Host Bill Heid talks to well-known filmmaker Colin Gunn, who has spent months exploring the problems with America’s health care system and is making a documentary about it.
The problems, Gunn says, did not start with Obamacare, but actually go back to World War II. Still, government intervention – from beginning to end – has been the source of rising health care costs.
Sadly, though, the system may get only worse. Gunn and host Bill Heid tell of horrific stories from England’s single-payer system, in which some people must wait three or more years for heart surgery while UK taxpayers foot the bill for sex-change operations. Also, the elderly in the UK are receiving involuntary euthanasia – without their families even approving or knowing.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: December 5, 2013
BILL: Colin, great to talk to you again. Thanks so much for being with us today.
COLIN: Oh, my pleasure. Is always good to talk to you, Bill.
BILL: Well Colin, it’s seems like when you pick targets to do documentaries on, you don’t pick small targets. You did Indoctrination. So you picked nothing less than the public school system, a pretty big target. And then you were involved with Captivated attacking, not attacking so much but sort of creating conceptually this idea that big media, this streaming of video is problematic. And now you’ve gone after the health care system. At least Obama care. Man, you’re attacking the big ones.
COLIN: Well, we don’t do small projects. We decided early on, when we started making films that we would do the big issues and things that are really important. Not only important in terms of getting a lot of interest in the news. You know, everyone talks about education, media, and now heath care is all you hear about. We’re not just picking them because we think people are interested. We think it’s important. These are issues we think the church needs correction on. Not just the church but the whole of America needs to learn a lesson on these. And we actually think, in our case, we have answers that most people don’t cover. And think that was true in indoctrination, where we brought up the issues…The talk of education was always how to fix it, but that wasn’t our solution.
COLIN: We have a different solution in health care as well. Most of the chatter is about Obama Care and we are going to cover Obama Care because it certainly exemplifies the disaster of intervention into the health care market through the government. Government control of health care. But we dig a lot dipper. That’s loads of things that people don’t know about health care in America. The way we’re doing health care in America before Obama Care was wrong.
We were doing it all wrong. The solutions have not come through the government. They will never come through government and the arguments that we present through eye witness testimonies and personal stories go to show that there is a way to doing health care that is so much better. It involves a whole boat load of personal responsibility and a whole different economic pattern rather than reliance on a third party pay system. And the way that we have done it, which is sort of regulated results. We do that for a reason. And so we have a whole other angle but it’s mentioned by some individuals in the mainstream, but it’s never the focus. Because mainstream media focuses usually on the most politicized aspects of many public argument so that’s what we are doing. There’s a lot of eye opening moments in this film.
BILL: Well, and this health care film is coming fast and furious. Coming January, we’ve got this system coming into place. And ostensibly I’ve read roughly 80%of Americans as the intended plan, who are on some sort of subsidizers, using the word subsidized, subsidized health care. I have a question for you that’s even sort of a pre-discussion. Is a law a law, if no one really understands what the law is or you can’t really implement the law, or people can’t figure out how to abide by the law? Is that really a law?
COLIN: Well, I’d say it’s a law worth braking to start with. There’s laws all over the place. That’s a whole different documentary, the complexity of our law system, you know, everything it’s illegal, everything is… In crises people, they get paid to makes laws and the whole industry is based on legislating and there’s a whole grip of catacronic capitalist who are focused on legislating for their own benefit. That’s the other story. That’s a complicated question. What is the meaning of a law that can’t be full filled? Well, what’s happened is the laws that we have, which of course the irony is they’re always broken by the people that make them.
COLIN: You pass a law that doesn’t apply to everybody. Applies to some and not others. And it’s not anything like a law that would be of any use to people and prevent a crime or prevent something that is wrong. It is a law that is designed just to gain, redistribute wealth and intervene and control peoples’ lives. The whole idea of creating this market place in exchange for health insurance policies… In the free market you will never need to create an exchange. It was never a need for that in any circumstances where you create a market. For what is like exchange for? Well, it’s for subsidizing insurance policies it’s for bailing out insurance companies so they get paid even if insurance policies are bad policies or badly negotiated with the customer. So all of these things you’re seeing in the foreground, and stuff going on in the background. Another aspect of the policies, people are losing their insurance policies, they’re having to go into the exchange now and the reason for that is the exchange has mandates that define what that insurance policy is.
