Tag Archives: medicaid

Gov. Fallin: Oklahoma Will Not Pursue a State-Based Exchange or Medicaid Expansion

Press Release

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gov. Fallin: Oklahoma Will Not Pursue a State-Based Exchange or Medicaid Expansion

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today released the following statement announcing that Oklahoma will not pursue the creation of a state-based exchange or participate in the Medicaid expansion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):

“For the past few months, my staff and I have worked with other lawmakers, Oklahoma stakeholders and health care experts across the country to determine the best course of action for Oklahoma in regards to both the creation of a health insurance exchange and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Our priority has been to ascertain what can be done to increase quality and access to health care, contain costs, and do so without placing an undue burden on taxpayers or the state. As I have stated many times before, it is my firm belief that PPACA fails to further these goals, and will in fact decrease the quality of health care across the United States while contributing to the nation’s growing deficit crisis.

“Despite my ongoing opposition to the federal health care law, the state of Oklahoma is legally obligated to either build an exchange that is PPACA compliant and approved by the Obama Administration, or to default to an exchange run by the federal government. This choice has been forced on the people of Oklahoma by the Obama Administration in spite of the fact that voters have overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to the federal health care law through their support of State Question 756, a constitutional amendment prohibiting the implementation of key components of PPACA.

“After careful consideration, I have today informed U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius that Oklahoma will not pursue the creation of its own health insurance exchange. Any exchange that is PPACA compliant will necessarily be ‘state-run’ in name only and would require Oklahoma resources, staff and tax dollars to implement. It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government, that is opposed by a clear majority of Oklahomans, and that will further the implementation of a law that threatens to erode both the quality of American health care and the fiscal stability of the nation.

“Furthermore, I have also decided that Oklahoma will not be participating in the Obama Administration’s proposed expansion of Medicaid. Such an expansion would be unaffordable, costing the state of Oklahoma up to $475 million between now and 2020, with escalating annual expenses in subsequent years. It would also further Oklahoma’s reliance on federal money that may or may not be available in the future given the dire fiscal problems facing the federal government. On a state level, massive new costs associated with Medicaid expansion would require cuts to important government priorities such as education and public safety. Furthermore, the proposed Medicaid expansion offers no meaningful reform to a massive entitlement program already contributing to the out-of-control spending of the federal government.

“Moving forward, the state of Oklahoma will pursue two actions simultaneously. The first will be to continue our support for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s ongoing legal challenge of PPACA. General Pruitt’s lawsuit raises different Constitutional questions than previous legal challenges, and both he and I remain optimistic that Oklahoma’s challenge can succeed.

“Our second and equally important task will be to pursue state-based solutions that improve health outcomes and contain costs for Oklahoma families. Serious reform, for instance, should be pursued in the area of Medicaid and public health, where effective chronic disease prevention and management programs could address the trend of skyrocketing medical bills linked to avoidable hospital and emergency room visits. I look forward to working with legislative leaders and lawmakers in both parties to pursue Oklahoma health care solutions for Oklahoma families.”

Oklahoma testing the water on Health Insurance Exchange

Kaye Beach

Nov. 10, 2012

Read the article below carefully.  All sorts of mixed messages.  I think this is a ‘testing of the water’  to see what reaction the “possibility” of fulfilling the rejected healthcare reform agenda garners from the public.

This would be a good time to contact state officials and remind them of your position on the issue.  Here is the action list from the July 7, 2012  Oklahoma Rally For Healthcare Independence;

ACTION List
Call the Governor’s office and your state elected officials and tell them Oklahomans still don’t want ObamaCare in the state of Oklahoma.
Tell them:
1. NO to the health insurance exchanges—either state-based or other-wise. Insurance exchanges, state-based or otherwise, are a key compo-nent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”). No insurance exchanges = no ObamaCare!
2. NO to any expansion of Medicaid in the state of Oklahoma—The country is broke and we cannot afford this!
3. Terminate the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET) – This unelected entity is busy working to establish and imple-ment the foundations that make “Obama Care” work. This unelected body has no legislative oversight and is not accountable to the People of Oklahoma—they do not represent the interest of the people!

Health exchange still a possibility in Oklahoma

Nov. 10, 2012 Tulsa World

Gov. Mary Fallin’s administration signaled Friday that it is still considering partnering with the federal government to establish a health insurance exchange in the state – although a decision may not come for some time.

The state Attorney General’s Office has asserted in federal court that “Oklahoma has not established or elected to establish an exchange, and does not expect to do so,” but Fallin’s staff seemed to reopen the issue this week when a spokesman said the governor “is continuing to explore the state’s options as they relate to health insurance exchanges.”

In an expanded statement Friday, Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said Fallin’s staff doesn’t feel pressed by a widely reported “deadline” for states to report their exchange intentions to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by next Friday.

“The November 16 ‘deadline’ to submit a plan for an insurance exchange is an internal agency deadline, not in statute, with no obvious penalties for states that do not meet it,” Weintz said. “After reviewing ACA guidelines and conferring with other states, our policy staff does not believe it is true that Oklahoma will necessarily be subject to a federal exchange if it misses the November 16 deadline.”

Read More

 

Medicaid expansion is the new SQ 744

Oklahomans Push Back Against Government Run Healthcare!

Kaye Beach

July 7, 2012

 

Hundreds turned out today at the Oklahoma State Capitol to let lawmakers know that they will not tolerate the implementation of the overreaching healthcare reform law.

 

 

Howard Houchen leads the crowd in chanting “Push Back!”

What can you do to push back?

Rally For Healthcare Independence Action Sheet

 

 

Senator Anderson calls on Gov. Fallin to reject ObamaCare

Kaye Beach

July 3, 2012

Oklahoma Senator Patrick Anderson is stepping to the fore and encouraging Gov. Fallin to go on the record in refusing to implement Obamacare.  We are waiting. . .

For Immediate Release:  July 3, 2012

Anderson calls on Gov. Fallin to reject ObamaCare

State Sen. Patrick Anderson urged Oklahoma’s chief executive to join her fellow Republican governors across the country and state for the record that she will not implement ObamaCare. Anderson, a Republican from Enid, said Gov. Mary Fallin needs to be on the front line with those governors who have already announced they won’t submit to the federal health care law.

“Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, Chris Christie in New Jersey, Rick Perry in Texas, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida and Nikki Haley in South Carolina have officially stated they will not implement ObamaCare in their states in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last Thursday,” said Anderson. “Oklahoma needs to join these other states and be a leader, not a follower, in the opposition to this law and the substantial burden that it will place on taxpayers.”

Anderson said despite promises from the President, the end results of the federal health care law would be disastrous for citizens, for Oklahoma and for the nation, with many reports pointing to a revised estimate by the Congressional Budget Office saying the price tag for the law had already risen from under $1 trillion to $1.76 trillion.

“In the short-term, the economic brunt will fall on the middle-class. Those who already have insurance will see their out-of-pocket costs skyrocket, while those who don’t will be forced to purchase policies far more costly than they would have been without this federal mandate,” Anderson said. “Businesses are going to be hamstrung by red tape and regulations that will derail economic growth and recovery. At the federal level, this will dramatically worsen our national debt. At the state level, Oklahoma’s Medicaid costs will soar and it will force budget cuts in education, transportation and public safety.”

“We have had enough time to consider last Thursday’s ruling, and we know that the end result will be larger deficits, greater costs to working Oklahomans, and punitive regulations that will cripple many businesses,” said Anderson. “Governor Fallin needs to make Oklahoma’s position clear and tell President Obama that she will not choose to implement this new tax on the taxpayers of Oklahoma.”

For more information, contact:

Sen. Patrick Anderson

405-521-5630

 

PRESS RELEASE:: DeMint, Bachmann, Jordan Urge Governors to Reject Obamacare State Exchanges

Kaye Beach

July 2, 2012

 

PRESS RELEASE:: DeMint, Bachmann, Jordan Urge Governors to Reject Obamacare State Exchanges

(Washington, D.C.) Senator Jim DeMint (SC), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) and Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-04) sent a letter to all 50 governors urging them to oppose the implementation of the state health care exchanges mandated under President Obama’s health care law.  Twelve Senators and 61 Representatives joined them in writing in opposition to these exchanges, which could cost businesses up to $3,000 per employee.
“Now that we know the courts will not save us from this harmful and unsustainable law, we urge all governors to join our fight full repeal by stopping its implementation,” said DeMint. “Americans have loudly rejected this law because it raises costs, lowers quality of care, and hikes taxes. The President’s health care law will not reform anything, but will hurt state budgets, destroy jobs, and reduce patient choices. States should reject these complex and costly exchanges. We cannot build a free market health care system on this flawed structure of centralized government control, we must repeal all of it and start over with commonsense solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American.”
“While Republicans in Congress will continue to push for a full repeal of Obamacare, the states can take immediate action to reject these exchanges that will increase health care costs and add more layers of bureaucratic red tape. I encourage all 50 governors to do what’s best for the American people. They should refuse to implement an exchange and instead work towards common sense solutions that lower costs and return important health care decisions to patients and their doctors,” said Bachmann.
“The harmful impact on jobs is just one of many reasons we remain committed to fully repealing this law. If governors want to raise the cost of hiring people in their states, they should create an Obamacare exchange. If they want more jobs in their state, they should not. It’s that simple,” said Jordan.
The text of the letter is included below, and a list of signers is available here.
Dear Governors:
The Supreme Court has ruled significant parts of the Medicaid expansion of the President’s health care law unconstitutional as well as ruling that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause and will therefore be implemented as a punitive tax on the middle class. This presents us with a critical choice: Do we allow this reprehensible law to move forward or do we fully repeal it and start over with commonsense solutions? The American people have made it clear that they want us to throw this law out in its entirety. 
As members of the U.S. Congress, we are dedicated to the full repeal of this government takeover of healthcare and we ask you to join us to oppose its implementation. 
Most importantly, we encourage you to oppose any creation of a state health care exchange mandated under the President’s discredited health care law. 
These expensive, complex, and intrusive exchanges impose a threat to the financial stability of our already-fragile state economies with no certainty of a limit to total enrollment numbers. Resisting the implementation of exchanges is good for hiring and investment. The law’s employer mandate assesses penalties – up to $3,000 per employee – only to businesses who don’t satisfy federally-approved health insurance standards and whose employees receive “premium assistance” through the exchanges.  The clear language of the statute only permits federal premium assistance to citizens of states who create a state-based exchange. However, the IRS recently finalized a regulation that contradicts the law by allowing the federal government to provide premium assistance to citizens in those states that have not created exchanges. The IRS had no authority to finalize such a regulation. By refusing to create an exchange, you will assist us in Congress to repeal this violation which will help lower the costs of doing business in your state, relative to other states that keep these financially draining exchanges in place.  
State-run exchanges are subject to all of the same coverage mandates and rules as the federally-run exchange. Clearing the hurdles of crafting an exchange that complies with the 600 plus pages of federal exchange regulations will only result in wasted state resources and higher premiums for your constituents.
Implementation of this law is not inevitable and without the unconstitutional individual mandate it is improbable.  Join us in resisting a centralized government approach to health care reform and instead focus on solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American. Let’s work to create a health care system of, for, and by the people, not government or special interests.
Sincerely,
###

Fed Funds-Bad Medicine for Oklahoma

Kaye Beach

April 6, 2011

I have read hundreds of pages of documents regarding Oklahoma’s health information systems.  I have studied the various exchanges, our state policies, looked at the grants offered and accepted, read meeting minutes, white papers, power points and more.  I still am no expert on the Insurance business but I do know enough to say that we are being gamed.

