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.

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.

$3.5 Trillion A Year: America’s Health Care System Has Become One Of The World’s Largest Money Making Scams

If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the entire planet.  At this point only the United States, China, Japan and Germany have a GDP that is larger than the 3.5 trillion dollar U.S. health care market.  If that sounds obscene to you, that is because it is obscene.  We should want people to be attracted to the health care industry because they truly want to help people that are suffering, but instead the primary reason why people are drawn to the health care industry these days is because of the giant mountains of money that are being made.  Like so many other things in our society, the health care industry is all about the pursuit of the almighty dollar, and that is just wrong.

In order to keep this giant money machine rolling, the health care industry has to do an enormous amount of marketing.  If you can believe it, a study that was just published found that at least 30 billion dollars a year is spent on such marketing.

Hoping to earn its share of the $3.5 trillion health care market, the medical industry is pouring more money than ever into advertising its products — from high-priced prescriptions to do-it-yourself genetic tests and unapproved stem cell treatments.

Spending on health care marketing nearly doubled from 1997 to 2016, soaring to at least $30 billion a year, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA.

This marketing takes many different forms, but perhaps the most obnoxious are the television ads that are endlessly hawking various pharmaceutical drugs.  If you watch much television, you certainly can’t miss them.  They always show vibrant, smiling, healthy people participating in various outdoor activities on bright, sunny days, and the inference is that if you want to be like those people you should take their drugs.  And the phrase “ask your doctor” is usually near the end of every ad…

The biggest increase in medical marketing over the past 20 years was in “direct-to-consumer” advertising, including the TV commercials that exhort viewers to “ask your doctor” about a particular drug. Spending on such ads jumped from $2.1 billion in 1997 to nearly $10 billion in 2016, according to the study.

As a result of all those ads, millions of Americans rush out to their doctors to ask about drugs that they do not need for diseases that they do not have.

And on January 1st, dozens of pharmaceutical manufacturers hit Americans with another annual round of massive price increases.

But everyone will just keep taking those drugs, because that is what the doctors are telling them to do.  But what most people never find out is that the pharmaceutical industry goes to great lengths to get those doctors to do what they want.  According to NBC News, the big drug companies are constantly “showering them with free food, drinks and speaking fees, as well as paying for them to travel to conferences”.

It is a legal form of bribery, and it works.

When you go to most doctors, they will only have two solutions to whatever problem you have – drugs or surgery.

And since nobody really likes to get cut open, and since drugs are usually the far less expensive choice, they are usually the preferred option.

Of course if doctors get off the path and start trying to get cute by proposing alternative solutions, they can get in big trouble really fast

Today’s medical doctors are not allowed to give nutritional advice, or the American Medical Association will come shut them down, and even if they were, they don’t know the right things to say, because they weren’t educated that way in medical college. So instead, M.D.s just sling experimental, addictive drugs at symptoms of deeper rooted sicknesses, along with immune-system-destroying antibiotics and carcinogenic vaccines.

That’s why any medicine that wrecks your health is easy to come by, just like junk food in vending machines. The money isn’t made off the “vending” products, the money is made off the sick fools who are repeat offenders and keep going back to the well for more poison – it’s called chronic sick care or symptom management. Fact: Prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in America, even when “taken as directed.”

Switching gears, let’s talk about hospitals for a moment.

When you go to the hospital, it is often during a great time of need.  If you are gravely ill or if an accident has happened and you think you might die, you aren’t thinking about how much your medical care is going to cost.  At that moment you just want help, and that is a perfect opportunity for predators to take advantage of you.

Just consider the example of 24-year-old Nina Dang.  She broke her arm while riding her bicycle in San Francisco, and so she went to the emergency room.

The hospital that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated so much money to definitely fixed her arm, but later they broke her bank account when they hit her with a $24,000 bill

A bystander saw her fall and called an ambulance. She was semi-lucid for that ride, awake but unable to answer basic questions about where she lived. Paramedics took her to the emergency room at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where doctors X-rayed her arm and took a CT scan of her brain and spine. She left with her arm in a splint, on pain medication, and with a recommendation to follow up with an orthopedist.

A few months later, Dang got a bill for $24,074.50. Premera Blue Cross, her health insurer, would only cover $3,830.79 of that — an amount that it thought was fair for the services provided. That left Dang with $20,243.71 to pay, which the hospital threatened to send to collections in mid-December.

Most Americans assume that if they have “good health insurance” that they are covered if something major happens.

But as Dang found out, you can still be hit with crippling hospital bills even if you have insurance.

