A State Of Panic Hits The Globe As Cases Of China’s New Mystery Virus Rise Exponentially

This is already becoming the worst public health scare that we have seen in many years, and experts are warning that we are still in the very early chapters of this crisis.  Officials are fairly certain that the spread of this mysterious new coronavirus began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and as you will see below, measures are now being implemented to try to isolate that city from the rest of China.  But it is already too late, because cases have already been reported in other major Chinese cities, and the virus has also already traveled to a whole bunch of foreign countries via airplane.  Cases have been reported in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia and now there has even been one case in the United States.  It is being estimated that this virus has an incubation period of about a week, and so the truth is that countless others could be spreading it around right now without even realizing it.

There is so much that we still don’t know about this disease, but what we do know is that there were 48 confirmed cases on January 17th and now there are 440

Chinese officials have just held a press conference that was anything but the usual CDC “everything’s ok” statement. The particularly ominous warning that the virus is mutating and spreading is perhaps due to the poor handling of the SARS breakout in 2002/3 which was marked by cover-ups and official reluctance to share information.

Li Bin, vice head of China’s National Health Commission, confirmed there are 440 confirmed coronavirus cases in this new outbreak and there have been 9 deaths. Some 1,394 patients are under medical observation.

What this means is that the number of confirmed cases has gotten nine times higher in just four days.

Needless to say, this is creating a tremendous amount of panic.  In China, a lot of people are completely shying away from public places at this point…

“I don’t really dare to go to the airport right now, or even to the movie theater,” said Xie Jing, 33, who works in advertising in Shanghai, where there have been two confirmed cases of coronavirus. She canceled her planned trip home to Sichuan, where two cases are suspected.

“Everyone is being very careful at the moment in Shanghai. Everyone is wearing masks on the streets,” Xie said.

Sadly, the demand for masks is far greater than the supply, and some sellers have decided to make a quick profit by selling them “for more than 10 times their original price”

Several unscrupulous sellers who bought up masks en bulk are now managing to sell them for more than 10 times their original price. Some retailers were selling the masks for as much as 40 yuan ($7), a more than 10-fold mark-up. Users of Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter, warned anybody planning to travel to instead consider staying home, and repeatedly washing their hands.

According to certain sites that track prices of Chinese goods, the masks typically sell for 53 cents.

We haven’t seen this sort of panic since the days of the bird flu scare, and Chinese citizens are demanding action.

Unfortunately, there isn’t that much that can be done at this point.  Chinese officials are taking some steps to try to isolate Wuhan from the rest of the country, but many are skeptical that these measures will really make that much of a difference…

Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, announced a series of new measures Tuesday, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, which had been expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

Tour agencies have been banned from taking groups out of Wuhan and the number of thermal monitors and screening areas in public spaces will be increased. Traffic police will also conduct spot checks on private vehicles coming in and out of the city to look for live poultry or wild animals, after the virus was linked to a seafood and live animal market, according to a report by state media outlet the People’s Daily, citing Wuhan’s Municipal Health Commission.

There are about 11 million people living in and around Wuhan.  Cancelling a few events and performing sporadic “spot checks” is not going to keep this virus from spreading.

And of course the fact that this virus has already spread to a bunch of other countries is really alarming officials all over the globe.  North Korea has already “closed its borders to foreign tourists”, and other nations may soon follow suit.

In addition, airports all over the world are stepping up their screening efforts

Authorities in several countries, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan. US authorities last week announced similar measures at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. They have now announced plans to introduce similar measures at airports in Chicago and Atlanta this week.

Unfortunately, this virus has already arrived in the United States via airplane.  A resident of Washington state brought it back from China on January 15th, and he didn’t contact a health professional until January 19th

U.S. officials said the man, a resident of Snohomish County, Wash., returned Jan. 15 from a trip to the region around Wuhan. Shortly after arriving at Seattle’s international airport, he began feeling ill and reached out to his health-care provider on Sunday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Monday the man had the coronavirus – which has sickened more than 400 people in China and others in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

During the intervening days, how many others caught this virus from that particular individual?

And are they now spreading it to those that they are interacting with?

According to the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, “we should expect to see additional cases in the U.S. and certainly around the world” in the days ahead.

In other words, you better buckle up because this crisis is going to get worse.

2020 was already promising to be a major turning point, and now we potentially have a very serious worldwide health crisis to contend with.