The bottom line is that Oklahoma will be part of the universal health care system by virtue of the decisions made, federal funding accepted and the programs implemented by our elected officials unless there is an abrupt about face and fast!

Health policy expert, Michael F. Cannon, in this recent interview on America In The Balance gives a very clear explanation of where Oklahoma stands regarding the federal health reform law and how our implementation of the health insurance exchanges is a really a very bad idea.  http://www.truthinfocus.org/radio/america_in_the_balance.html

Also, for a collection of source documents, flyers and articles detailing how Oklahoma Republican leaders who campaigned against “Obamacare” are in reality working to implement it, go to http://www.ok-safe.com/

One more item, There is going to be a rally at the Capitol today-Wednesday April 6th 2011  11:00 AM        No Obama and/or O’Fallin Care

More info here

 

A few days ago after reading and reading I did something I rarely do.  I was so angry with what I was discovering from all of my reading that I let fly with a pure diatribe, a rant, just for the sake of venting my spleen.  Everything I wrote was pure assertion and I provided no evidence to back up any one of them.  I don’t usually do this for a reason.  Personally, I like to be given the facts so that I can make up my own mind about things and I try to provide for others material that I would find worthy of reading myself.  The only reason I indulged is because I was certain that I could back up everything I said.  I can and now I will.

As you are probably aware, Health care reform in the United States in 2010 was enacted nationally by two bills: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which became law on March 23, 2010 and was shortly thereafter amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) (which became law on March 30). (source Wikipedia)

In 2009 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) often referred to as simply the “stimulus bill” passed.

If you are like me, you may remember that the ARRA was subject to plenty of controversy but I don’t remember hearing much about the HITECH [Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health] portion of the bill.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act came before the health care reform bills that passed in 2010, so the provisions in the HITECH portion likely just seemed like just more government pork.   I have been surprised to find out how just much money was allotted to the states for the express purpose of the creation of the health information infrastructure that would soon be needed in order to implement the controversial government takeover of our medical care that was soon to become law.

“Our state is also taking an aggressive approach, with federal grant funding, to improve both quality and efficiency through use of electronic health records.”

Source-Oklahoma Health Care Authority State Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report

They weren’t kidding.

Four Key HITECH Sections

•          SEC. 3012. HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION ASSISTANCE

•          SEC. 3013. STATE GRANTS TO PROMOTE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

•          SEC. 3014. COMPETITIVE GRANTS TO STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOAN PROGRAMS TO FACILITATE THE WIDESPREAD ADOPTION OF CERTIFIED EHR TECHNOLOGY

•          SEC. 4201. MEDICAID PROVIDER HIT ADOPTION AND OPERATION PAYMENTS; IMPLEMENTATION FUNDING

If the United States is to have a Nationalized Health Care program it must first have a national health care information infrastructure.  The federal government has already built their portion and now it’s time for the states to get plugged in.

What is the NHIN?

“The National Health Information Network (NHIN) is an ambitious modernization plan proposed by the U.S. government. The idea is to move as an entire nation from paper medical files to electronic medical files that are shared. Specifically, the government goal is to digitize patients’ health records and medical files and create a national network to place the information in. The network, called the NHIN, would be a sophisticated network that hospitals, insurers, doctors, and others could potentially access. Such a network brings patient privacy, security, and confidentiality issues into sharp relief.” link

Take a look at the NHIN timeline

Sharing

The billions of dollars in planned federal incentive payments over the next five years are meant to spur the adoption of electronic patient records. But the investment will pay off only if the data is shared (Emphasis mine)

Read more Feb. 2011 U.S. Tries Open-Source Model for Health Data Systems


“The Affordable Care Act requires state-based American Health Benefit Exchanges to be established and working by 2014.  Exchanges are, for most states, new entities that will function as a marketplace for buyers of health insurance. . .” read more

The health information infrastructure is essential in the development of a federally managed universal health care system.  For the federal government to control our health care it has to have access to the data pertaining to finances, information to determine our eligibility for and our actual health care data.

The federal government actually prefers that the states do the work of developing these subsystems for them and D.C. is happy to feed our tax dollars back to us to pay for the work.

An electronic health record (EHR) is essential for collecting and sharing this information rapidly and widely.  The ARRA made sure to provide plenty of incentives for the state as well as hospitals and individual doctors to ensure that EHR would be in place. Electronic Health Records store their information in databases and use national standards to enable health information to be shared between various agencies across the nation.  The federal government needs the states to collect the information and share it in order for them to implement “Obamacare”

Carrots and Sticks

“In order to get hospitals, doctors and other health care providers to comply with the creation of EHRs for “each person in the United States by 2014,” the stimulus law provided for federal bonus payments to be made to providers who generate records complying with the federal standards by 2014 Health care providers that do not use EHRs that meet the federal standards by 2014 will have their Medicare and Medicaid payments progressively diminished as a penalty for failure to comply.” link

The EHR’s serve to collect data-The information technology infrastructure, just like our highway infrastructure, lets that data travel.   Unfortunately, this new superhighway is built like a perpetual toll road.

The $54 million dollar “early innovator grant” is about the infrastructure.

Everyone is talking about the $54 million “early innovator” grant that Gov. Fallin accepted for just this purpose-to build the health information infrastructure according to federal specifications.

(Read the grant application here)

Cooperative Agreements to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems
On Oct. 29, 2010, the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight made a Funding Opportunity Announcement that it will provide competitive incentives for states to develop the information technology infrastructure needed to operate Health Insurance Exchanges.

The actual amount that Oklahoma has accepted to build this infrastructure for the pending federal takeover of health care is actually much, much more than $54 million.

According to the OKLAHOMA REVISED HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE OPERATIONAL PLAN – MARCH 2011

“ARRA appropriated more than $45 billion to assist in electronically transforming the health care system.”

And

“The total ARRA funds awarded to Oklahoma are approximately $3.2 billion”

The Tulsa World in this article, Health exchange plan paid by federal grant still alive stated that “The application [for the "early adopter" grant] does not contain a straightforward commitment to Obama’s health-care agenda.”

I disagree.

On page 8 of the application it is acknowledged that the “The Cooperative Agreement to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems presented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). . . ”

If money is being paid to the state on the authority of the Affordable Care Act, for the purposes of creating something required by that act then how is that not a committment?

The Tulsa World writer also noted that the application is a half-inch thick and dense with jargon.” He is right on the money there!  It has been some chore to try and untangle this gobbledygook and none of it is very straightforward. The writer, Wayne Greene, does bring out some important information in his article and it is definitely worth reading. Health exchange plan paid by federal grant still alive

The “early innovator” grant, formally referred to as ‘The Cooperative Agreement to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems’ states;

“The Cooperative Agreement to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems presented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides Oklahoma the opportunity to explore more widespread system access and market based changes.”

Sure.  We can explore all we want to as long as we stay within the confines of the federal government’s fences.  From what I am reading, these fences will be getting progressively closer over the next few years.

The purpose of this grant as stated by the Dept. of Health and Human Services;

Purpose – The overall purpose of this program is to facilitate and expand the secure electronic movement and use of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.

Here is the funding opportunity notice released by The US Dept. of Health and Human Services on Sept 29, 2010.  On page 5 under “Authority” it states;

“Section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) authorizes the funding for this opportunity”

The application filed by our state also says that;

“The development of the Cooperative Agreement in Oklahoma will be referred to as the “Oklahoma Health Infrastructure and Exchange Project (OHIEP)”.

In my recent blog rave,An Open Challenge to Oklahoma Elected Officials HOW DO YOU DARE!” I said;

“You have painted good legislators into a corner and tied their hands making it next to impossible for them to protect the rights of their constituents.”

Unfortunately the policies adopted by the state of Oklahoma have tainted just about every aspect of our health information infrastructure in such a way as to guarantee that any of our health information that utilizes computer technology such as electronic health records, will be assimilated by the federal government to further the unconstitutional Health Care Reform laws passed in March of 2010.

Data systems that are all connected by the dictates of the federal government, using standards set by the federal government and that collect and submit information required by the federal government are effectively one huge system.  The federal government is the boss and the states are the local administrators for the boss. That boss is dead set on universal health care and we are participating in spite of the fact that the legality of such a program is being challenged and has yet to be decided.

Our entire state health care information infrastructure both the existing and future aspects of it, are neatly threaded into the new universal care system due to our state’s acceptance of BILLIONS in federal funds and the requirements that go along with those funds.

Senate Bill 1373 in 2010 created the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET).

“The purpose of OHIET is to ensure complete coverage of the state by health information exchanges (HIEs) and the secure and appropriate transmission of electronic health data both intra and interstate.” (Emphasis mine)

“Stakeholders of OHIET greatly value this opportunity to both expand Oklahoma’s existing and future HIT/HIE initiatives as well as help offset the provider costs of implementing the electronic information systems required to support Electronic Health Records (EHRs).” link

What this means is that all of Oklahoma’s existing and future health information technology and exchanges have been or will be altered to suit the wishes of federal government. They are making the rules here which likely mean that they will also win the game. And this is what I meant when I stated “You have made it so that any information technology related to health care in this state cannot be extricated from a national system limiting the people of Oklahoma from utilizing technology free from federal control that could improve their lives and health.

