What kind of crazy world do we live in when, in a western democracy that is fully vested in 21st century technology, your dog or cat can get better, more immediate medical attention and treatment than you? What kind of lunacy would relegate a human being to certain death through astronomical waiting periods for the most basic of services (such as diagnostics) while at the same time allowing those same machines and technologies to be available for the diagnosis and treatment of the same diseases in animals… but without the wait.
Does this sound farfetched? Something out of a George Orwell novel? Something occurring in a country that is probably not as civilized as our own?
We’re talking about our neighbors to the north… we talking about the Canadian health care system, the one our government seems hell-bent on making us emulate in the United States.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: March 30, 2012
Bill: And greetings and welcome everybody. Today is the first day of spring here, as we record this. This will be aired a little bit later. We’ve got a very special guest today, as we always say, in house here with me. I’ve got my good friend and partner here, Abe Chacko. Abe, welcome.
Bill: And I’ve also got the guest that we’re going to be talking about is the producer of a movie called Sick and Sicker. It’s Logan Darrow Clements. And Logan, welcome to the show today.
Logan: Thank you for having me on.
Bill: Before we get started too much, I just want to mention to the listeners that Abe is here because Abe ran a clinic with 40+ doctors and the subject of today’s show is sort of the emergence and repercussions of Obama Care. That’s also the subject of the film Sick and Sicker, which the producer, as I said, Logan, is on. So Logan, why don’t you tell us a little bit? You weren’t always a filmmaker. Give us a little bio first and tell us how you got from where you where you were to where…. What provoked all of this?
Logan: Well, I graduated with an MBA in science and I originally had started out with a strong interest in new ventures and entrepreneurialism and I had a website and then eventually a magazine about new ventures and venture capital, where we talked to entrepreneurs who were successful and tried to figure out how they got their first order, how they got their first money, how did they get off the ground. We’d also talk to venture capitalists about why they invested in that one venture out of a thousand business plans they saw.
But as I watched the news, I just kept seeing the government just passing more and more laws, taking away our freedom every day and more of our freedom and more of our money. That seems to be the two things that government does every day when it passes new laws. And I said you know, “I want to do some kind of venture that involves me calling attention to this and the repercussions of it and I want to make my living doing something that I really believe in.” Although I enjoy new ventures—and you know, Steve Jobs was a big hero of mine growing up—it’s not going to be relevant if the government just completely squashes the economy and takes over everything. So all hands on deck. We’ve all got to fight this beast that’s just taking over every part of our lives.
Bill: Well indeed it’s a beast. So what gave you the idea to produce Sick and Sicker, which is a fabulous effort? I want to congratulate you on it. It’s another… We talk about having scary movies. It’s another scary movie that everyone should watch because as we go on air here, we’re talking about the Supreme Court tackling this issue of Obama Care and will probably give us some version of it, somehow, some way. What was the trigger point that actually allowed you to create the production?
Logan: Well, there were two things. The first is that I saw… I decided to make this movie actually before the last presidential election. I actually thought Hilary Clinton was going to be our next president but obviously it didn’t matter whether she or Barack won. They both wanted to force us into socialized medicine. So I said, “Well let’s show people what socialized medicine is going to be like.” So I wanted to get ahead of the curve a little and I went up to Canada and shot a lot of the movie around 2007-ish. Also I wanted to provide a rebuttal to Michael Moore’s movie Sicko.
But what really was at the core of my motivation on a sort of emotional level was the idea that I am never going to allow a bureaucrat to hold my life in his hands. That’s intolerable. That’s the line. Government, as I said earlier, keeps growing and growing and growing and growing. I said, “That’s the line. I am not going to allow it to cross.” So to the point where I am forced into a government run medical system and some bureaucrat somewhere can decide whether I live and die. Some bureaucrat somewhere can decide whether I get a medication or not. I said, I would call it the civil war line. That’s a line where we just cannot allow our government to cross that line. Unfortunately, it already has and now we have to push it back on the other side of the line.
Bill: But Logan, President Obama has promised that that will never happen.
Logan: Yeah, it’s amazing how many ridiculous statements were made trying to sell this bill about people being allowed to keep their health insurance when we know he knows full well that when you put on all these regulations on health insurance, we force health insurance companies to cover people that are already sick. Obama is not an idiot. He knows that’s going to drive up the cost of health insurance. So just the amount of statements that Obama made in selling this that were untrue is just incredible.