Global events are really starting to accelerate, and I have a feeling that a whole lot more drama is on the way.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Mysterious New “SARS-Like Virus” That Is Killing People In China Has Now Spread To Japan

On top of everything else that has happened so far in 2020, a very mysterious “SARS-like virus” that doctors have never seen before is causing grave concern among global health officials.  It has been identified as “a coronavirus”, but that category covers a very broad range of illnesses.  If you have a common cold right now, it was caused by a coronavirus.  But SARS and MERS also came from the same virus family, and those two outbreaks made headlines all over the world.  In 2002 and 2003, SARS infected more than 8,000 people worldwide, and more than 700 of them ended up dying.  Global health officials are hoping that what we are now facing won’t be any worse than that, but at this point they just don’t know enough about this mysterious new virus to make any firm projections.

What we do know is that this outbreak just started, and China has just announced that this virus has claimed a second life.  The following comes from the BBC

A second person has died in China from a new, pneumonia-like virus, local officials have announced.

They say the death was recorded in the eastern city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began in December.

And we also know that there have been at least two cases where people have transported the virus outside of China via airplane.

The first case happened earlier this week when a woman flew from China to Thailand

The new virus, known for now as 2019-nCoV, was first identified on Jan. 7, about a week after officials first reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, WHO said.

Recently, officials reported the first “exported” case of the virus in Thailand. In that case, a resident of Wuhan got on a direct flight to Thailand along with several members of her family and a tour group, according to WHO. When the 61-year-old woman arrived at the airport, she was found to have a fever, and she was taken to the hospital where she tested positive for 2019-nCoV.

Subsequently, on Thursday we learned that a man that flew from China to Japan had also contracted the virus.  The following comes from Time Magazine

Japan’s government said Thursday a man treated for pneumonia after returning from China has tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The man developed a fever and coughs on Jan. 3 while in Wuhan, returned to Japan on Jan. 6, and was hospitalized four days later due to persistent coughs and fever, with his X-ray image showing signs of pneumonia, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.

At first, global health officials were greatly downplaying the possibility of human-to-human transmission.

But now even the World Health Organization has been forced to admit that “limited human-to-human transmission” may be happening…

There may have been limited human-to-human transmission of a new coronavirus in China within families, and it is possible there could be a wider outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

In other words, the evidence has forced them to change their tune, but they are still trying to not alarm the general public too much.

Unfortunately, the truth is that this outbreak is still very new, they have never seen this virus before, and they are still trying to figure out exactly how dangerous it is.

Hopefully this is not going to develop into a major pandemic.  Without a doubt, it is certainly possible that this whole thing could fizzle out even faster than the bird flu scare did.

But let us not forget that a horrific pandemic about 100 years ago killed between 50 million and 100 million people.  The following comes from Wikipedia

The 1918 influenza pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920; colloquially known as Spanish flu) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus.[1] It infected 500 million people around the world,[2] including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic. Probably 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million (three to five percent of Earth’s population at the time) died, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.[3][4][5]

Bill Gates has identified pandemics as one of the three greatest threats that humanity is facing, and he says that we are woefully unprepared if one were to break out today.

In fact, he says that we should be preparing for one right now as if we were preparing for war

“In the case of biological threats, that sense of urgency is lacking,” Gates said in a 2018 presentation hosted by the New England Journal of Medicine. “The world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way it prepares for war.”

Sadly, authorities will probably never make preparation a true priority until a major pandemic has already begun.

The symptoms of this new mystery virus include congestion, headache, cough and fever.

Of course those exact same symptoms are associated with the common cold.

If you have shortness of breath, chills or body aches in addition to the other symptoms, that could be an indication that you should get checked out.

But there have been no reports of this virus reaching the United States yet, and hopefully we won’t see that happen at all.

For the Chinese, this outbreak comes at a particularly bad time, because their Lunar New Year celebration is on January 25th.  Hundreds of millions of people will be traveling around China, and that could potentially accelerate the spread of the virus.

It may have been prudent for Chinese officials to completely cancel all of the festivities, but at this point there are absolutely no plans to do that.

So we will watch and see what happens.  If this particular virus doesn’t become a pandemic, scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before some other virus does.  And considering the hour in which we live, we are certainly very vulnerable to a potential pandemic right now.

Once again, I want to stress that there is no need for people in the U.S. to start freaking out about this virus just yet.  Only two people have died, and there have been no reported cases in the U.S. so far.