Oklahoma “Obamacare” Bill Tracking

In 2011 several bills in Oklahoma have been identified as “Obamacare” supporting or enabling bills.  The National Conference of State Legislators is one of the most authoritative sources there is for state legislation and they have a developed a Federal Health Reform: State Legislative Tracking Database

The intro to the database reads;

“Welcome to the State Legislative Tracking Database on bills filed in response to the Affordable Care Act!”

For those who have read enough the national and state documents describing the health exchanges and how the system will work and that are also weary of having to tediously explain and show how these bills (which unfortunately don’t have the word “ObamaCare” spelled out in flashing lights on every page) this database should provide some relief. All bills related to the health care reform acts are listed including bills that are in opposition to the federal health care reform bills.

Have a look: Federal Health Reform: State Legislative Tracking Database

Recently the updated federal Health IT Strategic Plan was released.  It is 80 pages long and the public may make comments about it until April 22, 2011.

Here is a link to the report and the following news item about the release of the updated plan;

“A draft of a Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2011-2015 provides a roadmap that the next national coordinator for health IT may use in spearheading many efforts, including protecting the privacy of healthcare information. But much of the content is a rehash of projects that were mandated in the HITECH Act, enacted in 2009 as part of the economic stimulus package.” Read more

In 2009, Mary Fallin, along all of Oklahoma’s US Representatives, signed a “Resolution on Preserving States’ Rights Regarding Federal Health Insurance Exchanges and a Public Plan , which deems the public plan anti-competitive and invokes the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in calling the national health insurance exchange a “federal takeover” of the states’ role in regulating health insurance.” Read the petition

The letter introducing the Resolution begins;

Dear Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi:

We are writing to reiterate our concern with recent federal health reform efforts—particularly, the Medicare-modeled “public plan” and a national health insurance exchange—which we believe would trample states’ rights and lead Americans down the road to single-payer health care.

There is just one acceptable response to such an attempted “federal takeover”.  Governor Fallin and Oklahoma lawmakers should take the advice of former First Lady Nancy Reagan and JUST SAY NO!

Show notes-Friday Sept 24th Guest Beverly Eakman: Why our Kids are “Walking Targets”

**Notes Added Below**

Beverly K. Eakman will be my guest this Friday, Sept. 24 at 6pm CST on AxXiom For Liberty.  You can listen in live on the internet at Rule of Law Radio. http://www.ruleoflawradio.com

Recently in PA at the “Freedom Action Conference” I had the pleasure of meeting Beverly Eakman in person and even got to visit with her a little on air

I was already glancingly familiar with Beverly Eakman through some of her writing that I encountered when doing my own research on the  on the Texas Medical Algorithm Project or TMAP’s (I hate to use the word “scandal’ because it simply  does not do this sinister program justice.)

(My writing on the program and what I found out by going to my daughters school here in Oklahoma;  Public Schools, Signs of Suicide and New Freedom for All )

This lady bowled me over with her fluid and agile intelligence and expressiveness.  After speaking with her for a few moments, I proceeded to buy every book on her table. It didn’t take me long after cracking one of her books for me to recognize what I was reading.

Earlier today I posed this question;

Oklahoma Schools: Data Collecting or Dossier Building?

and provided a little information about Oklahoma schools that gives me pause for thought.  This information wouldn’t necessarily give most people pause for thought which is why I want you to hear more about what Beverly has to say.

Why am I making the connection between school mental health screenings, Oklahoma’s new student information sharing system and fusion centers?

I mentioned my interest in initiatives to screen our  children for mental illness in public schools.  While I don’t doubt that most of the administrators of this program are well intentioned I also know for a fact that the pharmaceutical companies and some of the “non-profit” organizations’ interest is purely profit driven.  Lawsuits and tragedies continue to emanate from these mental health partnerships with schools and  Medicaid funds are central to the scheme.

I know from visiting my own school that a up to date  rolodex with numbers for area psychiatrists is a key portion of the’ Signs of Suicide’ program. I also know that your notification about  and consent for your child’s participation in the screening is handled as below the radar as possible.  “Consent” is given by default and if you should fail to follow the instructions given to you by your child’s school, DHS is to be notified.

I have also spent many, many hours studying Fusion Centers, down to the technical aspects of system interoperability and software capability. I even went to testify at one of the MIAC (a Missouri State Fusion Center) committee hearing in Missouri.  And what I recognized in Beverly’s books was the same sort of data collection, merging and sharing and profiling that is at the heart of the Fusion Process.

There are efforts underway to systemically share data  between law enforcement, mental health and public schools (and much much more!) What does this indicate to people, I wonder.

To me, it doesn’t matter the rational or what good things could possibly come fro it because the potential for harm is too great.

What I see is an astonishing degree of database merging throughout the public and private sphere that in no way benefits us or our children.  Health, welfare, education and law enforcement to name but a few sectors, are getting together and what that portends for our personal security and for individual freedom is terrifying.

South Carolina has a data integration system that simply floors me!

I have just finished Beverly’s  meticulously researched book, The Cloning of the American Mind, and this is information that is both extremely important and not widely known.  You can Find Beverly’s books at Midnight Whistler  Publishers and needless to say, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Beverly gave a speech in 2008 on the “Education’s Role” and I think what she covered in this  speech will help illustrate what has me so concerned.

I think it is important to note that this  speech was chosen to be placed into Vital Speeches of the Day which  is THE premier speech publication in America, possibly the world. Vital Speeches of the Day chose Beverly Eakman’s speech as the Dec 2008 Speech of the Month for their print publication which goes to all federal agencies, libraries and more.  It was also published online.

Some  excerpts of that speech are included here  but you can read it in its entirety at the end of this post.  (it is the last speech in the document)

In her speech Beverly explains how predictive analytics apply to our public schools.  She said;

“Today, hundreds of seemingly unrelated pieces of data that reveal political leanings and parental views are fed into a “predictive” computer algorithm. What’s a predictive computer algorithm? Well, it’s a mathematical formula that sifts masses of information, then predicts what a person will probably do, given various hypothetical scenarios.

What this all alludes to Beverly sums up this way;

Most hot-button topics of the day—from global warming to globalization—are first tested in the educational marketplace by psychologists using predictive computer technologies.

Disinformation is thriving in the nation’s classrooms. Today, I will present proof-positive that schools were used as the prototype for data-mining throughout the entire U.S. population. I will show you how government helps ensure—and enforce— the radical changes of ideals and attitudes and thus bring about a universal code of thought that others, including myself in past years, have alluded to. I am going to show you how unique ID numbers are assigned to each child, ostensibly by the state, but under the auspices of a federal mandate; how each state pretends to craft its own ID procedures, then transmits to the federal government for cross-matching with other federal data.

This technique is called “psychographics” You may be more familiar with the term “data-mining” which is the same thing. Here is an  explanation of psychographics from Beverly’s website;

Webster’s New World Communication and Media Dictionary defines psychographics as “the study of social class based upon the demographics … income, race, color, religion, and personality traits.” These are characteristics, says the dictionary, which “can be measured to predict behavior.”

And this quote from Beverly pretty much encapsulates the issue that I am trying to bring to the fore regarding the efforts to collect and share student data that is going on in Oklahoma and other states across the country;

The psychological questions and self-reports with which schools today inundate pupils comprise a specialized area known in the world of advertising as “psychographic data-gathering.” Psychographics is closely related to mass mental health screening, a highly controversial new initiative coming down the pike, as well as to “risk” analysis, which is turning into a dangerous political weapon.

I will continue to post information about Oklahoma’s  Race to The Top and the various other programs of concern but until then, please join me Friday on Rule of Law Radio Network to find out more about this very important subject.

______________________________________________

Show Notes Sept 25, 2010

Show Notes from Friday Sept 24th Guest Beverly Eakman: Why our Kids are “Walking Targets”

See Beverly Eakman’s books

Documents of interest;

•       Oklahoma’s Race to the Top

•       Race to the Top Technical Review Form – Tier 1

Oklahoma Application #5280-0K-1 (March 2010 evaluation)

•       CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL RECORDS AND PRIVACY 2009

•       Oklahoma Receives First Ever SIF Award Public Schools

•       Oklahoma Deploys the Nation’s First Fully Implemented Statewide SIF-Based Data Collection Model

•       US DOE Guide FERPA

•       ACE Implementation Guide Revised July 2010  ACE

Professor Chester M. Pierce, M.D., Professor of Education and Psychiatry at Harvard, has this to say, “Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our Founding Fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well — by creating the international child of the future.

A post about the Parental Rights Amendment

Group Manipulation Tactics-Thwart the The Delphi Technique


Beverly Eakmam was sounding the alarm about or schools using marketing techniques to psychologically profile school children back in 1991.

In 1981 she had resigned from teaching in sheer frustration, but she didn’t lose her sense of humor;

ODE TO A SCHOOLTEACHER AT YEAR’S END

(a.k.a. Letter of Resignation to the Clear Creek School District, League City (Houston), Texas, May 1981)

The kids bought their way out of class period five And they burned all the bathrooms down third; The school bus was late, Forty minutes past eight. Not a teacher all morning was heard.

Then class was dismissed for a game. Exams? Too bad! What a shame! “The children don’t need ‘em!” “School officials won’t heed ‘em!” “Let’s pass them for knowing their names!”

You see, the cost was only one dollar To go out and have a good holler. Coaches advertised passes To get out of classes, And my group became suddenly smaller.

Left were four Vietnamese refugees (Who hadn’t the one dollar fees), All eager to try it In a room that was quiet, Asking: “Please, may the testing proceed?”

Then a latecomer entered the room, And proceeded the cuss, yell and fume Because most of the class Had bought a red pass And he was stuck here the whole afternoon.

Kids complain that they can’t buy supplies, That prices are simply too high. But just let it be cash To get out of class And watch how fast money flies!

I’m told kids won’t be so obtuse The day we just let ‘em “hang loose,” And pay less attention To silly conventions Like putting one’s brain to good use.

So important is public relations! And politically correct celebrations! They say the public supports Only schools that hype sports, Not grammar, and like, abominations.

So here’s an idea that’s fantastic: Keep dropouts in school shooting baskets! Bring class head counts down By fooling around; Keep everyone drugged or distracted!

Just why should I play the good teacher When I can spend all day long in the bleachers? Pupils know when we gruel ‘em We’re only just foolin’; That we’d flunk ‘em They can’t even feature!