Today, medical debt is the number one reason why Americans declare bankruptcy.  Because of the way our system is set up, most families are just one major illness away from financial ruin.

And this kind of thing is not just happening in California.  The median charge for a visit to the emergency room nationally is well over a thousand dollars, and you can be billed up to 30 dollars for a single pill of aspirin during a hospital stay.

Our health care system is deeply broken, and it has been designed to squeeze as much money out of all of us as it possibly can.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with this system for now.  The health care industry is certainly not going to reform itself, and the gridlock in Washington is going to make a political solution impossible for the foreseeable future.

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.

Medicare For All? Shock Poll Discovers That 70 Percent Of Americans Want Single-Payer Healthcare To Happen

Should the U.S. government provide medical care for everybody?  A shocking new poll that was just released found that 70 percent of all Americans actually want this to happen.  Of course if they also asked people if they wanted their taxes to double in order to pay for such a system, the percentage of favorable responses would have probably been a lot lower.  But still, this poll result shows that Americans are willing to embrace socialism to a degree that would have been absolutely unthinkable a decade or two ago.  Of course “Medicare for all” is not going to happen as long as Donald Trump resides in the White House, but if future polls keep returning similar results it is only a matter of time before a Democratic administration will implement such a policy.  And as we have seen with Obamacare, once a new social program is in place it can be nearly impossible to get rid of it.

We all knew that a high percentage of Democrats were in favor of “Medicare for all”, but what really shocked me was that this poll found that 52 percent of Republicans are now in favor of it….

A vast majority — 70 percent — of Americans in a new poll supports “Medicare for all,” also known as a single-payer health-care system.

The Reuters–Ipsos survey found 85 percent of Democrats said they support the policy along with 52 percent of Republicans.

Wow.

At one time I was pretty certain what a “Republican” was, but things have changed so dramatically that I am not really sure anymore.

Of course nobody likes paying the sky high health insurance premiums that have been forced on us thanks to Obamacare, and so I definitely understand the hunger for change.

But fully socialized medicine would greatly accelerate our trip down the road toward national bankruptcy.  According to one recent study, a “Medicare for all” system would result in a rise in federal spending of more than 30 trillion dollars over a 10 year period…

Medicare for all has been in the headlines after a study by the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University found it would lead to a $32.6 trillion increase in federal spending over a 10-year period.

The study’s author, Charles Blahous, wrote in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month that even doubling taxes would not cover the bill for a single-payer health-care system.

I don’t know about you, but I sure do not want my taxes doubled so that the left can implement a government-controlled healthcare system.

But what we have today is certainly not working.  That is why many of us are deeply, deeply frustrated with the Republicans in Congress.  They had a golden opportunity to repeal Obamacare during this two-year period that they have been in control, and they have completely fumbled the ball.  It is a political failure of the highest order, and millions upon millions of American families are deeply suffering as a result.

Just recently, Bloomberg profiled one of those families…

When their son Sky was born four years ago, Lindsie and Chris Bergevin were hit with a big surprise: $7,000 in bills for the birth that their health plan didn’t cover. Sky was two when the couple jettisoned their medical insurance, which helped them eventually pay off the debt.

Now that they’re ready to have a second child, they’re not going back to their old coverage, with its premiums of more than $350 a month. Instead, they’ve patched together an alternative through a religious group and a primary-care doctor whom they can visit anytime for a monthly fee.

The health insurance system that we have today is a complete and utter failure.  Families are paying ridiculously high premiums for deeply flawed policies with extremely high deductibles, and a lot of people are saying enough is enough.

For example, it is being estimated that more than one million Americans have now joined “health sharing ministries”…

The number of people joining so-called health-care sharing ministries—religion-based cost-sharing plans—rose 74 percent from 2014 to 2016, according to the latest Internal Revenue Service data. An alliance for the groups said that more than 1 million people now participate in such programs. Similarly, primary-care clinics like the one Julie Gunther started in 2014 have grown to almost 900 from just a handful in the early 2000s, according to the Direct Primary Care Coalition, a trade group for the clinics.

There are free market solutions out there that actually work.  In addition to health sharing ministries, direct primary care and association buying groups are other free market models that have shown that they have tremendous potential.

Unfortunately, that is not where society is trending.

Even though Republicans are in control of Washington for the moment, the federal government just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  Earlier today, I was astounded to learn that 52 percent of all U.S. children live in a household that receives benefits from the U.S. government each month…

In 2016, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau, there were approximately 73,586,000 people under 18 in the United States, and 38,365,000 of them — or 52.1 percent — resided in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.

These included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.