The thing is about insurance is we would all pick insurance that we would know we will need and there’s ten things that we’re told that we need from an insurance policy. Of course two of them are things we actually need. Which one we are talking about? Health care, we are hugely thinking of heart attack, cancer or getting injured in a car accident, those are the kind of things that we think about health insurance, of course. What the mandates in the health insurance world that have been in a lot of states already but are particularly obviously in Obama Care are: you got to have maternity care, which is crazy for a young man buying maternity care. Having to pay for maternity care. Psychology, psychotherapy rather, is a big part as well. And all these themes have jumped on the bandwagon. That’s been true in the insurance world for a long time. They’ve mandates made Insurance generally speaking are a bad idea for people to buy, at least economically.
BILL: Yes, so it doesn’t make sense at some level, but here we are with this forced issue and of course, you and I, if we’re going to let it go we would say let the market place work this out.
BILL: And then for what the market place can’t heal, from the Christian perspective you would say there’s the personal responsibility side and then there’s the sort of corporate, church side that we pitch in and help each other. And that’s what kind of cover the base.
BILL: But this is something more insidious because there’s a kind of a control here that’s interesting and reminds me of, well, it really reminds me of the Soviet Union or something Hitler would have done. Because as you said there are winners and losers. So in a fascist system or in the soviet system the public bureau members had a different set of rules applied to them which the way our congress has different rules applied to them than the people. So, there isn’t a death panel at all that’s’ gone tell any of Nancy Pelosi’s family, “Hey, we are not going to fund you thing.” Number one, she doesn’t pay it but if her family were involved in it, she’s going to be protected because that’s the situation we’re in. It’s not a fair situation by any means, is it?
COLIN: It is fair to see the fascism as a model. I kind of half joke, I tell people that we’re looking at socialized medicine in our film. And to some extent when you look at a single pear, and of course, I’m never going to support a single pear, it’s bad, it’s really in a fashion terrible way they’re organizing health care system. But there’s not the cloning capitalism we have here. We don’t have this circumstantial, or we have big business aligning with the K Street in Washington, pushing through legislation that favors them. This isn’t just an Obama thing. This is a Bush thing, in terms of the Medicare Part D, where there’s huge financial beneficial pieces of legislation that really change our health care culture and subsidies people the rights to legislation. Obama is sitting down with a quilt band writing all of this stuff out? Even written one page of this document. What happens is, a lot of people come to the table, and to some extent they might be protecting their own industry.
So I understand that cause if you’re at the table, you’re in trouble. So they get to the table with this all politicians and writing legislation and of course it’s entirely on their favor. It’s not in the favor of the customer, which in this case is a patient who’s had an accident or is sick. And of course who is the victim in this whole story of fascistic health care? It’s this poor guy who loses insurance with Obama Care. He can’t afford insurance because it’s astronomically priced or it goes into the hot spot and gets a deal that’s ridiculous, he goes to a hospital for a heart checkup and its $15,000. And we got stories like that. There’s reasons for all and the reasons are that we’re just doing health care wrong in the economic front.
BILL: I think anybody that looks at what government does now, you and I would recognize the place for limited government and some sort of rules. But in this case, I think we all know the craziness involved when government gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And this is a big government at its worst and biggest. So we have the Pentagon buying $800 hammers. We have websites that don’t work. We have all kinds of crazy deficits with the postal system. So everything we seem to give government it doesn’t work.
And I guess I am wondering… You’d mentioned personal responsibility earlier on. Why would a civilization or culture want to turn itself over to something that they know in their heart of hearts, my guess is even liberals, while they may get on TV and sort of try to articulate some reasons why would we have a fascist system like this. Why would they, in their heart of hearts…? I’m trying to get to something spiritual here Colin, because I think everything in the physical world is driven by the spiritual world so something’s going on.
BILL: And it’s the antithesis of that personal responsibility that you had mentioned earlier. What do you think is going on with our culture and our civilization here?
COLIN: I think there’s two stories of the recipient and the giver. The motive behind the giver of the well fair state and all is going on is the desire to be the Messiah. I think that was true in education particularly, where there was a desire to have a vision for the future of America. Which we achieve largely, by changing people. I mean, you have this vision of a Utopia, and I think is that no less true in health care. You know my idea on Barack Obama and people like him in terms of health care is the way the snake oil feels when you come in and they say we have the cure.