Comparing home and alternative schools, I know they don’t play by such rules. They don’t take education Turn it into vacation And turn out generations of fools.

So…in light of the above-stated factors, I think I’ll seek out greener pastures. Still young and gung-ho It’s the right time to go. May this school enjoy happy hereafters.

Read the entire article

The following is a selection of information and links, no narrative but much of the information speaks for itself.

We are the biggest potential political striking force in this country, and we are determined to control the direction of education.” NEA president Catherine Barrett 1972

“I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly view their role as the proselytizers of a new faith… The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new; the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism…”  - John J. Dunphy, A New Religion For A New Age, in The Humanist, January/February 1983 edition

FORDHAM CENTER ON LAW AND INFORMATION POLICY

CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL RECORDS AND PRIVACY:

A STUDY OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL STATE REPORTING SYSTEMS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Among state departments of education there has been a growing trend to establish statewide longitudinal databases of all K-12 children within a state in order to track students’ progress and change over time. This trend is accompanied by a movement to create uniform data collection systems so that each state’s student data systems are interoperable with one another. These two trends raised privacy concerns that we examine in this study. First, we were concerned with the way states were ensuring the privacy of their K-12 students. Specifically, our goal was to investigate what type of data was being collected and whether children were protected legally and technically from data misuse, improper data release, and data breaches. Second, we were concerned with the ease with which individual interoperable state data systems could potentially be combined to create a national database of all K-12 children.

INTEGRATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT INTO SCHOOL SAFETY:  THE MILWAUKEE INITIATIVE 2001-2003

This project (Integration of Law Enforcement in School Safety) was funded by the National Institute of Justice and awarded to the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS)

Research literature has begun to address the nexus of law enforcement and school safety from various perspectives. The literature reports a number of potential and actual types of interface, collaboration, or partnerships However, this project was envisioned and implemented in a manner and with a scope of collaboration not previously reported.

Data on student incidents, office referrals, and administrative actions, which were reported across all middle and high schools over a five-year period These student incidents included such activities as classroom disruption, non-compliant behavior, disorderly conduct, battery and assault, and others.

Community Partners is a Weed and Seed operation in which partners are assigned specific sectors of the city to identify community problems, identify at risk behaviors, and provide information to law enforcement. (Emphasis mine)

•       “. . .quantitative data failed to document any major changes.”

•       “While police data documented the nature of these problems and increased police activity, there were no major changes in the trends observed.”

•       “. . .quantitative data did not underscore dramatic changes during Phase Two. . .”

The direction taken in this project should be considered in future initiatives focusing on school safety. In sum, the objectives of this project were achieved and could be enhanced and replicated in other settings.

Read the Report

Creating an effective partnership between law enforcement and a school system is a challenging yet essential process that requires focus on a common goal of education and safety for youth.

http://www.schoolengagement.org/TruancypreventionRegistry/Admin/Resources/Resources/LawEnforcementandSchoolPartnershipasaSolutiontoTruancyRecommendationsfromGulfton%E2%80%99sTruancyReductionProgram.pdf

Oklahoma is the first state to become fully SIF compliant and the first state to do so legislatively.

•        70 OKLA. STAT. tit. 70, § 3-161 (2007), available at http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/OK_Statutes/CompleteTitles/os70.rtf (Student Tracking and Reporting (STAR) Pilot Program)

•       Oklahoma’s state legislature enacted the Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) Act in 2005 to provide a framework under which schools can implement the new standards and associated assessments

•       Through (Senate Bill (SB) 982 known as the “Achieving Classroom Excellence Act”, ACE  changed the curriculum, testing and graduation requirements for students in all Oklahoma public schools .  In 2006 in 2006. SB 1792 amended and further clarified the ACE act.

Oklahoma-The WAVE

The Wave is a state-of-the-art customized and secure electronic statewide student information system that can be utilized for eliminating duplication of reporting and accountability efforts, streamlining research and decision-making capabilities, and providing dynamic accurate and reliable information.

The Wave was developed utilizing Schools Interoperability Framework technology for providing the State Department of Education a utility to accept data from diverse applications – allowing school districts to select software that best fit their business needs – while implementing quality data collection standards.   The Wave operates in real-time, receiving and responding to electronic messages/data instantaneously.

Key Oklahoma leaders contributed expertise in management and information technology as the state’s Department of Education worked to determine the feasibility of this effort.  The Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) standards were updated and released in April 2007. Oklahoma student information system vendors updated their applications as required by law (Title 70 O.S. § 3-160) and are certified via the SIF 2.0r1 specifications and the Oklahoma SIF Profile. For certified vendors, please visit the SIF Web site http://www.sifinfo.org.

Implementation of the Wave will position Oklahoma in the forefront of the movement to bring education accountability in obtaining information regarding student enrollment, graduation, dropout, mobility, and a variety of student demographics.

The Wave is for everyone.   The Wave is the system of the future, implemented today

Read More

Oklahoma is an active participant in the Common Core Standards Initiative, a consortium of 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia. The Initiative is coordinated by the National Governors Association and the Council for Chief State School Officers. The standards that are being developed will be internationally benchmarked. (source Race the the Top Technical Review Form) All states curricula standards are posted at the International Bureau of Education

DOJ OJJDP 2006 Report

Concurrently, policies and service approaches for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders increasingly were moving toward the coordination of multiple agency efforts. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and other federal departments such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Education, were promoting information sharing among juvenile justice, education, and other youth-serving agencies to support a comprehensive continuum of care and services.

Safe Schools/Healthy Students

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative is an unprecedented grant program created and administered by three Federal agencies-the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Justice-designed to prevent violence and substance abuse among our Nation’s youth, schools, and communities. Funding supports the implementation of comprehensive programs that address the following six elements:

A safe school environment

Violence, alcohol, and drug abuse prevention and early intervention programs

School and community mental health preventive and treatment intervention services

Early childhood psychosocial and emotional development services

Supporting and connecting schools and communities

Safe school policies

Eligible grantees are school districts in partnership with law enforcement officials, local mental health authorities, and often with juvenile justice officials and faith-based and other community organizations. Click here to learn more about this program.

http://www.justice.gov/archive/fbci/progmenu_atrisk.html

Information Sharing to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency: A Training and Technical Assistance Project 2009

Recent developments in the National Juvenile Information Sharing (JIS) Initiative will be tested in two sites in FY 2009 – the Jefferson County Juvenile Assessment Center (JCJAC) in Lakewood, Colorado and the Colorado Children Youth Information Sharing (CCYIS) collaborative. Program evaluators will examine the capacity for successful cross-agency information sharing by testing the OJJDP Guidelines for Juvenile Information Sharing model components.

Findings will result in the development of a juvenile information sharing implementation strategy for state, local and tribal governments.

The implementation strategy will assist in the development and implementation of cross agency information sharing procedures that promote efficient collaboration, privacy protections and technological infrastructures.

As the National JIS Initiative advances, it will be introduced into other states that illustrate a readiness for JIS implementation. Data exchanges developed in the testing environment of the JCJAC have been completed and additional exchanges will be developed and implemented this fiscal year.

Plans for piloting and testing the latest version of the National Juvenile Information Sharing (JIS) Initiative Juvenile Justice XML Data Model (JJXDM) will continue this fiscal year. The JJXDM has been developed using the National Information Exchange Model – NIEM.
Additionally, an expanded webpage will be tested within the JIS website – http://www.juvenileis.org/nationaljis.asp. When complete, it will allow summary reports and progress reports to be posted and viewed by the pilot sites and other interested viewers. The Center for Network Development (CND) is hosting a forum for the pilot sites that will also allow document sharing and multiple discussion

Read more

Public School Health Clinics

SEATTLE — The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter’s abortion during school hours.

The mother, whom KOMO News has chosen to identify only as “Jill,” says the clinic kept the information “confidential.” “She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center,” she said. “Nowhere in this paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion.”

Jill says her daughter, a pro-life advocate, was given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing.

“We had no idea this was being facilitated on campus,” said Jill. “They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility.”

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/88971742.html

__________________________

Coming up on AxXiom For Liberty-

Oct 1st-Jordan Page Oct 8th-Galen Chadwick and Ruel Chappell founders of The Well Fed Neighbor

Medicaid Fraud-Feds investigating high prescribing Fla. docs

The St Petersburg Times Reports;

A Florida doctor who prescribed several mental health medications to a 7-year-old foster care boy who killed himself in April is also on the list. The drugs carried a special FDA black box warning indicating they can cause suicidal thoughts and are not approved for young children, though some doctors still prescribe them to treat children.

____________________________________________________

READ:
7 year old Foster Child on Psychiatric drug Hangs Himself

Public Schools, Signs of Suicide with NEW FREEDOM for All

Mental health Screening Initiatives- a treasure trove of links

_____________________________________________________

MIAMI (AP) — The federal government has stopped reimbursing a Miami doctor who wrote nearly 97,000 prescriptions for mental health drugs to Medicaid patients over 18 months, in a case that prompted a key Senator to call for a nationwide investigation.

U.S. Sen. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said Dr. Fernando Mendez Villamil wrote an average of 153 prescriptions a day for 18 months ending in March 2009. That’s nearly twice the number of the second highest prescriber in Florida, who wrote a little more than 53,000 prescriptions, according to a list compiled by state officials.

Grassley, an Iowa Republican and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid, called the figures alarming and sent a letter Wednesday to the Department of Health and Human Services asking the agency to investigate top prescribers across the country. His inquiry comes as the government targets waste and fraud in the taxpayer funded programs.

HHS officials said they were aware of Florida’s list of high prescribing doctors and were working closely with the state and federal agencies that investigate Medicaid fraud, according to a statement from Sec. Kathleen Sebelius’ office.

Read More;

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MEDICAID_TOP_PRESCRIBERS_FLOL-?SITE=FLPET&SECTION=HOME

Mental health Screening Initiatives- a treasure trove of links

Enormous cache of articles and links regarding initiatives for mental health screenings

read more here

Networking For A Better Future – News and perspectives you may not find in the media

http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2004/06/23/bush_to_impose_psychiatric_drug_regime.htm

Plans to screen whole US population for mental illness

According to a recent article in the British Medical Journal, US president George Bush is to announce a major “mental health” initiative in this coming month of July. The proposal will extend screening and psychiatric medication to kids and grown-ups all over the US, following a pilot scheme of recommended medication practice developed in Texas and already exported to several other states.

The Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) will serve, according to the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, as a model for the upcoming initiative. The TMAP medication guidelines were established in 1995 as an “expert consensus” based on the opinions of prescribers, rather than an analysis of scientific studies. The pharmaceutical companies who funded the scheme include Janssen Pharmaceutica, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Novartis, Janssen-Ortho-McNeil, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Bristol Myers Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst and Forrest Laboratories. The drugs recommended as “first line treatment”, many of them with potentially deadly side effects, are patented expensive drugs produced by the sponsors of the guidelines: Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroqual, Geodone, Depakote, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutron, Zyban, Remeron, Serzone, Effexor, Buspar, Adderall and Prozac.

TMAP was extended to cover children, again by “expert consensus”, and no doubt the Bush program for widespread testing in schools all over the US will find hundreds of thousands if not millions of new “customers” for the dangerous psychiatric drugs the scheme promotes. A recent article in the New York Times about “the use of juvenile detention facilities to warehouse children with mental disorders” might give us an idea of how many future patients are already waiting in the sidelines. But more importantly it shows that the problem that fits the TMAP solution is now being promoted by the media – go figure.

A similar “patient recruitment” move for psychiatry is the re-definition of environmental illness – a debilitating condition with varying symptoms due to environmental causes such as chemical poisons and electromagnetic pollution – as a purely psychological phenomenon. “It’s all in your head, stupid!” seems to be the rationale.

Diana Buckland, the Brisbane representative of the Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance calls for world wide submissions in a Global Recognition Campaign for sufferers of multiple chemical sensitivity or chemically induced illnesses.

Investigative author Martin Walker in his most recent book SKEWED, discusses how the recognition of biological causes of a whole variety of environmentally induced illnesses has been blocked by a small interest group of “experts” linked to the polluters – the multinational agro-petro-chemical industries. Those suffering from the debilitating effects of environmental illnesses are told that they are just imagining their symptoms and all they need is psychiatric help, perhaps some forced exercise, called “graded exercise therapy”, re-education of “how to deal with” their illness, psychological counselling or maybe just antidepressants – for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Bush’s Texas Medication Algorithm Project has recently run into a problem in Pennsylvania, one of several states it was exported to. Allen Jones, an investigator for the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, found heavy pharmaceutical corruption of State officials and medical experts involved in the original elaboration and the “selling” to Pennsylvania of the TMAP giudelines.

Instead of receiving a citation and help in his investigation, Jones was told to shut up and look the other way. After he went to the press with his findings, Jones was escorted out of his workplace on 28 April 2004 and told not to come back. On 7 May, Jones filed a whistleblower suit against his superiors charging that the Office of the Inspector General’s policy of barring employees from talking with the media is unconstitutional. Jones’ report is highly interesting – no wonder he is being told to shut up. I have summarised the document and linked it here following:

The Allen Jones whistleblower report
Revised January 20, 2004

This important document has been posted by the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, a non-profit dedicated to fighting the scourge of forced psychiatric drugging.

Download the original PDF document here.

What follows is my view of the highlights of the 66 page document, with some personal comments and recommendations added at the end
Josef Hasslberger
The Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) was developed with 1.7 million $ of initial financing from pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, provided indirectly through a connected Foundation, and subsequent direct cash funneled through subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutica. It was developed and implemented in the Lone Star State’s hospitals, prisons, the Juvenile Justice system and the Foster Care system during George W. Bush’s watch as governor. Bush used the “extended mental health care” scheme as a point in his 2000 presidential campaign. Before leaving for the White House, he recommended a 67 million $ spending increase to pay for additional medications for the Texas Prison and Mental Health Systems.

TMAP, the Texas project, was also exported to other states, including Pennsylvania, where an investigation into what is called PENNMAP there, uncovered improper pharmaceutical pressures and financial enticements in connection with the program. The investigator, Allen Jones, was told by superiors to shut up and look the other way. When Jones refused, he was unceremoniously removed from his job and prohibited to talk to the press. Jones has stood up to the pressure and has filed a civil suit to obtain protection under the “whistleblower” statutes. He continued his investigation as a private citizen and has produced a well documented report, which is available for download as a PDF file.

The TMAP medication guide was developed, starting in 1995, in a rather singular way. Instead of reviewing studies that show the relative efficacy of medications, an “expert opinion consensus” was developed, but both the experts and the survey questions were chosen by the pharmaceutical sponsors of the program which included Janssen Pharmaceutica, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Novartis, Janssen-Ortho-McNeil, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Bristol Myers Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst and Forrest Laboratories.

The subsequent evaluation of the experts’ opinions came to recommend several drugs, including Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroqual, Geodone, Depakote, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutron, Zyban, Remeron, Serzone, Effexor, Buspar, Adderall and Prozac, manufactured by – who would have thought so – the same companies that sponsored and controlled the development of the Texas guide. As the guide was adopted, doctors working with state health systems had to prescribe these drugs or face disciplinary action.

In his whistleblower report, Jones not only traces the funding and the influence of the pharmaceutical companies involved in producing and “selling” the Texas Algorithm to other states, but also shows that – according to independent research not financed by the pharma giants – the drugs recommended are neither more effective nor safer than the cheaper ones used before. If anything, their side effects are more serious and of course they are patented and rake in an incredible return for the companies involved – according to one estimate US medicare spends as much as 3.7 billion dollars for the treatment of schizophrenia alone.

Peter J. Weiden MD, one of the participants in the “Expert Consensus” process said in an article published in the Journal of Practice in Psychiatry and Behavioural Health in January 1999, three years after the experience:

“The most important weakness of the EC Guidelines is that the recommendations are based on opinions, not data. History shows that experts’ opinions about ”best” treatments have frequently been disproved, and there is no assurance that what the experts recommend is actually the best treatment. One danger here is that clinicians or administrators may misinterpret “current consensus” as truth.Another limitation involves the development of the survey itself. Treatment options are limited to those items appearing on the questions, and it was not possible to cover all situations. Another problem is potential bias from funding sources. The 1996 Guidelines were funded by Janssen (makers of Risperidone [Risperdal]) and most of the guidelines’ authors have received support from the pharmaceutical industry. This potential conflict of interest may create credibility problems, especially concerning any recommendations supporting the use of atypical antipsychotics.”

 

 

The original TMAP recommendations, made for adults, were extended unchanged to become recommendations for medicating children – with the same drugs – as TCMAP or Texas Children’s Medication Algorithm Project. No studies, no research – the original TMAP “experts” simply met and agreed that it would be a good idea to treat children with the same drugs as adults.

TCMAP, the childrens’ drug program, recommended Effexor, Prozac, Serzone and other drugs with deadly side effects. These drugs have been linked to suicides, violence and mayhem – notably school shootings – in young persons. Serzone was withdrawn in Europe when death from liver failure became widespread in users. The use of Effexor in children was banned in the UK last year.

By early 2001, TMAP and TCMAP had all but bankrupted the Texas Medicaid program and the budgets of the state’s mental health and prison systems. Nancy San Martin reported on 9 Februay 2001 in the Dallas Morning News:

“Texas now spends more money on medication to treat mental illness for low-income residents than on any other type of prescription drug.”“Prescription drugs are the fastest growing expense within the health care system. And the cost for mental disorder treatments is rising faster than any type of prescription drug.”

“The costs of treating schizophrenia, bipolar conditions and depression have surpassed expenditures for medications to treat physical ailments, such as bacterial infections, high blood pressure, respiratory problems and even chronic disorders, notably diabetes.”

“According to a report on the state’s Medicaid Vendor Drug Program, mental health drugs made up the largest category of expenditures among the top 200 drugs in 1999. They accounted for nearly $148 million. Those costs have more than doubled since 1996.”

“This week, health officials asked for at least $657 million more to help cover Medicaid costs.”

 

In April 2002, Bush established the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health as part of the “New Freedom Initiative for People with Disabilities“. The mental health commission has largely interlocking membership with the TMAP experts and those involved in bringing the Texas prescription guidelines to other states.

According to the Allen Jones report, TMAP appears prominently in New Freedom Commission publications as an example of a program that really works. On July 22, 2003 the New Freedom Commission issued its recommendations for redesigning the mental health network in each of the fifty states. Not surprisingly, TMAP is recommended as the model program for all states to follow.

But not all is going smoothly. According to a Wall Street Journal article on 21 May 2002 by Andrew Caffrey, entitled States Go to Court to Rein in Price of Medicine, legal action by states against pharmaceutical companies is becoming common. The States of Colorado and Nevada initiated lawsuits accusing seventeen drug companies of defrauding consumers.

The Nevada suit alleges deceptive practices that constitute consumer fraud and says, “The drug makers, through a pattern of behavior, operated a racketeering enterprise”.

According to Caffrey, Attorney Generals in thirty-five states are looking at pharmaceutical marketing practices and the states of New York, California and Texas have also filed suits alleging improprieties in Medicaid pricing practices.

I have argued in a recent article (so far only available in Italian) that we have two distinct health systems:

One of these, let’s call it the petrochemical model, is based on the use of chemical pharmaceutical remedies that treat symptoms and it is almost entirely supported by governments, spending our taxes. The major features of this system are toxins in the environment such as pesticides, herbicides and pollution from fossil fuels, genetically modified organisms, fluoride in the water supply, lead, uranium and mercury in widespread use, neurotoxic sweeteners such as aspartame in our food chain, antibiotics, hormones, vaccines, and pharmaceutical drugs that have, according to published studies, become the number one killer in the US today.

The other health system – let’s call it the biological model – is based on natural means to achieve and maintain good health and it includes proper (organically grown) food, nutritional and herbal supplementation, traditional remedies that have sustained the health of populations for millennia, coming from India, China, as well as other cultures, not to forget homeopathy, chiropractic and other alternatives in medicine, recent breakthroughs in biological and orthomolecular medicine, as well as energetic and spiritual approaches to health. The overriding emphasis in this second health system which, in contrast to the petrochemical model is highly pluralistic, is on disease prevention, with healing interventions targeted, where necessary, at removing the causes of disease, rather than suppressing its symptoms.

The petrochemical model is in a de facto monopoly position, maintained through AMA and similar licensing schemes, persecution of alternatives by so-called quackbusters, and now this monopoly is being reinforced through restrictive legislation designed to relegate the biological sector to a marginal existence. The increased cost in terms of injury and loss of life as well as the financial expenditure is born by consumers all over the world, because governments elect to spend our taxes on one and only one of the two health systems. The petrochemical health model is a commercial cartel, a monopoly that has become so pervasive as to compromise both our health and our financial ability to pay for it. According to the State of Nevada’s attorneys it uses what amounts to racketeering practices in securing its profits.