All throughout American history, social programs have steadily expanded, and until things completely collapse they will probably continue to expand.

In addition to wanting free government healthcare, it turns out that most Americans also want free college education

The new Reuters poll also showed that a majority of Americans supports free college tuition. Forty-one percent of Republicans said they supported the policy, pollsters found, compared with 79 percent of Democrats.

“Free stuff” always sounds great until you figure out that someone has to pay for it.

And in our case, we have already stolen more than 21 trillion dollars from future generations to pay the bills.  How in the world are we going to be able to afford everything else that the socialists want to do?

This article originally appeared on The Economic Collapse Blog.  About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

$28,166: What It Costs To Provide Health Care For An American Family Of Four For One Year

One of the primary reasons why the middle class in America is disappearing so rapidly is because of skyrocketing health care costs.  Families all over the country are being absolutely crushed by extremely high health insurance premiums, ridiculously high deductibles and very large out-of-pocket expenses that were not anticipated.  In fact, medical bills are the number one reason why individuals go bankrupt in the United States today.  Once upon a time, the medical profession was all about helping people, but today it has become a heartless money-making operation that is dominated by health insurance corporations and pharmaceutical companies.  If we do not make major changes quickly, our out of control health care system will destroy the middle class in our country all by itself.

I knew that health care costs were astronomical, but I had no idea that health care costs for an average family of four for one year had hit $28,166

The total costs for a typical family of four insured by the most common health plan offered by employers will average $28,166 this year, according to the annual Milliman Medical Index.

The estimate includes the average cost of health insurance paid by employers and employees, as well as deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

That is a crazy amount of money.  Once upon a time, you could buy an entire house in America for $28,000.  But now that will only cover health care costs for a single year.

The largest portion of that amount goes to pay for health insurance.  For those that receive health benefits at work, usually the employer pays most of that bill

Last year, the premium for the most popular health plan offered by employers — what is known as a preferred provider organization  — for family coverage was $19,481, according to the annual survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

Employers paid $13,430 and employees paid $6,050 of the premium on average.

When you break down that total, it comes to more than $1,500 a month just for health insurance.

That is insane.

And of course those of us that are self-employed or that work for businesses that don’t provide health insurance have to pay for it all on our own.

Needless to say, that can be financially crippling.  And thanks to Obamacare, it is harder than ever before.  Not too long ago, I wrote about one family in Virginia that is now faced with the prospect of paying $3,000 a month for an Obamacare plan…

Could you afford to pay $3000 a month for health insurance? Previously, Ian Dixon had been paying $900 a month for health insurance for his family of four, but thanks to changes in the Charlottesville insurance market, a similar plan will now cost him more than $3,000 a month.

This is one of the biggest reasons why the percentage of Americans that are self-employed is hovering near record lows.  People simply cannot afford the health insurance.

And every year it gets worse.  For 2018, it was being projected that the average rate increase for Obamacare plans would be 37 percent.

If our paychecks were going up 37 percent each year, that would be fine.

But of course that just isn’t happening.

This is one of our great long-term challenges as a society.  We have got to get health care costs under control if our system is going to be sustainable.

There is absolutely no reason why an appendectomy in the United States needs to be 10 times more expensive than an appendectomy in Mexico.  The quality of care in Mexico is not 10 times worse than in the United States.  In fact, it is actually pretty comparable to what we have here, and many Americans are now taking “medical vacations” to have procedures performed down there because our system is so badly broken.

Sadly, this figure of $28,166 for a family of four will be out of date by next month.

According to one expert quoted by USA Today, every single month the number goes up by another one hundred dollars…

“But every month, a family of four’s health care costs are going up $100 a month,” Weltz said.

The costs have been going up by that amount — on average — for more than a decade.

I have to admit that our health care system makes me angry.  Today, the U.S. health care system accounts for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy, but back in 1960 it only accounted for about 5 percent of the overall economy.

There is no reason why we can’t start moving back toward that level.  We just need to reintroduce true competition and free market principles into our health care system.  Those that have been abusing their power need to be held accountable, and something desperately needs to be done about the health insurance companies and the big pharmaceutical giants.  In one recent year, more than 100 billion dollars was spent on cancer drugs, and that is absolutely outrageous.

If you go all the way back to 1960, an average of $146 was spent on health care per person for the entire year.

So for a family of four, the total would have been about $600, but now it is over $28,000.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

On a per capita basis, we spend far, far more than anyone else in the world on health care.

If you can believe it, we actually spend nearly twice as much as most of the other industrialized nations in the world on a per capita basis.