So in terms of the response, the individual response appropriately to that. They are scammed in a real way and the social security is upon this scheme. Health care like this. Because everyone has this fear, so the deep spiritual side on the giver is this Messianic, “I will see all this people with health care.” That’s the best motive, the worst motives you can put to them is just corrupt. Which I think it’s a lot of that, too.
In terms of the receiver, the person who receives the wealth or the free health care… I think there’s truth to some extent. And we talk about that in a sense, in principal at least, in indoctrination, of why the people use the public school system when we know is terrible. The first thing they see is Oh, my school is different. We don’t have that. They’re being jerked. They’re jerked by the school themselves and of course the propaganda machine is powerful. That happens in the National Health (inaudible 00:14:02) person. But at National Health Service, they say is the envy of the world, of course it’s never been the envy of the world for forty years. You know?
COLIN: These people are… but the second part I think of it in terms of motivation. As far as motivation is easier to do it that way. It’s easier to sit back and allow someone else to take care of something that God has commissioned you to do. Of course obviously in the Scripture God has commissioned us to educate our children, be responsible for that. Secondly, health is in the exactly same category that we are responsible for our own health, what we do with our bodies, that’s lot of issues that we can talk about in relation to what people do with their bodies. The second part of it, there’s also responsibility for others. Taking care of their own families, elderly relatives, I mean they are an important part of that story. And then other people. The philanthropy that needs to go on, and it is very difficult to do with our current health care laws. There’s an opportunity for people to really focus on that. That is the part of the solution. So we need to recalibrate. But yeah, I think those are the motivations that drive our current circumstances.
BILL: Sure, we talked about this concept of salvation, we talk about what’s Christmas about, and we talk about what did Christ bring to the table. The world radically changed. I think a lot of people need to realize that this roman imperial concept of salvation originally started with this idea, the genius of the emperor. So if you wanted to get off the grid, if you want to sort of get of your daily grind and you didn’t want to continue to make payments on your propriety or whatever it was, and you were overwhelmed with debt, you could just go become a worshiper of the emperor and live on his property.
So when you did that you became a servant, in fact an agricultural servant. So we get the idea of serfdom really that came and the slavery, that came from them, by turning yourself over and saying, “I can’t make it any more on my own.” That personal responsibility side, I’m giving that up and I’m attaching myself to this God and of course the emperors and the Cesars thought they were Gods, they made coins that reflected that fact that they were thinking that they were God’s walking on earth. So it kind of reminds me of this business of Christ and the Cesars where you choose this day. Which path are you going to choose? You going to give yourself up like people did in the old days, during roman times? Or are you going to pick liberty and with the choice of liberty, this idea of salvation that whole world we talked about with soteriology. An aspect of that is health, right? Is not just your personal liberty.
BILL: But that’s a pretty big encompassing word. So I think there is a lot of factors going on here that are really, really interesting. Reminds me of us going back to the ancient world where people can say, both in the public school system and with the health care system, I think that’s what kind of interestingly joins this two projects that you’re doing. People are going back and saying, “You know what? I’m not going to take personal responsibility. I’m going to farm this out.” And because we got this big division of labor in our country, you can actually kind of get away with that. And I’ll qualify it by saying “for a while” right?
COLIN: Right. I totally with what you said. You said it very, very well. I think this is a subject that we’ve talked a lot as well. And I think what the issue for a lot of people is that they have a false hope in heath that sells. This is the other interesting aspect to this story.
COLIN: Because we are not seeing self-reliance. I do believe in a form of self-reliance but ultimately is a reliance on God. And God is our provider. God gives me something. I’m do go out and steal it. I’m not completely upon him. God blesses us with our health and if I am sick what I do? I pray to God and I pray for healing. I pray for provision to cover even the cost of health care. Things like that. This is lost in our culture. If there is a crisis in our culture or for individuals, even if it’s a financial crises, they automatically turn to the state. The false hope of health care, of course, health insurance, this is the ridiculous part of Obama Care. There is a big flaw within the health insurance. Is not really insurance you’re paying. It sort of paying up front for a lot of services that you’ll never going to use most of the time. And it’s redistributive already. You’re paying for the sickest people and it’s often a bad deal for most people.