But as we have seen in the past, global air travel can spread a virus around the world very quickly, and authorities are still trying to figure out how dangerous this new mystery disease really is.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

ANOTHER “Bomb Cyclone” Will Bring More Flooding To Parts Of The Midwest That Were Hit By A “1,000 Year Flood” Last Month

Less than a month after a “bomb cyclone” caused a “1,000 year flood” in the middle portion of the country, another “bomb cyclone” of similar strength is going to bring even more flooding to the High Plains and Upper Midwest.  According to meteorologists, it is being projected that this new “bomb cyclone” will be “similar in intensity and in snowfall” to the last one, and the latest forecast is calling for “more than 30 inches in some areas”.  The floods that we witnessed last month absolutely devastated communities throughout the region, and now it is going to happen again.  The middle part of our nation has literally never seen anything like this happen ever before, and this is easily the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Katrina.

Before I get into the details of the latest weather forecast, let’s review what we have witnessed so far.  “At least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were under water for at least 7 days last month, according to Agriculture Secretary Sunny Purdue “as many as a million calves” were lost in the flooding in the state of Nebraska alone, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crops were destroyed.  Thousands upon thousands of farmers were financially ruined, and thousands of farmers will not be able to plant any crops at all this year.

If you can point out a worse agricultural disaster in the last 50 years in the United States, please feel free to do so.  To my knowledge, there isn’t one.

And now a second “bomb cyclone” is on the way this week.  According to CBS News, it looks like this “bomb cyclone” will produce “a blizzard of epic proportions”…

Only three weeks after a “bomb cyclone” — one of the most intense storms on record — pummeled the Plains and Midwest, another bomb cyclone of similar strength has been forecast. This spring storm seems poised to dump even heavier snow; it could also be followed by another round of significant river flooding.

Over the past few days, various forecast computer models have shown a blizzard of epic proportions for the north-central Plain States and Upper Midwest. Every time a model is updated, the storm depicted seems to get even more intense. At this point, it seems likely that some of the same areas impacted by devastating flooding just weeks ago are about to get slammed by an historic blizzard Wednesday through Friday.

Some Midwest communities already look like they have literally been through a war.

What do you think they are going to look like after another epic blizzard and more severe flooding rips through them?

If you are not familiar with the term “bomb cyclone”, here is a pretty good explanation from MSN

A bomb cyclone is a rapid drop in air pressure — at least 24 millibars in 24 hours — and often is over or near oceans or seas because it requires warm moist air smacking into cold dry air, along with volatile weather from the jet stream. The central and mountain part of the country may get one of these every few winters, said Greg Carbin, forecast branch chief for the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.

But this would be the second such storm in less than a month. The March 13 storm caused massive flooding in the Midwest, a blizzard in Colorado and Wyoming, and produced winds of between 96 mph and 110 mph (155 and 177.02 kph).

According to the National Weather Service, this new storm will dump a lot of snow on the northern Rockies on Tuesday, and from there it “will pick up in intensity as it moves into the central USA by Wednesday and into Thursday”.

The forecast is calling for the heaviest snow to fall in parts of Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.

If you will remember, Nebraska was hit by flooding unlike anything it had ever seen before last month.  And now we are being told that this new storm “will further exacerbate flooding in Nebraska”

“This blizzard will further exacerbate flooding in Nebraska with the added insult of heavy snowfall to eventually melt,” said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at the private weathermodels.com. “This is more bad news for suffering farmers who are unable to flip the calendar on winter.”

Even before this storm, the National Weather Service was warning that there would be “above-average precipitation across much of the Lower 48” over the next few months and that 200 million Americans were at risk of being affected by flooding.

But nobody was expecting another “bomb cyclone” to come so soon.

I have been repeatedly warning my readers that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable and that global weather patterns are really starting to go haywire.  We are seeing things happen that we have never seen before, and what I have shared in this article is yet another example.

Since January 1st, the middle portion of the country has already received approximately twice the precipitation that it normally does, and that doesn’t even count the precipitation from the “bomb cyclone” that is about to strike.

The crop losses that we have already witnessed are absolutely staggering, and now we are about to get hit with another severe blow.

Earlier today I went to the grocery store, and I was stunned by the high prices.

But the truth is that this is as low as food prices are going to get.  A series of catastrophic events threatens to significantly reduce global food production this year.  If you doubt this, just check out what has been happening in China.