Vigorous action against this Great Medical Monopoly on all levels is probably the only way left to protect our health.

In closing, let me give you here the postscript of the Allen Jones whistleblower report, a document which I highly recommend for study. Jones appeals to all of us when he says:

“The pharmaceutical industry has methodically compromised our political system at all levels and has systematically infiltrated the mental health service delivery system of this nation. They are poised to consolidate their grip via the New Freedom Commission and the Texas Medication Algorithm Project. The pervasive manipulation of clinical trials, the nonreporting of negative trials and the cover-up of debilitating and deadly side effects render meaningful informed consent impossible by persons being treated with these drugs. Doctors and patients alike have been betrayed by the governmental entities and officials who are supposed to protect them. To the millions of doctors, parents and patients who are affected: PLEASE: suspend disbelief and realize you are on your own. Educate yourselves. The Internet has many sites that will help you. The Alliance for Human Research Protection, www.ahrp.org would be a good place to start.The above report tells what I fear to be only a small part of a much larger story. But it is a beginning. The fuller story will require the efforts of persons with investigative resources, political authority, legal standing – and the will to use them.”

 

 

Allen Jones
see also:
A Lone Wolf Talks on the Drug Leviathan
An interview with Allen Jones

No Child Left Unmedicated
By: Phyllis Schlafly – Published In: Health Care News
Publication Date: March 1, 2005
Big Brother is on the march. A plan to subject all children to mental health screening is underway, and the pharmaceutical firms are gearing up for bigger sales of psychotropic drugs. Like most liberal, big-spending ideas, this one was slipped into the law under cover of soft semantics. Its genesis was the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFCMH), created by President George W. Bush in 2002.

Sierra Times: Bush Administration – Money, Politics & Drugs
A new plan by the Bush administration to test the nation’s public school population for mental disorders and treat them with controversial drugs has raised an alarm among some medical science watchdogs and members of the mental health community…

Petition in Support of H.R. 181 — Parental Consent Act of 2005
to House Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
The American tradition of parents deciding what is best for their children is under attack. Powerful corporations, institutions, and politicians are quietly moving to have the federal government implement universal mental-health screening of children. This would likely lead to the forced drugging of children.

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons – TELL SENATE TO “JUST SAY NO!” TO UNIVERSAL PSYCHIATRIC SCREENING AND DRUGGING CHILDREN

No Child “Left Behind”: Code words for a children’s cookbook?Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 – scroll down to find or see the archives if it vanished from first page…

The Texans for Safe Education in Conjunction with Ablechild have Launched A Petition Drive in Response to Bush and Company’s New Freedom Commission and Its Recommendations to Screen all U.S. Citizens for Mental Illness.

MindFreedom News: President Bush and the Shrinking of the USA

Antidepressants dangerous and should be banned, crusader says
By Elaine Jarvik – Deseret Morning News
Ann Tracy knows hundreds of grisly stories: the professor on Prozac who bit her mother to death; the Stanford graduate on Paxil who stabbed herself in the kitchen while her parents slept; the mother who bludgeoned her son and then drank a can of Drano; the 12-year-old girl who strangled herself with a bungee cord…

British Medical Journal (14 August 2004) – Bush launches controversial mental health plan

Bush Wants To Be Your Shrink
Now Bush wants to test every American for mental illness — including you! And guess who will create the tests? – By Jordanne Graham

HISTORY OF THE FRAUD OF BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY – By Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD

Psychiatric Drug Facts - Peter R. Breggin, M.D.

Conspiracy: Eli Lilly, Zyprexa, Prozac, Bush Family

“Imaginary” Illness Costs U.S. Billions Each Year

THE WHITE COATS ARE COMING! – Jon Rappoport

ILLINOIS launches compulsory mental health screening for children and pregnant women

ILLINOIS: Children’s Mental Health Plan gives legislators headache

NewsTarget – August 21, 2004:
The big Bush handout to pharmaceutical companies: mandatory mental health screening for entire U.S. population

SSRI Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome in Newborns – by Elizabeth Rudy, D.V.M., R.Ph. (file is in pdf format, available from Washington University)

SHUT UP AND TAKE YOUR DRUGS – News with views

Forced mental screening hits roadblock in House
Rep. Ron Paul seeks to yank program, decries use of drugs on children

Mandatory Mental Health Screening Threatens Privacy, Parental Rights

The Psycho State – by Rep. Ron Paul, MD

Links resource: Antipsychiatry on the Web

THE STORY BEHIND PROZAC … the KILLER DRUG

Take Action! Send a Message
Just Say No! To Universal Mental Health Screening and the Drugging of Our Children

Mandatory mental health screening program would dose pregnant women with prescription drugs that cause birth defects

ChildrenÂ’s Mental Health in the 108th Congress: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Karen R. Effrem, MD

TEENSCREEN
A Front Group for the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex

ILLINOIS launches compulsory mental health screening
for children and Post-pregnancy women

 
Here a comment by CCHR‘s Peter Dockx with information on how to counter this initiative, which apparently was recently funded with an initial 20 Million Dollars by Congress:

$20 Million Approved By Congress to Screen US Population for “Mental Illness”

The House Appropriations Committee Funds President’s New Freedom Commission Initiative That Includes Plan To Screen All U.S. Citizens For Mental Illness

Tell Congress and the White House NO MENTAL SCREENINGS FOR AMERICANS AND NO FUNDING FOR THIS PLAN!

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee approved $20 million in new federal dollars to begin implementation of the plans set forth by the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFC) to get every man, woman and child in America “screened” for ‘mental illness’.

Amidst broad public concern that many of the antidepressants being prescribed to Americans are under federal investigation for causing suicidal reactions, the New Freedom on Mental Health Commission’s campaign for national mental health ‘screening’ – will result in millions more Americans being diagnosed with fraudulent and unscientific mental disorders, and prescribed dangerous and deadly psychiatric drugs.

Now, $20 million has been approved by the House Appropriations Committee for ‘State Incentive Transformation Grants’, in order to begin nationwide implementation of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health’s plan. It’s the beginning of a ‘Brave New World’ should the Senate fund this.

The Commission based its entire findings on the definition of mental illness as defined by psychiatry’s billing bible, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The methods of mental health ‘screening’ recommended by the New Freedom Commission are lists of arbitrary questions based on this DSM. If this “sweeping mental health initiative” is implemented, millions more Americans will certainly be diagnosed and drugged given the subjective diagnoses.
FACTS:

- The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health’s report states that “mental illnesses are shockingly common,” but neglects to address or even mention the fact that there is no medical or scientific means by which to diagnose mental ‘illnesses’. Psychiatrists and mental health proponents promote psychiatric ‘disorders’ as a disease, or an illness that can be diagnosed in the same manner as real physical illness. This is a fraud. There are no blood tests, brain scans or chemical imbalance tests to validate any mental disorder as an illness or ‘disease’. With no scientific/medical criteria to substantiate these claims, anyone could be diagnosed as mentally ill based solely on a checklist of behaviors.
- The DSM contains hundreds of psychiatric mental ‘disorders’ which are a list of behavioral symptoms that are literally voted into existence and inserted into the DSM. Such diagnoses include “Caffeine-Related Disorder”, “Mathematics Disorder”, “Disorder of Written Expression”, and the all-encompassing “Phase of Life Problem”. These ‘disorders’ are simply a classification of symptoms that are drastically different from, and foreign to, anything in medicine.
- The New Freedom Commission is blatantly promoting the coercive and manipulative tactics that have led to millions of children being falsely labeled with mental disorders in our public schools. Schools have become mental health clinics where children are diagnosed based on subjective questionnaires, instead of given proven educational solutions. This fact was substantiated by a report from the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education, which found that 2.4 million children had been diagnosed with mental ‘disorders’ and placed in Special Education, when in fact these children had simply not been taught to read.
- The issue of coerced child drugging in public schools has become so prevalent that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Child Medication Safety Act in May 2003, to prevent schools from forcing a parent to drug their child as a condition of attending school.
- Due to psychiatric influence, parents have been reported to Child Protective Services and charged with medical neglect for refusing to give their child a psychiatric drug, such as those currently under investigation for causing suicidal reactions. Parents have been charged with ‘medical neglect’ for refusing psychiatric treatment – despite the fact that there is no scientific proof that there is anything medically wrong with the child.

- In a recent report by Allen Jones, a former investigator in the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General (OIG), Bureau of Special Investigations, condemning the New Freedom Commission (NFC), he states, “Despite a nearly 500% increase in American children being prescribed mental health drugs during the past 6 years, the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health found that not enough adolescents are benefiting from mental health treatment. The NFC recommendations prominently call for mandatory mental health screening for all high school students, with follow-up ‘treatment’ as required – this means more kids on mind-altering and potentially lethal psychiatric drugs.”

WHAT TO DO:
1) Oppose any federal, state, or local plans for universal mental health screening. Contact the White House (202-456-1111), the Speaker of the House (Rep. Hastert at 202-225-2976) and the Senate Leader (Senator Frist at 202-224-3344), your own Members of Congress (go to http://www.congress.org), the House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner at 202-225-6205, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Judd Gregg at 202-224-3324 and tell them to STOP funding this New Freedom Commission on Mental Health plan in the Labor/HHS appropriations bill. Alert your state legislators and oppose school board initiatives to add psychiatric screening programs.

2) Support the Child Medication Act (S. 1390) currently stalled in the Senate by Senator Edward Kennedy – This legislation prohibits schools from coercing parents to place their children on psychiatric medications that are on the controlled substances list. Senator Kennedy, with large support from pharmaceutical companies, has not let this very modest proposal even receive a hearing, saying that it needs more study. Senator Kennedy (202-224-4543) as well as Senator Gregg (202-224-3324) the Committee chairman, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (202-224-3344) need to hear from the public.