What health insurance was, was to ensure against risk and calamity like you have vehicle insurance. We don’t have vehicle insurance, car insurance to cover the cost of auto changes and spilling gas in the car. So this is the flaw for health insurances. Of course, what did Obama Care come along and do? Well, the bad idea is they (inaudible 00:19:03) upon by signing the people if they don’t have it, and spending a huge amount of money making it the way to bring health care. So what we end up with? People think they have health care. They don’t they have an insurance policy which is a financial agreement with a company that may or may not serve the purposes that they are intended. And it’s the faith they have. We’ve got little (inaudible 00:19:24). People are talking about health insurance like is salvation, like being saved from death. “I have this so I will not die now.” It may be true in extent where there is financial intervention or circumstances; of course there is multiple opportunity for financial intervention. It’s not always the state that does that. In fact, when the state does it, it can be a big risk. Like in other aspect of the film, when the state controls things, it has the power to withhold care. And that’s another big story that we are covering so… The whole thing is huge mess, but I think our film is going to sift through all that and giving people real answers. It’s an optimist film in that sense.
BILL: Well, and the film again is Wait Till it’s Free so conceptually you’re saying you and I are both saying here, “Look, if you turn yourself over to the state, whether it’s Cesar or Obama Care, and whether you do it in a reluctantly, willingly whatever, you’re kind of turning yourself over to something that looks like it’s free on the surface.” But we both know, and then I know that’s the sort of tongue and check wait until it’s free that you’re doing, but nothing it’s really free. There’s always a price tag. And I think that’s another thing that scares me Colin, because I get a lot of young people in here and I talk about this on this radio show quite a bit, coming in, we’ve got a business here, we’ve got 45 employees, unless we have 50. We’ve got 45 employees here and a lot of people come here looking for jobs and a lot of people really think – people that are out on the market place – they think that they’re something for free.
BILL: That there is alchemy. Or that there is some way to get something for nothing and they’re latching on to the same old concept that’s been around. It’s the Devil himself I think, trying to tell you that you can get by without paying a price.
COLIN: It’s a crazy deception. The costs are so high in health care. We talked about the cost in education. The cost in education was that the heart of your child would be turned away from you, the family, to some other entity which is often that state, it’s often their peers, and it’s often the other things. They become different when you send them to public schools. You lose their heart effectively. That’s a huge sacrifice. Well, think of the sacrifice in health care. The parallel, the stories we have in the NHS will give a good example of what happens under collectivist…
BILL: Well lets’ talk about a couple of them. I was in Europe. Let me just interrupt you and tell you. This was my experience; I did this under drake’s flag. You and I have talked about that.
BILL: When I was over there, I wanted to see Scrubby and so I hired somebody to take me up to make sure that I’ve got all of the layout of the land and so forth. And my guide, guess what happened to my guide in England? We had a long train ride from London to Scrubby, so we had a chance to talk. Her husband had a heart attack, figure this out, and three years ago he went into the ER, and they very quickly got him in and said, “You just had a heart attack. You need an operation.” She asked me, and get this, she’s an atheist, she asked me to pray for her and her husband because her husband was dying, because it’d been three years and he couldn’t get his operation. And you’re just back from Europe, you’re in England, you’re in Scotland. Is that what you’re finding?
COLIN: That is what who we find and of course the idea of receiving something for free… The cost is so high, and the cost can be deadly. That’s the saddest part of this, and… You gave a story revolving around the idea of bad services that you receive and the rationing of care. Rationing of care is inevitable in my mind. I’m not against rationing of care. I just have a big argument about who does that rationing. That’s the big story. As the state has ration care, which doesn’t make decisions based on its own desires, on political priorities, not your priority, which usually in the case of something like a heart attack is to not die.
And of course what is the state think when it’s working whether to give you an operation or not. They might be thinking that it’s a bad think that you die, but they also might be thinking about the numbers of beds that we have, the distribution or the redistribution of the wealth that they’ve taken of the payer and their priorities. Maybe they’re spending the money on something else which we know they do in a sense. Spend money in National Health Service for sex changes. Spend money on sex change reversals for people who change their mind. They do IVS treatment, in vitro fertilization for lesbian couples. Things like that. AS for the heart attack patient that is sitting there not getting his operation. His number one priority is not top of the list for the state.