Bill: So from your perspective, these are just outright lies. I’m tempted sometimes just to think that he’s…. I’m not his biggest fan but I’m just saying I’m tempted to think that sometimes he’s just a socialist idealist and he thinks the thing will work, just like with the solar panel deal where I saw the other day—one of his companies got a grant to sell solar panels back to themselves. And you’re talking about the same thing here. So the guy has to either be very naïve or diabolical and you’re choosing the d word in this case.
Logan: Yeah. What Obama did… I think he saw what happened to Hilary Clinton. Hilary Clinton tried to just put the frog in the hot, boiling water and the frog jumped out.
Logan: So the hot water, of course being socialism. And Obama said, “Well, let’s just put the frog in and turn the heater up a little bit at a time for over the course of four to five years.” Obama Care is being implemented over several years of course. And basically his idea is to pretend that he’s working with the market while at the same time destroying it so it doesn’t look like it’s his fault. And in fact, this happens in socialism a lot, where the government interferes in a market and then what happens? The market goes off kilter. Prices go way up or quality goes down and they say, “Oh look! The market’s not working! We need more government,” which messes it up more. And they say, “See, the market’s a mess. We need more government.”
So putting the guaranteed issue regulation on, in which you’re going to as I mentioned earlier, forces insurance companies to cover people that are already sick. All the various regulations on health insurance basically drive up the cost of health insurance. And it’s happened with my own health insurance. Mine has gone way up since the regulations were passed. And so his idea is for the health insurance market to be destroyed through regulations, where prices go through the roof and basically everyone ends up sliding into a government run system, whether it’s Medicaid or Medicare or some other government program.
Bill: Sure. Abe, do you have some questions or some direction that you want to take us a little bit or…?
Abe: Sure. Logan, you know since I’ve been in healthcare, blistering it, I’ve noticed that everybody talks about healthcare reform, including the Republicans and Democrats. And really, if you can change four or five things in healthcare, lots of the stuff that Obama Care is tackling does not need to be done. And one of them is just simplify credentialing of doctors, which takes so long in our current system. It gets duplicated and duplicated and duplicated. And in your movie, you talk about how the government manufactures scarcity. Do you want to address that a little bit?
Logan: Yeah. Well when you have a government run healthcare system as they have in Canada—I just call it politicare since we don’t want to… We’d have to change the name from Romney Care, Hilary Care, Obama Care—so when you have a politicare system, the primary concern of the politicians who run it is to keep it going. They want to save money because these systems inevitably… the costs just keep rising and rising and rising when you have free whatever. People are just going to take advantage of it, of course.
Bill: So stop for a second, Logan. Stop for a second. I just want to make sure everybody understands this. So what happens is you promise—because you guys are kind of talking about the second side of the cycle… At the beginning, you make a bunch of promises for political reasons and you buy votes through what you say with respect to healthcare. Then what happens is, when you go to make good on the promise, you can’t and so the system that people think that they were buying into really isn’t the system at all. It’s a system full of shortages and so then you have to deal inside the shortages. And that’s what you’re talking about.
So in the cycle that—and I don’t want to rabbit trail too much but the cycle that we’re at now, we haven’t fully… We’re experiencing incrementally. Both Abe and I have the same situation as you. Our healthcare, for different reasons, has gone through the roof. But the cycle is a gradualized increase of costs at this point for us. But to get to this Canadian system, we’re not close to that yet but Abe’s point is you’re manufacturing that already here, right? People are buying in. Do you think most seniors want this? Who gets these votes where everyone says, “We want more of this”? Where they go to their Congressmen and then say, “Yes, support President Obama.”
Logan: I think it’s people who have been indoctrinated with the basic ideas behind socialism, that wanted… The socialists were very smart in the way that they have taken over America. They started at the top. In other words, you start at the universities, okay? And then you try to have as many people pushing your ideology in the universities. Why? Because most people that become journalists and movie producers and mass media people, in whatever aspect of mass media, whether it’s music as mass media or entertainment mass media—most of them will pass through a university. So if you have professors there in the university for four years, who are drilling into their heads the ideas of socialism, well, when those college students graduate and go off into the world and especially the ones in mass media, they’re going to be promoting socialism.
And so now you’re at the second level and most of the media is pro-socialist. And then they’re pumping out their ideas for years and years and years. And then lo and behold, most people in society agree with those ideas or a large segment of them do and they vote for people who bring into being, those socialist ideas. So I actually think it’s really ideology that drives most people. I don’t really think it’s people that don’t have health insurance and think, “Wow. Now I’m going to have health insurance.” I don’t really think so. I think most of the people that probably support Obama’s system are people that already have it but they’ve just been indoctrinated with the idea that equality is the ultimate goal. Even if we all suffer, at least we’ll all suffer equally.