We like to think that we are immune to the forces of nature that have played havoc with other societies throughout human history, but we aren’t.

Right now we are watching a great human tragedy play out in the middle portion of the country, but since we depend on them to grow much of our food, the truth is that we are all going to be feeling the pain of this tragedy in the months ahead.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

A Drug Resistant “Super Fungus” Kills Nearly Half The People It Infects – And It Is Spreading Across America

The medical community knew that a day of reckoning was coming.  For years, they were repeatedly warned that the rampant overuse of certain types of medications would result in the development of “super diseases” that we would not be able to stop, and now that day has arrived.  Just like many types of bacteria, fungi have also been developing defenses against our most effective modern medicines.  One in particular, a fungus known as Candida auris, is now a massive public health threat.  An expert quoted by the New York Times has admitted that it is “pretty much unbeatable”, it spreads very easily, and it kills close to 50 percent of the people that it infects.  In other words, we are in the early chapters of a medical horror show of our own making, and there is no way out.

Candida auris (or C. auris for short) spreads most easily among those with weakened immune systems.  Infants, seniors, smokers and diabetics are among the most vulnerable.

About a year ago, a senior was admitted to a hospital in Brooklyn, and what doctors discovered after running a blood test absolutely stunned them

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious.

Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe.

Like so many others that get infected, the elderly man died, but before he did C. auris had literally spread to every surface in his entire room

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.

“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump,” said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president. “The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.”

But unlike other major potential health threats, C. auris is not confined to a particular geographic region.

According to a top official from the CDC, the fungus has quickly spread all over the globe, and “now it is everywhere”.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

“It is a creature from the black lagoon,” said the CDC’s Dr. Tom Chiller, who heads the fungal branch. “It bubbled up and now it is everywhere.

In the last five years alone, it it has swept through a hospital in Spain, hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, spread throughout India, Pakistan and South Africa, and forced a prestigious British medical center to close its ICU for nearly two weeks.

We do not currently have any way to defeat C. auris.

Perhaps some day we will, but for now it will always be with us.  We just need to hope that the number of people that it kills is minimized.

The following are three reasons why the CDC is so concerned with this fungus

  1. It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
  2. It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
  3. It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.

If you become infected, there is a really good chance that you are going to die.

Among one group of clinical case patients in New York, 45 percent of them died within 90 days…

The Centers for Disease Control said it “identified 51 clinical case-patients and 61 screening case-patients” in New York alone. The CDC reported 45% of the clinical case-patients died within 90 days.

But until this latest New York Times report, the general public had not been allowed to hear much about C. auris, and that was by design.  Apparently the authorities felt that “there is no point in scaring patients”

This hushed panic is playing out in hospitals around the world. Individual institutions and national, state and local governments have been reluctant to publicize outbreaks of resistant infections, arguing there is no point in scaring patients — or prospective ones.

Dr. Silke Schelenz, Royal Brompton’s infectious disease specialist, found the lack of urgency from the government and hospital in the early stages of the outbreak “very, very frustrating.”

So we have been left totally in the dark about a “super fungus” that could potentially kill millions of us.

This is yet another example that shows that we are not going to be able to rely on the authorities when things really hit the fan.  If it suits their purposes, they will keep things quiet even when people are dropping dead all around us.

And there isn’t just one version of C. auris that the medical community has to contend with.  Apparently there are four distinct versions, and they are all incredibly deadly.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know if you have been infected.  The main symptoms are a fever, aches and fatigue, and those symptoms are common to a whole host of different illnesses.

Of course those that do not know that they have been infected also don’t know that they are spreading it either.

The experts assure us that C. auris spreads very easily, and in heavily congested cities there is the potential for it to start spreading like wildfire.

The stage is set for a public health crisis unlike anything we have ever seen before, and unlike other diseases, the medical community has no way to stop it.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Americans Had To Borrow 88 BILLION Dollars To Cover Their Medical Bills Last Year

I know that the headline sounds outrageous, but it is actually true.  According to a brand new report that was just released, Americans had to borrow 88 billion dollars to cover their medical bills last year.  That is a truly astounding number, and it shows just how dramatically our current health care system has failed.  And even though the vast majority of Americans are covered by “health insurance”, millions of us are deathly afraid to go to the hospital because of what it might cost.  Today, two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical bills, and most of the people going bankrupt actually had health insurance.  Overall, more than half a million American families are financially ruined by medical bills each year, and meanwhile our “representatives” in Washington are doing absolutely nothing to fix the problem.