The worst case that we’ve covered, and we cover this in the film fairly extensively, is the Liverpool Care Pathway. The Liverpool Care Pathway was a form of involuntary euthanasia. Now we talk a lot about euthanasia, and obviously voluntary euthanasia is a problem and we have to talk about that. Involuntary euthanasia is a thousand times worse. Because what happens is grandma is taken into the hospital. She’s had an episode and she’s all do alley, and the family taken in and the hospital bringing her in, and a few days later she’s dead and the family… I guess it was her time, I guess she just, you know… What happened to grandma in the hospital, was they removed all her medication. She was put on what we’ve called the Liverpool Care Pathway. Which is a protocol towards dying effectively as a way to get rid of patients. She was removed from fluids and food and was in a state of confusion. No idea that this is going on. Her family had no idea what the Liverpool Care Pathway was. All they would hear about was “Yes, this is grandma’s time. She is dying.” Of course she wasn’t dying, she was being murdered by the National Health Service.
And they did this so often. About a third of every patient that was dying by any chance was dying through the Liverpool care pathway. So this is hundreds of thousands of people that were effectively killed by the NHS. We have examples of people who went in… in fact, we interviewed one of the doctors whose patient went on the Liverpool Care Pathway. He would have died that week. But he came in after a weekend said, “No, take him off that. I don’t like that.” And the patient lived another 14 months until he had another sickness that took him in to another hospital where this doctor wasn’t, and he died. He was put back on the Liverpool Care Pathway when he was taken to the other hospital and died as a result of that.
So this is a horror story that is played out within socialized medicine. The establishing of the priorities of the state within the health care system. You mentioned the Soviet Union. Of course punitive medicine was a part of that where do we use medicine to make political prisoners defectively through their psych ward. The hosts of risks involved when you have politicized medicine are huge. The political class favors its own and so we got to see… your surgery, whether you are getting it or not would be based on demographics which may include ideas that are just political. We saw it to some extend with AIDS research over other cancers in terms of prioritization of funds within public medicine. It was just bad decisions being made or just decisions completely political and not based on saving as many lives as possible.
BILL: Well there is kind of a trajectory to this unintended consequences. To some of them it’s just overt like Hitler got pretty, in our parlance as you or I would say epistemologically self-conscience right with… He just said it, “I don’t want the weak. I don’t want retarded people, browned skinned people in some cases,” he said. “Anybody dragging down society, not pulling the load as they should. I don’t want them part of the system.” So he was very sure of himself, and very self-conscious about what he’s doing. And I think there will be to some degree more and more of this sort of self-consciousness about what it is. We can’t see that now, but I’m just positing this trajectory that’s coming because as people get, people are smart, and they get good at the things they do. So the things that we look at right now and we say, “Okay, there is this Liverpool protocol.”
That will be refined here and they will get better and more efficient, and more efficient because the goal is to rid society of those that can’t really pull their own weight. Then we say okay, let’s maximize the utility value of that idea conceptually. And look, people will get really good at it until we look at ourselves and we say, “Look, this an Orwellian in hell. This is reaping the world wind by a million times.” Because what this would look like in 50 years of this plays out. Is something that you almost can’t even imagine? Can you?
COLIN: Oh, is terrifying when you think about the real consequence of adopting these ideas. With the state of the government there is often this desire to serve their own interest. And those interests can turn very dark. Is not just winning voters. It can be (inaudible 0:29:09) in the US has been a frequent problem over the last hundred years. I don’t think that the ideology has gone away. Part of it to some extent has, above course has been categorized, and has been passed on, mainly within the abortion industry, where we have seen a significant holocaust. Of course with this Obama Care that is a big part of the interest in getting people on these programs. The abortion industry is setting there as a huge beneficiary of all this welfare.
The big thing here is we have to tell people what we think the health care is, not what they are talking about. We would draw that little bubble which I mentioned earlier heart attack, car victim, crash victim, they draw this big giant bubble. Kind of like they use in environmentalism which to them means controlling ever single aspect of what you do with your life and business. Health care is very similar and it involves your mental health, involves your physical health by controlling that, “No soda for you,” they draw this giant bubble and of course is a little bit scary to think of all the things. Of course the public schools are participant in this. The public schools have always been a testing ground for socialist ideas. They had respectively programs within the schools selling abortions to minors and all the rest of us for a long time. That’s what we are going to see more of under of the Obama Care insurance program. So yeah, we need to be aware of all of this.