The only way that we are going to have a thriving middle class is if we get health care costs under control, but unfortunately Congress is such a mess right now that nothing is likely to get done for the foreseeable future.

So our health care system is going to continue to deteriorate, and many Americans will continue to travel overseas when they need important procedures to be done.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Scientists Warn That The Countdown To The Extinction of The Human Race Is Accelerating

Humanity is steamrolling toward a date with extinction, and yet most people have absolutely no idea that this is happening.  Most of us like to think that we are part of the smartest, tallest and fastest generation in human history, but science has actually shown that the exact opposite is true.  Compared to our ancient ancestors, we are shorter, slower and we have been losing mental capacity for thousands of years.  And just this week, a groundbreaking study that discovered that large numbers of human males in the western world may soon be incapable of reproducing made headlines all over the planet

Humans could become extinct if sperm counts in men from North America, Europe and Australia continue to fall at current rates, a doctor has warned.

Researchers assessing the results of nearly 200 separate studies say sperm counts among men from these areas seem to have halved in less than 40 years.

The 185 studies that the researchers took their data from were all conducted between 1973 and 2011.  Dr. Hagai Levine was one of the lead scientists involved in the study, and he found that for men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, sperm concentrations declined by 52.4 percent during the study period, and total sperm count declined by a whopping 59.3 percent.

If these trends continue, we will soon have tens of millions of young men that are incapable of producing children.  The following comes from the Washington Post

The most important data points in the new study involved sperm concentrations for what are known as “unselected” men who haven’t yet proven they are fertile. These are men in the studies who are on the younger side and are not yet fathers or do not have partners who are pregnant. Researchers estimated that these men had an average sperm concentration of 99 million per milliliter in 1973 but that that had dropped to an average 47 million per milliliter in 2011.

That is a disturbing number given that, according to World Health Organization criteria, men with a sperm concentration of less than 40 million are considered to have an impaired chance of conceiving and those with a sperm concentration of less than 15 million per milliliter are unlikely to be able to have children.

If that sounds extremely serious to you, that is because it is extremely serious.

According to Dr. Levine, we could potentially be looking at “the extinction of the human species” in the not too distant future…

“If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and the chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future,” he said.

“Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species.”

So what is causing this alarming drop in sperm levels?

There are certainly lots of factors involved, but one study from a few years ago pointed much of the blame at our heavy use of cellphones

The new study shows that having a mobile phone close to the testicles – or within a foot or two of the body – can lower sperm levels so much that conceiving could be difficult.

The findings have led to a leading British fertility expert to advise men to stop being addicted to mobile phones.

Professor Martha Dirnfeld, of the Technion University in Haifa, said: “We analysed the amount of active swimming sperm and the quality and found that it had been reduced.

“We think this is being caused by a heating of the sperm from the phone and by electromagnetic activity.”

And of course where do most men carry their phones?

Most of us carry them in our pockets, and that is about the worst possible place that we could carry them.

But even if sperm counts were not dropping so precipitously, humanity would still be facing rapid extinction due to a phenomenon known as “mutational meltdown”.  Below is an excerpt from a study that was originally published by Gerald H. McKibben and Everett C. McKibben, and I have shared this previously, but since I am talking about the possibility of human extinction in the not too distant future in this article I wanted to share it again…

Geneticists have long worried about the impact of mutations on the human population, and that at a rate of one deleterious mutation per person per generation, genetic deterioration would result. Earlier reports were based on estimates of mutation rates considerable lower than what we now know to be the case. Findings going back to 2002 show that the human mutation rate is at least 100 mistakes (misspellings) per person per generation. Some scientists believe the rate is closer to 300.

Even a rate of 100 has profound implications, and the mutation rate is itself increasing. Furthermore, most, if not all, mutations in the human genome must be deleterious.  “And nothing can reverse the damage that has been done during our own generation, even if further mutations could be stopped.”  It would appear that the process is an irreversible downward spiral that will end in “mutational meltdown”.

Let me try to break this down very simply so that everyone can understand.

DNA mutations are passed from one generation to another, and each generation has more mutations than the previous generation.

This process appears to be accelerating, and at some undetermined point in the future human DNA will become so corrupt that the human race simply will not be able to continue.

In other words, the human race is wearing out, and the clock is ticking down to the eventual extinction of our race.

So even if we don’t kill ourselves off, which we are certainly more than capable of doing, the truth is that normal processes will eventually wipe all of us out anyway.

I know that this may sound very negative, but if you know the rest of the story it actually isn’t.

Our lives are just like the flowers of the field.  They are here today and they are gone tomorrow, but what we do with them will echo for all of eternity.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

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