improve health outcomes OR lead to cost reduction. None.

          • Well, I thought you’d manifest some common sense. Apparently you can’t.

      • And look: all that without any evidence they’re actually prescribing – or need to prescribe – meds. Huh. Funny.

        Yes, there are plenty of things APRNs do outside of what’s considered traditional nursing capacities. Playing doctor by prescribing meds isn’t one of them, however.

  3. “Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes in the first 2 years, but it did increase use of health care services, raise rates of diabetes detection and management, lower rates of depression, and reduce financial strain.”

    The second half of the sentence seems to contradict the first half.

    • I believe that’s because by “significant” they mean “statistically significant” rather than the colloquial meaning of the term. Statistical significance is heavily affected by number of observations, and two years in there aren’t a lot of observations.

      • it’s sort of like you could pick any subset demographic that did not get regular care and “prove” with 2 years of observations that regular care did not make a difference in their health stats.

        Would you get the same results if you chose the demographic that was getting regular care all along?

        so the conclusion of the study is that regular health care has no effect over not getting regular care?

  4. the premise seems to be that low income/poor people if they don’t get regular/routine care that they health won’t be any worse.

    think about that for a minute especially in the context of people who are not poor and who DO see a doctor on a regular basis – and that doctor does routine screening to catch diseases in the early stages when they are not only treatable for better outcomes and less expense.

    then we turn around and basically say that a “landmark” study essentially “proves” that this idea is wrongheaded – but only for the poor.

    this is the kind of looney tune thinking going on now days even by folks who are supposedly thinking clearly about it.

    the other part of this seems to be that when the poor Do get sick and do not receive early intervention that they will just go off and die in the bushes without ever darkening the ER entrance door.

    We know this – in 30 other countries – early screening and early intervention leads to better and less expensive outcomes for all – no matter what demographic you occupy.

    But in America? if you are poor – your health situation doesn’t work the same way as the not poor – and in fact, it will cost a whole hell of a lot more money to care for the poor than the rich on a per person basis.

    the mere fact that we pay, on average, twice as much per capita for health care in this country than every other industrialized country on the planet – does not seem to faze those whose thinking is portrayed here.

    It’s like we’ve collectively taken a Jim Jones approach to this except instead of cyanide, we just use stupid pills.

    • Heya Lar, here’s an idea: you think about that for a minute.

      Is there more or less government interference in healthcare than there was 20 years ago?

      Has the cost gone up, or down, Lar?

      Given that, and the complete government takeover of healthcare (Obamascare), are costs and premiums going up or down right now Lar?

      Is more better, or less, Lar?

      I’m hopeful you can get the answer to 1 of these questions correct, though I doubt your cognitive ability to ace them….

      • re:

        ” Heya Lar, here’s an idea: you think about that for a minute.

        Is there more or less government interference in healthcare than there was 20 years ago?”

        you mean here are in Singapore? both.

        Has the cost gone up, or down, Lar?

        it’s gone way, way down in Singapore where the
        govt got involved.

        “Given that, and the complete government takeover of healthcare (Obamascare), are costs and premiums going up or down right now Lar?”

        you mean if more people have access to health care like they do in Singapore, the cost will go up not down?

        how can it work that way in Singapore and 30 other industrialized countries and not here?

        Is more better, or less, Lar?

        it’s better in Singapore and the 30 other countries that have the govt involved, right?

        “I’m hopeful you can get the answer to 1 of these questions correct, though I doubt your cognitive ability to ace them…”

        Perhaps you can explain why the other countries pay less than we do…..

  5. “We found no significant effect of Medicaid coverage on the prevalence or diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol levels or on the use of medication for these conditions.”

    Well, duh, at least in regards to cholesterol. Statins are toxic, creating new problems while mostly masking the problem they purport to resolve:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Cholesterol-Myth-Disease-/dp/1592335217/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367504254&sr=8-1&keywords=cholesterol+myth

    • Precisely!

      Check the result of the Zetia trials. There is no causal relationship between cholesterol and heart disease. Meanwhile, artificially lowered cholesterol is associated with aggressive behavior (see Hillbrand, et al.). Makes on go hmmm…

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