BILL: And it’s little opportunities for hope I think. We need to articulate. That’s why I’m so excited about the work that you are doing. We need to be able to present what the argument actually is. Not the perception of what the argument is, not as the website working or any of those things. What’s the true nature of the argument? So we have to learn to get at the very source of this and kind of flesh it out. So, I am excited about this sort of apologetically nature of what you’re doing because I think in a lot of cases, Colin, people do not know how to articulate the concepts that we’re discussing and so there is the need of what you’re doing. The need is for training.
Because here is what is going to happen in my opinion… And let me through this out at you. I thinks that there is pockets of hope. I think that the church and individuals and charities can do many good things. I think we can control how we live and increase our own health by just taking care of ourselves better and so forth. But here is historically how the game is played. If the states sees himself as the ultimate source of law, and this is what we were talking about earlier, any rival claims to that get increasingly squashed out. Now, the early Christians saw this. This is just a common theme through history.
The pilgrims came to this country because they had a different law code ultimately than the Anglican Church. They saw ultimacy, they placed in a different place so the Anglicans said there. The Church of England said, “We are going to hunt you down. And not let you even think thoughts that aren’t our thoughts.” So we just passed Thanksgiving and I always think those, we think about the pilgrims and what drove them. What happens is if you have doctors trying to say, “Hey look I am going to opt out of the system. I’m going to practice free market medicine.”
What you are going to get in my view is unless we are going to do something now, you get what I’m calling almost a revers tipping point where they start to stay, “Look, people are opting out of this system. We are going to do something about it because as God, we are the source of law, and no one will be allowed to disagree with us or take actions outside of our realm, outside of our law code.” So then you’re going to have laws end these doctors trying to get off this crazy grid and help people. Ultimately what they want, is what the Soviet Union wanted, is what the Devil wants. It’s total control. Right?
COLIN: Right. My optimism about that exactly is, based on what you are saying, and I totally agree, but the great part of God’s providence which is one aspect of God’s providence is the free market works better than the state. That has been true. Look what is happening in education. There is a tipping point of protection, where there is enough people in America to make it very difficult to destroy the home school movement and the private school movement. It would be very difficult for the state as much as it would love to get rid of all those and get them into the program. I think health care has the similar pockets of liberty. And do they so well, because they are away from this false market which is third party PA, government controlled and legislated.
Over on the other side we have these people. They have a liberty aspect to what they do. We talked to Keith Smith in Oklahoma who runs a surgery center and he is able to give operation at a (inaudible 00:34:11) rate compared to what most hospitals would give operations for. Is something like a fifth in some cases of the price of these big hospitals. Big hospitals are expensive partly because they are gouging everybody, but also they are subject to… they have to have accountants and lawyers and all the rest of it, and big counters and thousands of staff just to make the smallest things happen.
These small surgery centers operate on a small stuff with very good service provided for cash. Because people pay cash they don’t have to go and try to get reimbursed through third party pay insurance so they don’t have to… It’s a very simple process. The way it used to be in America. You would go and you will pay a reasonable amount for a particular service. That’s a good example. There’s going to be more of that because people aren’t going to get the service they need from the government, so they are going to seek it out on the free market and there is really exacting things happening there, there is people providing these great services.
And yeah, there is going to be a tipping point, similar to what’s going on over there will be so much of that. And who knows. It might be that you will have to go abroad to get treatment or something. But there is always that event, is just like the Soviet Union, it will fail because inevitable it will collapse the ideology. Because they are not honoring God’s law. That’s the measure of their success or failure. And judgment comes, judgment will come to Obama Care. That’s why I think when we talk about this issues, we are not just biting our chest about Obama.
BILL: Sure. No, no, no.
COLIN: You got to train people and say, “This is the way to do it, and saying these is the things that you could do regardless of what the government does. Here is what you need to be doing.” And that is a good message in the center of our film. When we talk about those things, personal responsibility for help, taking in grandma… Little stories that really mean a whole lot. I think people will realize this is an optimistic story. This is the good news.
BILL: Yeah, it’s great news. And as you said it’s not just about Obama Care. This goes deeper than that. This is about the implications of health care but it’s what the true nature is of salvation. So, when we are talking about health care in terms of the Gospel, I think that’s what people ought to really get excited because we are talking about treating our body like a temple. We are talking about helping our neighbor. We’re talking about other solutions that have worked in the past. They worked in the past in early Rome. Right? I mean they were throwing babies away and health care for those babies came from the Christians who were waiting for those babies under bridges and so forth to be thrown away.