3) Check to see if your state has a provision in state special education law that prohibits a school district from overriding parental refusal to submit their child to a special education or mental health evaluation. If yes, alert other parents, and if not, work for one.
Peter Dockx

Government Affairs
CCHR International
See also:
December 15, 2005
Psy-screening and Mandatory Drugs for Everyone? The Genesis of President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health
by Sue Weibert
Screening for mental illness is the most controversial topic concerning mental health today. Various government entities, private foundations, organizations, think tanks and universities, all flanked by cunning public relations firms, are hard at work trying to make mental health screening as common as a dental checkup. Despite public outrage over screening, these entities are working feverishly to establish this system. With so much clamor of disagreement for such a program, why, then, do these entities push forward with such ferocity? This article reveals exactly how this all got started, who’s really behind “the big push,” and how President Bush was tricked into establishing what might be the most detrimental program in the history of mankind.
MIRACLES STILL HAPPEN!
“Sit down, folks! What you are going to hear is going to astound you. At least it did me. This is the only really good news we have ever had regarding the protection of parental and pupil rights. This new information will strike at the heart of many destructive values- changing federal education programs, but especially at the heart of President Bush’s plans to require mandatory mental health screening of our children in the government schools. (New Freedom Commission on Mental Health). Yesterday, I did an Internet search….”
TeenScreen – Angel of Mercy or Pill-Pusher
by Evelyn Pringle
The question is what is TeenScreen, an Angel of Mercy for suicidal teens, or a pill-pushing front group for Pharma? After investigating the program, I’d have to say the latter.
Eli Lilly, Zyprexa, & the Bush Family – The diseasing of our malaiseÂ
By Bruce Levine
More than one journalist has uncovered corrupt connections between the Bush Family, psychiatry, and Eli Lilly & Company, the giant pharmaceutical corporation. While previous Lillygates have been more colorful, LillyÂ’s soaking state Medicaid programs with Zyprexa—its blockbuster, antipsychotic drug—may pack the greatest financial wallop. Worldwide in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $4.28 billion, accounting for slightly more than one-third of LillyÂ’s total sales. In the United States in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $2.63 billion, 70 percent of that attributable to government agencies, mostly Medicaid. Â
Celebrities Speak Out Against National Plan to Test All 52 Million Children
Priscilla Presley, Danny Masterson, Sofia Milos, Catherine Bell, Chris Masterson and Jenn Elfman speak out against psychiatry’s new federal plan to massively increase psychiatri drugging of schoolchildren, despite international warnings of drugs causing suicide an violence…
Psycho Feds Target Children
Lewrockwell.com – By Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Every parent in America should be made aware of a presidential initiative called the “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.” This commission issued a report last year calling for the mandatory mental health screening of American schoolchildren, meaning millions of kids will be forced to undergo psychiatric screening whether their parents consent or not. At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children.
Bush – Labeling Kids Mentally Ill For Profit
By: Evelyn Pringle – Independent Media TV
Citing recommendations by the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Bush wants to launch a nationwide mental illness screening program in government institutions, including the public school system, for all students from kindergarten up to the 12th grade. … The truth is, this is nothing but another Bush profiteering scheme to implement a drug treatment program for use in the public institutions that will generate high volume sales of the relatively new, but inadequately tested, high- priced psychiatric drugs. If all goes as planned, the scheme will generate millions of new customers for the drug companies.
An Open Letter To American Educators and Our Legislators
Nancy Levant – Sierra Times
THE NEW FREEDOM: OLD ORWELLIAN DOUBLETHINK
By Mary Louise – November 29, 2004
NewsWithViews.com
Though the New Freedom Initiative claims to help persons with disabilities, it will also enable the government to single out and label as “mentally ill”, anyone who does not behave and perform “normally”, or adapt and conform to the “New World Order” mentality, in the “New American Century”.
Bush-Backed Drug Marketing Schemes
AMERICA THE INSANE
Nancy Levant – June 28, 2005 – NewsWithViews.com
ItÂ’s looking more and more like the American contribution to population reduction will be in the form of diagnosing half its citizens as mental incompetents…
Fierce opposition arises to mental health screening in schools
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Opponents of school-based mental health programs point to parents who say their children have been misdiagnosed with problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and forced to take medication under pressure from school officials. To these parents, the commission suggestion to “improve and expand” school mental health programs is the first, inexorable step toward mandatory school mental health screening for all students, and mandatory medication for many…
Poll tries to gauge mental health
Schools, critics argue value of TeenScreen in preventing suicide
Government’s Big Lie: The “Crisis” of Babies With Undiagnosed Mental Illness
By Laura Adelmann
To the federal government, many newborns, toddlers and preschoolers are undiagnosed mental cases with dire need of “treatment” (read: drugs). Following the appalling trend of labeling school children with an ever-expanding list of mental disorders and medicating them with the cocaine-class of drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, government is promoting universal mental health screening and treatment – beginning with babies.
Bush’s Mental Illness Screening Squad On the Move
July 9, 2006. By Evelyn Pringle
The tax dollar funded mental health screening programs popping up in every corner of the nation represent an enormous gift to Big Pharma from the Bush administration. After all, drug companies can’t push drugs without a lucrative customer base, so the screening programs are a great solution for that little problem. On April 29, 2002, Bush kicked off the whole mental health screening scheme when he announced the establishment of the New Freedom Commission (NFC) during a speech in in New Mexico where he told the audience that mental health centers and hospitals, homeless shelters, and the justice and school systems, have contact with individuals suffering from mental disorders but that too many Americans are falling through the cracks, and so he created the NFC to ensure “that the cracks are closed.”
World Experts Demand End to Child Drugging in the US
On October 12, 2007, experts in the field of psychiatry and child development from all over the world arrived in Washington to attend the annual conference of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. This year’s conference focused on one specific goal – to end the mass-prescribing of psychiatric drugs to children.

Many of the presentations at the conference focused on the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the invention of both TMAP and TeenScreen and the many financial ties between the drug makers, the Bush administration, a group of psychiatrists, and state policy makers largely credited with the creation and promotion of these two programs.

Since the arrival of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants (SSRI’s) and atypical antipsychotics on the market, countless studies have shown the so-called “wonder drugs” to be ineffective and harmful to children. But for years, drug companies have manipulated data, suppressed negative clinical trials and published only the studies that showed positive results. The truth is that the mass drugging of the entire population in the US with SSRI’s has accomplished nothing when it comes to reducing suicidality.
Drug research: To test or to tout?
Allen Jones knew the instant he was destined to be a whistle-blower. He says it was when his boss told him: “Quit being a salmon. Quit swimming against the stream with the pharmaceutical case.”

“They got expert opinion to be the deciding factor,” Jones said in an interview. “Essentially, the drug companies could pay people to say what the drug companies could not claim themselves,” namely that they were superior to the older generation of antipsychotics.
Director Of Controversial TMAP Program Leaves
John Rush, the director of a controversial Texas program called T-MAP, which was created to implement a state system for treating psychiatric disorders, has taken a job in Singapore, where he has joined the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore as vice dean for clinical sciences.

Why is TMAP controversial? The state filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Jannsen unit for allegedly using false advertising and improper influence – such as grants, trips and other perks – to get its Risperdal antipsychotic on the now-mandatory adult protocol, the Texas Medication Algorithm Project. Drugmakers also reportedly paid decision makers to promote their meds.

World Experts Demand End to Child Drugging in the US – Part II

 

Washington, DC: Mathy Milling Downing was a featured speaker at the annual conference of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology and told the audience that her anger is directed toward the FDA and drug companies, “for their incompetence and lack of concern for innocent children they have helped to kill, my little girl included.”

Her 12-year-old daughter, Candace, hung herself from the valence of her bed on January 10, 2004, after being prescribed the antidepressant drug Zoloft for “test anxiety” at school.

Experts in the field of psychiatry and child development from all over the world attended this year’s annual conference in Washington with the agenda aimed at ending the mental health screening programs put in place by the Bush Administration’s New Freedom Commission and the mass-drugging of children with psychiatric drugs.

During her presentation, Ms Downing said she objected to placing Candace on drugs but was assured that Zoloft was safe and did not learn until after her daughter’s death that “up to four children out of every hundred run a risk of dying by their own hand or at least attempt to.”

Had she been given the opportunity to have informed consent on the dangers of SSRI’s, she said, “my child would still be alive.”

“I never would have allowed my child to be placed on a drug with no proven efficacy and a history of possible harm,” Ms Downing stated.

She described how she tried to contact doctors at the FDA numerous times to express her concerns, and no one was ever available to speak to her. She filed a complaint with MedWatch on March 18, 2004, and, “I am still waiting for my reply,” she stated.

“One would think that the FDA would support the needs of Americans over the greed of the various pharmaceutical corporations,” she said, “but that continues to be a pipe dream of mine rather than a reality.”

Critics say TeenScreen, billed as a suicide prevention tool, is nothing more than a drug marketing scheme developed by the pharmaceutical industry and a front group operating under cover of Columbia University to establish a customer base within the nation’s 50-odd million school children for the new generation of psychiatric drugs, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRI’s) and atypical antipsychotics.

These so-called new “wonder drugs” include the antidepressants Prozac and Cymbalta by Eli Lilly; Paxil from GlaxoSmithKline; Zoloft by Pfizer; Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Labs; Effexor by Wyeth, as well as generic versions of the drugs. The atypical antipsychotics include Zyprexa by Lilly; Risperdal, marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals; Abilify by Bristol-Myers Squibb; Clozaril by Novartis, and Geodon by Pfizer.

Best-selling author of “Mad in America”, Robert Whitaker, tracked the profits of these “wonder drugs” since the first SSRI, Prozac, arrived on the market in 1987 and found a tremendous rise in the cost to taxpayers. In 1987, psychotropic medication expenditures were about $1 billion, but by 2004, in a 40-fold increase, the cost had risen to $23 billion.

According to Mr Whitaker’s analysis, global sales of antipsychotics went from $263 million in 1986 to $8.6 billion in 2004, and antidepressant sales rose from $240 million in 1986 to $11.2 billion in 2004.

In the paper, “Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America,” published in the Spring 2005 issue of the Journal of Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Mr Whitaker also reports that, in addition to breaking sales records, within 10 years on the market, “Prozac quickly took up the top position as America’s most complained about drug.” He further states:

“By 1997, 39,000 adverse-event reports about it had been sent to MedWatch. These reports are thought to represent only 1% of the actual number of such events, suggesting that nearly 4 million people in the US had suffered such problems, which included mania, psychotic depression, nervousness, anxiety, agitation, hostility, hallucinations, memory loss, tremors, impotence, convulsions, insomnia and nausea.”

According to the paper, “It is well-known that all of the major classes of psychiatric drugs – anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, and stimulants for ADHD – can trigger new and more severe psychiatric symptoms in a significant percentage of patients.”