Surveys have shown that up to two-thirds of the country is living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time, and an unexpected medical bill can be absolutely devastating for those that are just barely scraping by.

Without much of a financial cushion to fall back on, many families must borrow money when confronted with a large medical expense, and the scale at which this is happening is absolutely stunning

Health care costs in the United States are generally measured as the highest in the world. Last year, many Americans could not afford their health care costs and so borrowed $88 billion to pay for that portion they could not afford.

According to a new West Health and Gallup poll, in a new report titled “The U.S. Healthcare Cost Crisis,” the $88 billion was borrowed in the year before the survey, which was done from January 14 to February 20. The poll was conducted via a random group of 3,537 adults over 18 living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How in the world is this possible?

After all, more than 90 percent of all Americans have some form of health coverage.  So why did Americans need to borrow 88 billion dollars to cover their unpaid medical bills last year alone?

Well, first of all it is important to remember that health insurance deductibles have gotten obscenely huge.  The following numbers come from a CNN article about Obamacare

The law sets a ceiling on how much consumers have to spend on health care. In 2019, it’s $7,900 for a single person and double that for a family. Some bronze plans peg their deductibles to those levels.

The average deductible for a 2019 bronze policy — which have higher deductibles, but lower premiums than other tiers of Obamacare plans — is nearly $5,900, while the average maximum of out-of-pocket limit is just under $7,000, according to Health Pocket, an online health insurance shopping tool. Family bronze plans have an average deductible of just under $12,200 and an average out-of-pocket maximum of nearly $14,000.

Secondly, even if you have surpassed your deductible, there is still no guarantee that your health insurance company will cover your medical bills.  If you do not jump through every single little hoop they want you to jump through, in many instances they will leave you high and dry.  When I was running for Congress I had personal conversations with so many people that had been screwed over by the health insurance companies.  The more claims they deny, the more money they make, and they have become masters at finding even the smallest loophole that will enable them to wiggle off the hook.

Of course there are some health insurance companies out there that are doing a good job, but the bad apples give the entire industry a very bad name.

We have a system that is deeply broken, and it greatly frustrates me that both political parties seem so uninterested in getting a solution through Congress.

Here are some more numbers that show the current state of the U.S. health care system…

3.7 trillion dollars was spent on health care in the United States in 2018.  That breaks down to $10,739 per person.

-If our health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the entire planet.

76 percent of Americans believe that they pay too much for the quality of health care that they receive.

-Out of the 36 counties in the OECD, the U.S. ranks 31st in infant mortality.

-Prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States today.

-Pharmaceutical companies spend approximately 30 billion dollars a year to market their drugs to all of us.

Nearly half of all U.S. doctors are considering leaving the field of medicine, and health insurance companies are the primary reason.

-The median charge for visiting an emergency room in the United States is well over a thousand dollars.

When I was growing up, my mother took me and my siblings to the doctor constantly.  But I don’t know anyone that does that today, because it would be ridiculously expensive in most cases.

And one recent survey actually found that 41 percent of all Americans decided against an emergency room visit last year “due to cost”

Another major personal financial concern among Americans is that 45% worry that a “major health care event” would leave them bankrupt, the West Health-Gallup survey found. Additionally, in the past year, 41% said they did not visit an emergency room due to cost.

Fifteen million Americans “deferred” purchasing prescription drugs in the past year because of costs as well. Finally, 76% believe the problem will become worse because health care costs will rise more over the next two years.

Fixing our horribly broken health care system needs to be a top national priority, but earlier today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it abundantly clear that nothing will be done about Obamacare in the Senate until the 2020 election.  And of course the Democrats are not going to make any major moves on health care until the 2020 election either.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with what we have got for the moment.

Our health care crisis is a national nightmare that never seems to end, and it gets worse with each passing year.

So for now, just hope that nobody in your family becomes seriously ill, because if that happens there is a good chance you might go bankrupt.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Midwest Apocalypse: According To Satellite Data, “At Least 1 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland” Have Been Devastated By Floods

We have never seen anything like this before.  According to satellite data that was just released by Reuters, “at least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were covered by water for at least seven days this month.  That is an agricultural disaster without equal in modern American history, and yet the mainstream media is treating this like it is some sort of second class story.  It isn’t.  This is the biggest news story of 2019 so far, and people want to know what is going on.  A few days ago, I posted a story entitled ‘“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months’, and it has already been shared on social media more than 145,000 times.  Farming communities all over the central part of the nation now look like war zones as a result of all this flooding, but the media elites on the east and west coasts don’t want to write about it.  And with more flooding on the way for the next two months, this crisis is only going to get worse.