So, we do have answers and I think that’s an important part. This isn’t a negative or pessimistic thing. We’ve got answers, we’ve got to be able to articulate the problem. In order words, if you want a diagnosis, something like health care, it would be a good idea to find out what is the real problem. The real problem is a spiritual problem. The real problem in my view is obviously salvation lying somewhere else apart from Christ. That’s what always gets a society into trouble. And we are there now. Right up close and personal.
I’ll tell you on a personal level just a little experience and you can tell me Colin, what your thoughts are on this. I had a rotator cuff operation and I had a Blue Cross and I paid my, what I needed to pay, my deductibles, and it paid so much for it and I had to pay the rest. And I looked at the final invoice, and the doctor wrote off 20,000 of this fee. And the total fee was about $64,000 and I was visiting with the doctor that day and talking. And I went out and talked to the people that pushed the paper work and I said “This thing was $64,000. You guys just wrote off this big amount,” and I said “What would have happened if I would have walked in here and said I’ve just got some cash, and I’d like to buy this rotator cuff operation.”
I’m not making this up. She said “Oh, around $6,700.” Now, think about this. One was $64,000, one was $6,700 in cash she would have taken. Apparently they do those deals. Most people don’t know… Here’s another little titbit from today’s show, most people don’t know that doctors would do this kind of thing. Well, guess what? I found out, maybe too late in this case but I found out that they do.
COLIN: Oh, I think this is the eye opening aspect of the story and this is a big part of our film. Is that we have broken economic models. Economic model at best for medicine is that the provider and the receiver, the patient, are in a room and that there is an economic component to that. The way we have done it, this is where the third party pay is. Is that we have someone else pay for us, but all of the decisions in terms of the economics of that transactions is not in the room as we receive the service.
There is no other example in economics where that happens. The only other example that I can think of is when you get a coffee at the end of a meal and they don’t bother bringing you the menu. So you say “Sure, bring me a coffee.” and there is never a $2,000 cup of coffee. It’s usually priced pretty normally. Of course, this is this crazy circumstance that we consume without a concern for price. And it’s an insane opportunity for gauging. It’s an insane opportunity for people who give the service to charge way too much. Which of course they’re doing.
Of course there’s lots of reasons why they’re doing it. They’re doing it because they can, number one. No one will go around and sell it, even to stand at a street corner and saying, “Come and get your rotator cuff fixed here! $64,000.” That never happens in health care all the time because is this weird model that we have adopted and it has been adopted because of the way government has made it. The primary way we do health care. There is such a contrast with the way the market should work. This is a story we have heard a lot of.
And it’s similar to the idea, when you shop online and you shop for a flight, you’ll be sitting in a row with three people and you all paid a different price. And it has to do with when you bought and why you bought and all these different things. It’s not unusual that we’ll have a market place that sets different prices. I don’t believe in price fixing. But the way we pay for health care for instance, the doctor doesn’t care about charging you a crazy amount. You don’t really care because you are only paying a percentage of it. And therefore the price is inflated so the poor slob who doesn’t have an insurance walks in making a deal. But you know the sad side is that if he goes in and arranges ahead of time knowing that he can have a deal, then good for him and it will happen. It happens all the time.
But the sad side of the story is the guy who breaks a leg, card it in or has a heart episode and gets taken and doesn’t know he can negotiate, is not professional to negotiate. He gets a $300,000 bill dropped on him. And they will force that money, so much that they will eventually sue him for it. And they will try to get that money until he dies, and this is the crazy side of health care. Absolute disaster. It doesn’t need to be that way.
BILL: It doesn’t need to be that way. And you know, in this whole thing, on top of this, I lose my doctor personally in this madness. So I’m really, not bitter about it, but this is terrible. That my doctor, in his case just said, “I’m not going to do this. I’m not going on.”
COLIN: We have a story in the film of a doctor who’s just walking away. Just closing down. It was too expensive for him to keep all going. And told all his clients who were all upset, he is going out of business and was hitting to the golf course. Personally he didn’t like golf but he was like, “I’m out of here. Why should I?” His story was the digitization of all of the files that he had. Of course you should go in his office, is just reams of these files and wall after wall of files that he would have to digitize.