Ms Downing has been on a non-stop crusade to prevent the death of more children since her daughter died and the family’s tragedy is featured in the documentary, “Prescription: Suicide,” which also includes the story of 6 families effected by their encounters with SSRIs and how their lives changed forever. A copy of the film is available on the Participate Now web site at http://www.participatenow.net.

Candace should never have been given Zoloft because it was never approved for use with kids. Prozac is the only SSRI approved for children in the US because it is the only drug reportedly shown to be effective in two pediatric clinical trials, a requirement that must be met to obtain FDA approval.

But according to ICSPP founder and leading SSRI authority Dr Peter Breggin, the term “effective” has little meaning because all a drug company has to do is show better results in kids treated with an SSRI than in children taking a placebo and can conduct 100 trials if need be to get the two positive studies. It stands to reason that with 50-50 odds, if enough trials are conducted, an SSRI is bound to do better than a placebo eventually.

However, with that in mind, experts say it’s important to note that, other than Prozac, the SSRI makers have not been able to provide the FDA with 2 positive studies out of all the clinical trials that have been conducted in hopes of obtaining FDA approval for the sale of SSRI’s to kids.

That said, SSRI makers have made a fortune by getting doctors to prescribe the drugs for unapproved uses. A University of Georgia study in the June 2006 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that 75% of persons prescribed antidepressants received them off-label. The researchers reviewed records of more than 106,000 Medicaid recipients in 2001 to examine the rates of off-label prescribing of drugs that act on the central nervous system and found 75% of antidepressant patients received the drugs for unapproved uses.

“More than two-thirds of the studies of antidepressants given to children showed that the medications were no more effective than a placebo, and most of the positive results came from drug company sponsored trials,” Dr Karen Effrem reported in her presentation at the ICSPP conference.

Litigation against drug companies has established this fact. In 2004, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer brought fraud charges against Glaxo for hiding studies that “not only failed to show any benefit for the drug in children but demonstrated that children taking Paxil were more likely to become suicidal than those taking a placebo.” Two months later, Glaxo agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the charges.

Mr Spitzer pointed out that Paxil was never approved to treat any condition in children, and yet doctors prescribed the drug to kids two million times in 2002, the same year that Paxil became Glaxo’s top seller with $3.8 billion in sales.

On November 1, 2006, the Associated Press reported that Glaxo “has agreed to pay $63.8 million to settle a lawsuit’s claims that it promoted its antidepressant drug Paxil for use by children and adolescents while withholding negative information about the medication’s safety and effectiveness.”

Critics say it’s not difficult to track the industry money involved in the promotion of TeenScreen. The program’s Executive Director, Laurie Flynn, was the Executive Director of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) for 16 years, which bills itself as a patient advocacy group, but in reality is the most heavily industry-funded front group in the US.

Mother Jones Magazine obtained NAMI documents for the period between 1996 and mid-1999, while Ms Flynn was running the show, which revealed that NAMI received a total of $11.72 million during that 3-year period from 18 drug companies, including Janssen, $2.08 million; Novartis, $1.87 million; Pfizer, $1.3 million; Abbott Laboratories, over $1.24 million; Wyeth-Ayerst, $658,000, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, $613,505.

NAMI’s top donor during that period was none other than Lilly, the maker of Prozac and Zyprexa, which coughed up a total of $2.87 million out of the goodness of its heart.

Ms Flynn also wrote an article promoting TeenScreen entitled, “Before Their Time: Preventing Teen Suicide,” in which she stated: “The TeenScreen Program developed 10 years ago by Columbia University and offered in partnership with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill helps communities across the nation identify teens with mental illness who might be at risk for suicide.”

If TeenScreen is “offered in partnership” with NAMI, critics say, it goes without saying that millions of dollars of drug company money was invested in the program.

The efforts to implement TeenScreen by use of “this partnership” cannot be understated. A video-taped presentation at the annual convention of NAMI, obtained by researcher Sue Weibert, shows the TeenScreen crew telling the army of NAMI members from all across the country that helping set up TeenScreen might require contacting a child’s insurance company to check on coverage or driving a child to an appointment with a psychiatrist.

The video also shows the presenter passing around a notebook for signatures from members who would be willing to act as volunteers and rise up against anyone who speaks out against TeenScreen.

The presenter also explains the importance of bribing kids with movie coupons, pizza or other perks, because parents won’t agree to allow the children to be screened, so they need to win the kids over first and send them home to talk the parents.

Early on, NAMI and TeenScreen did not even hide the fact that drug money was funding the screening. In June 2002, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Update Newsletter reported that NAMI and Columbia University sponsored the screening of 170 Nashville students with TeenScreen and that the survey was funded by grants from AdvoCare and Eli Lilly.

But two years later, in March 2004, Ms Flynn appeared at a congressional hearing trying to drum up the allocation of tax dollars to set up TeenScreen in public schools. During her testimony, she as much as defined the customer base the drug companies were after when she told the lawmakers that, “close to 750,000 teens are depressed at any one time, and an estimated 7-12 million youth suffer from mental illness.”

On September 27, 2007, psychologist Michael Shaughnessy, professor in Educational Studies at the Eastern New Mexico University and columnist for the educational news and information site, EdNews.org, was interviewed about his views on TeenScreen by Doyle Mills, an independent researcher in Clearwater, Florida who was instrumental in blocking TeenScreen from setting up shop in schools in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, two of Florida’s most populated counties, and has published several articles critical of TeenScreen.

Mr Mills shared his interview with Dr Shaughnessy at the ICSPP conference, in which the Professor called TeenScreen “a program aimed at locating, identifying and procuring new customers for the mental health industry.”

He says TeenScreen is a creation of psychiatrist David Shaffer, a paid spokesman for Lilly and paid consultant for drug companies Hoffman la Roche, Wyeth and Glaxo.

TeenScreen started out by claiming the program was free and required no government funding. But as it turns out, taxpayers are funding this marketing scheme from start to finish. Government money is being used to set up TeenScreen in schools all over the US and tax dollars are paying not only for the follow-up visits to prescribing shrinks but also for the majority of drugs prescribed.

The pilot programs of TeenScreen in five counties in Ohio were funded by five $15,000 grants allocated by mental health boards within the Ohio Department of Mental Health.

Medicaid record show that taxpayers in Ohio are footing the bill for most of the child drugging as well. In July 2004, over 39,000 children covered by Medicaid were found to be taking drugs for depression, anxiety, delusions, hyperactivity and violent behavior, and Medicaid spent more than $65 million for mental health drugs prescribed to children in 2004, according to an investigation by the Columbus Dispatch.

The massive drugging of patients covered by public health care programs is similar in states all across the US. In 5 years, prescription costs for Iowa Medicaid increased 82.5%, and by class, antipsychotics reflected the largest increase for mental health drugs.

In 2005, while the average cost for a first generation antipsychotic to Medicaid was only $36 a month, a month’s supply for a new antipsychotics cost between $100 – $1,000, according to the December 8, 2005, Mental Health Subcommittee Report to the Medical Assistance Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee.

For the record, TeenScreen is not free, and it is costing tax payers a bundle. On November 17, 2004, the University of South Florida announced the receipt of a grant of $98,641 from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand the TeenScreen program in the Tampa Bay area.

Florida Medicaid is also being bilked. On July 29, 2007, the St Petersburg Times reported that, in the last 7 years, the cost to taxpayers for atypicals prescribed to kids rose nearly 500%, and on average it cost Medicaid nearly $1,800 per child in 2006.

The Times reported that more than 18,000 kids on Medicaid were prescribed antipsychotics in 2006, including 1,100 under the age of 6 and some as young as 3, even though guidelines from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration says that, with children under 6, psychotropic drugs should “only be considered under the most extraordinary of circumstances.”

In setting up TeenScreen to screen students in Brimfield, Illinois, “organizing the system and employing a part-time counselor specifically for the program is estimated to cost about $100 per student,” the July 11, 2005, Peoria, Illinois Journal Star reported.

Overall, the “Brimfield High School program alone will cost around $20,000 for the first semester,” the Journal noted.

The TeenScreen gang claims that it always obtains parental consent prior to screening students and that it does not diagnose students with mental disorders.

However, Michael and Teresa Rhoades, from Indiana, attended the DC conference and as a featured speaker, Teresa described how her daughter was TeenScreened in December 2004, without parental consent, and was told that she had not one, but 2 mental illnesses.

Teresa recalled the day that her distraught daughter came home and informed her parents that she had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and a social anxiety disorder.

Michael and Teresa say they were furious to the point that they filed the nation’s first lawsuit against TeenScreen, charging that their daughter was wrongly screened, diagnosed, and labeled mentally ill in a public school without their consent.

“TeenScreen itself is a questionnaire with invasive and probing questions which indoctrinate young people into a belief that all their feelings and behaviors are indications of a mental disorder,” Dr Shaughnessy told Mr Mills in the interview.

He said, “the child is convinced of it, the parent is convinced of it, and then the child becomes a customer of TeenScreen’s local mental health ‘partner,’ which sells counseling or drugs and profits tens of thousands of dollars per child.”

Dr Shaughnessy acknowledged that adolescence is a hard time for everyone but said, “maybe it’s supposed to be,” that’s how we learn.

He says TeenScreen labels the normal pain and uncertainty of adolescence as a mental disorder for profit and asks, “When did adolescence become a disease or something unnatural or deadly that needs intervention if anyone is going to make it through?”

“”What a ridiculous concept,” Dr Shaughnessy added.

He also points out that school records for children are intended to be secure but says, once committed to paper or computer, nothing can be 100% secure. “Normal school records are fairly harmless no matter who sees them,” he states.

“TeenScreen records on the other hand,” he warns, “contain unscientific evaluations which can be taken to mean that the child has a permanent, incurable mental disorder.”

He also says these records can then be used against a child as an adult, to take away his rights, limit his opportunities or “just as a horrible embarrassment.”

“As there is no scientific way to prove that anyone has a mental disorder,” Dr Shaughnessy points out, “there is likewise no scientific way to disprove it.”

He told Mr Mills that this is one aspect that parents are never made aware of prior to allowing TeenScreen access to their children. “Once a person is diagnosed, he may never be able to escape that label,” he warns.

Advocates against school screening have set up a web site that lists the TeenScreen locations throughout the US, which also posts a petition for people opposed to the program to sign at [TEENSCREEN-LOCATIONS]

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/01510/child-drugging-fda.html