This is the time of year when farmers are gearing up to plant wheat, corn and soybeans, and now a substantial portion of our farmland will not be able to be used at all this year.  According to Reuters, at least a million acres of farmland were covered by floodwaters for at least seven days this month, and that “will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year”…

At least 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of U.S. farmland were flooded after the “bomb cyclone” storm left wide swaths of nine major grain producing states under water this month, satellite data analyzed by Gro Intelligence for Reuters showed.

Farms from the Dakotas to Missouri and beyond have been under water for a week or more, possibly impeding planting and damaging soil. The floods, which came just weeks before planting season starts in the Midwest, will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year.

And with “as many as a million calves” lost to the flooding, a lot less food than anticipated is going to be produced in the United States for the foreseeable future.

Between March 8th and March 21st, almost 1.1 million acres of cropland and over 84,000 acres of pastureland were covered by water for at least a week.  With more rain on the way, it is essentially going to be impossible for most of those acres to be usable this year.

In Iowa, 474,271 acres were covered by floodwaters for at least seven days in March, and Iowa farmers are facing some very tough deadlines.  Corn must be planted by May 31st and soybeans must be planted by June 15th in order to qualify for flood insurance.  For most Iowa farms that were covered by floodwaters, that is going to be impossible.

Overall, the recent flooding caused “at least $3 billion” in economic damage according to authorities, but many believe that the final number will be far higher.

Thousands upon thousands of farms have been completely destroyed, and thousands upon thousands of farmers will not plant any crops at all this year.

In addition to the vast agricultural devastation that we have witnessed, thousands upon thousands of homes have been destroyed as well, and now the National Ground Water Association is warning that “the safety of more than a million private water wells” could be compromised…

Record flooding in the Midwest is now threatening the safety of more than a million private water wells. The National Ground Water Association estimates that people living in more than 300 counties across 10 states have their groundwater threatened from bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters.

If you live in the middle of the country and there is a chance that your well may have been compromised, please don’t take any unnecessary chances.  Contaminated water can be really, really bad news.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.  According to the NOAA, we are entering an “unprecedented flood season” that could potentially “impact an even bigger area of cropland”

Spring floods could yet impact an even bigger area of cropland. The U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned of what could be an “unprecedented flood season” as it forecasts heavy spring rains. Rivers may swell further as a deep snow pack in northern growing areas melts.

In my previous article entitled ‘”200 Million People At Risk: National Weather Service Warns Apocalyptic Midwest Floods Are “A Preview Of What We Expect Throughout The Rest Of The Spring”’, I included a map from the NOAA which shows which areas of the central part of the country are projected to receive unusually high levels of rainfall over the next few months.

Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of overlap with areas that have already been devastated by flooding.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be “more heavy rains” in the Midwest, and Nebraska is in “the direct path” of the center of the storm…

From the Central Plains to the Midwest, it has been a disastrous spring for river flooding. A weather system slated to bring more heavy rains Friday into Saturday could aggravate the situation along and near the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

It’s a one-two punch that combines additional rainwater with fresh runoff from snowmelt. Perhaps worst off is Nebraska, in the direct path of Friday’s quick burst of moisture. Barely a week has passed since Gov. Pete Ricketts estimated the cost of ongoing flooding in that state at more than $1 billion.

This is it.  America is being hammered by one storm after another, and I very much encourage you to get prepared for a very rough ride ahead.

There is going to be a lot more flooding.  Prices for beef, dairy, wheat, corn and soy products are going to rise significantly, and just when you think they are way too high they are going to keep on rising.

This is already the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and federal authorities are telling us that we should expect things to continue to get worse for at least two more months.