It could have cost him personally a $120,000. He decided “I’ll just keep the $120,000. Thank you very much. I’ll have that for part of my retirement.” and that’s what we are seeing. Doctors are going to live the profession choice. Although we already have problems with the number of doctors that we have thanks to a MA for a hundred years, limiting the number of doctors in the system. We now have a problem with doctors just saying, is not for me, but what I see in doctors is there is still opportunity to practice medicine apart from all of this. The cash only clinic is probably the best way to go or the surgery center. That is the sort of thing I think they begin to looking at.
But I just want to get other points. There is some good news for the doctors here, getting help from the system, of the third party pay system gives you an opportunity to serve the Lord in a manner that is very difficult to do. He can spend time with patients, He can council. A lot of illnesses aren’t related to the pills that person does or doesn’t have. It has to do with who they are, and fixing the problem of them within their heart is can be the job of the physician as he ministries people. And there are some of the stories we’ve got in the film, where we have people that are physicians. First as their occupations but second as councilors and pastors in a sense really come along aside those (inaudible 0:43:47) and spiritually because they’re broken and the health problems are just a result of their lifestyle or their lack of faith or their sin. And so there is great opportunities there. And that is another great story that we are bringing out in the movie.
BILL: Great. I think that needs sort of to be thought of and developed because who says, who can see into the future? No one can say that this program which looks like a defeat, but really hasn’t a lot of victories. Haven’t there been disguised as defeats? I mean certainly Christ’s death looks like a bad deal. Looks like a defeat and I think, “Who am I? I am not omniscient; I don’t know what can crop up.” But I know that there is two forces. There is a force of good and evil.
And there is a force that it’s going to try to cap all of this and a force that it’s going to say, “We are ultimacy and we want ultimate control.” But there is another force, and that’s the force, it’s the reason I’m excited about your project, that force says, “Who knows what the opportunities are?” We’re made in God’s image, we are able to think, we are able to create new niches, new markets. How can we develop something new out of this? It is my hope and my wish that people are going to get your film and start thinking about this in a different light. And start thinking about this in a way where we say, “Look, this system is going to fail. We’ve got some answers, we can win. Why don’t you join us? Here’s how we think. Here’s how we got to that conclusion.”
So, Colin, anything else, like a closer down? Anything else? I mean I’m excited about it.
COLIN: I think I’ve said a whole a lot about the film. And just pointing people to the website would be good.
BILL: How can they help you?
COLIN: We do have what we call a backstage passage to get. Not just parts of my other films but the backstage pass gives you those films. You get Captivated, you get Indoctrination, you also get access to all of the video footage of all of the interviews. And we have about 40 hours of footage at least now of interviews with all of these people that we are interviewing are top caliber -real excellent interviews. Way beyond what we have done before in terms of the importance of the people that we have. They’re talking at national level, so people like Steven Brell, and John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods and Daniel Hannan member of the European Parliament. And we have a bunch of other names that most people are studying health care will know these names.
What we are doing is these backstage pass gives you my last two films and then you get two copies of the film when it comes out as well, the new film, Wait Till it’s Free, but you also have access to the backstage footage. Gives you the whole interviews of all of these individuals. So it’s a good deal. So that’s the way to support us. That would help keep the lights on our production company and get this film made, and we’d be very blessed by the community supporting this venture so far.
Otherwise is going to website, knowing about the project when it comes out next year. Which we are hoping is going to be the in the first few months of next year. Being recipient and getting it, we are desperate. We don’t have a big national release plan so we won’t be in the theaters. It will be something that would go out like out previous films through those that are motivated to talk to others and speak to others on this issue. So we encourage people to screen the film in their community, invite people around to see it and get it out to people, and get this message. Because it’s really important message.
BILL: And tell your friends, maybe buy more than one copy. Maybe buy ten copies. What’s the website one more time?
BILL: Colin, great talking to you today. An ambitious project. We wish you all the best and keep us informed. And thanks so much for talking to us today.
COLIN: My pleasure to talk to you again.
Speaker: Thanks for listening to yet episode of Off the Grid news. Today with Colin Gunn. Again be sure to check out Colin’s website for his new documentary “Wait Till it’s Free” at http://www.www.wtifree.com. Join in next time for another episode of Off the Grid News.