Perhaps the mainstream media will eventually decide to take this story seriously, but until they do those of us in the alternative media will do our best to keep you updated.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

A New Study Discovers Two-Thirds Of All Bankruptcies In The United States Are Primarily Caused By Medical Bills

Our health insurance system is theoretically supposed to prevent Americans from going bankrupt when they are hit by huge medical bills.  But in case after case, that is simply not happening.  Even though more Americans are “covered by health insurance” than ever before, a new study has found that “about 530,000 families each year are financially ruined by medical bills and sicknesses”, and most of those families actually had health insurance.  These days, most health insurance policies closely resemble Swiss cheese because they are so full of loopholes, and health insurance companies have become masters at finding ways to wiggle off the hook.  So every year hundreds of thousands of American families find themselves facing huge medical bills that they did not expect to be paying, and as a result medical expenses are the primary factor in 66.5 percent of all personal bankruptcy filings in the United States…

For many Americans, putting one’s health first can mean putting one’s financial status at risk. A study of bankruptcy filings in the United States showed that 66.5% were due, at least in part, to medical expenses.

The study, led by Dr. David Himmelstein, Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Hunter College and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, indicates that about 530,000 families each year are financially ruined by medical bills and sicknesses. It’s the first research of its kind to link medical expenses and bankruptcy since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.

But wasn’t Obamacare supposed to make things better?

Yes, that was what we were promised, but the authors of the study discovered that the percentage of bankruptcies caused by medical bills actually went up by 2 percent after Obamacare went into effect…

The current study found no evidence that the ACA reduced the proportion of bankruptcies driven by medical problems: 65.5% of debtors cited a medical contributor to their bankruptcy in the period prior to the ACA’s implementation as compared to 67.5% in the three years after the law came into effect. The responses also did not differ depending on whether the respondent resided in a state that had accepted ACA’s Medicaid expansion. The researchers noted that bankruptcy is most common among middle-class Americans, who have faced increasing copayments and deductibles in recent years despite the ACA. The poor, who were most helped by the ACA, less frequently seek formal bankruptcy relief because they have few assets (such as a home) to protect and face particular difficulty in securing the legal help needed to navigate formal bankruptcy proceedings.

Even though more Americans are “in the system” than ever before, clearly what we are doing is simply not working.

As I detailed in my article entitled “$3.5 Trillion A Year: America’s Health Care System Has Become One Of The World’s Largest Money Making Scams”, our health care industry has become all about grabbing as much money as humanly possible.  We are being taken advantage of when we are at our most vulnerable, and the level of greed that we see in the system is absolutely sickening.

As Dr. David Himmelstein has astutely observed, most Americans are “just one serious illness away from bankruptcy”…

Dr. David Himmelstein, the lead author of the study, a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Hunter College and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School commented: “Unless you’re Bill Gates, you’re just one serious illness away from bankruptcy. For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection. Most of us have policies with so many loopholes, copayments and deductibles that illness can put you in the poorhouse. And even the best job-based health insurance often vanishes when prolonged illness causes job loss – just when families need it most.”

You may think that your health insurance policy is somehow different.

You may actually believe that your health insurance company will be there for you when you need them the most.

And they might be.  But the truth is that hundreds of thousands of American families have discovered that most health insurance companies will turn on you the moment it becomes advantageous for them to do so.

It turns out that most doctors dislike the health insurance companies too.  Just check out these numbers

Are health insurance policies creating nightmares for physicians and hazards for their patients? A new study finds that nearly nine in ten doctors believe barriers set by insurance plans have led to worsened conditions for patients in need of care.

Researchers with Aimed Alliance, a non-profit that seeks to protect and enhance the rights of health care consumers and providers, say that doctors are so fed up with the constant headaches caused by insurers, two-thirds would recommend against pursuing a career in medicine, and nearly half (48%) are considering a career change altogether.

If health insurance companies acted with compassion and always fulfilled the promises that they made, then the rest of us wouldn’t be so hard on them.

But of course the health insurance companies look like saints when compared to the ultra-greedy pharmaceutical companies.  When one pharmaceutical company recently hiked the annual price of a low-cost drug to $375,000, it just about caused Senator Bernie Sanders to cough up a lung

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a blistering letter to a pharmaceutical company on Monday, demanding answers about its decision to charge $375,000 for a formerly low-cost drug and calling it corporate greed at its worst.

“Catalyst’s decision to set the annual list price at $375,000 is not only a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers, but is also an immoral exploitation of patients who need this medication,” the independent senator from Vermont wrote. “Simply put, it is corporate greed.

“I am profoundly concerned that Catalyst’s actions will cause patients to suffer or die.”

Fixing our deeply, deeply broken health care system has got to be a top national priority, but at this point neither party has a plan that will turn things around.

So we are stuck with what we have currently got, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

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