Bill: So when this transcends socioeconomic categories—because you’re going to see people that just want something for nothing but you’re also going to see the ideologues, as you said, in the societal transmission belts of media and so forth, that just kind of buy into this and so it’s a self feeding dog because people read it and people want it and people say, “Well, I’m going to take the course of least resistance. The government will protect me. The government will care for me. The government will become my god and so I’m going to worship that god on whatever level that means.” And they buy in. But they haven’t seen the dark side of the shortages that Abe made reference to. So I kind of take you full circle back to that. What about these manufactured… where they’re manufacturing shortages and it’s a little bit of a precursor to the Canadian system, is it not? That we have right now.
Logan: Oh yeah, absolutely. Again, the main concern… Once the socialized medicine system is set up, the main concern of politicians and bureaucrats is making sure nobody uses it. And you’ll see this in my movie, one of the doctors who actually ended up at one point on a committee where they were trying to figure out how to keep people out of the system. It was sort of like this house where they were boarding up all the doors and windows to kind of try to keep people out. Because when a person goes into a socialized medicine system, they incur costs on it. And of course when you have socialized medicine, the costs just go up and up and up because people don’t have to pay for it at the point of service. Of course they pay for it through outrageous taxes.
So what they’ve done in Canada, in Ontario in the early ‘90s, they got together—this board of governors of the system and they said, “Well, what’s driving all the costs? The costs are going up and it’s not sustainable. How do we stop it from just continuously rising?” And they say, “Well, let’s see. Doctors are prescribing prescriptions. Doctors are prescribing surgeries to be done and of course they have office visits. Aha! We have too many doctors. Let’s reduce the number of doctors in this system to reduce costs.” So they did a couple of things. They actually paid doctors to quit practicing medicine in Canada. Half a million dollars to quit practicing. Just like in our government subsidized agriculture system. Sometimes they’ll pay a farmer not to grow wheat or pay a farmer not to raise pigs or something. Same idea. They were paying doctors to retire, number one and number two, they were reducing the class size of people going through medical school.
And this happened in the early ‘90s and now, guess what? They have a shortage of doctors. Approximately one in ten Canadians cannot get a primary care doctor. And why that matters, in a system like Canada has, you can’t get care from a specialist unless you get a referral from your primary care doctor. So the primary care doctor is like that bouncer at the free medical club. And so approximately 10% of Canadians can’t get past the bouncer. So and this is all engineered. This was engineered by politicians who were trying to figure out how to save money because their primary concern is saving money. It’s not saving the lives of patients.
And the doctors in my movie who talk about this—that’s not their primary concern. Their primary concern of course is staying in power and getting votes and all that. And what that involves is trying to keep this system alive rather than trying to reform it, which in the case of Canada, reform would be moving toward a market based system where people, when they’re getting treatment, chip in and they could choose doctors freely and they could maybe get out of the system and buy private health insurance if they wanted. Because Canada did two things. Not only did they force everyone to pay into the government insurance scheme but they also outlawed private health insurance.
You cannot sell private health insurance in Canada that covers something that’s covered by the government’s health insurance. You can sell health insurance that covers something that is not covered; your dental work and other things that are on the edge. But it’s against the law to cover things that are covered by the government health insurance system. So they really wanted to make sure that the market had no chance, that Canadians couldn’t easily see that they were being ripped off. So that’s what happened up there. So they really need to reform the system. And actually, some of the people who set up Canada’s socialized medical system are now having a change of heart and saying, “You know what? We do need to move toward a market based system.” One of the people I got a chance to interview in my movie was one of the health ministers, the health minister of Quebec actually and established socialized medicine in Quebec and now he is starting to believe in the free market.
Bill: He’s backpedaling. That’s interesting. Abe, do you have some more stuff?
Abe: Yeah, one of the things that you notice when politicians get involved is they maneuver certain things. For example, in your movie you talk about just delaying care—delaying chemotherapy, delaying ambulances, delaying burn treatments. By virtue of which the end product is the fact that people die. And if more people die, then they don’t have to spend as much.
Bill: That’s incredible.
Logan: Exactly. Yeah. What I tried to do in the movie is show what waiting lists mean. A lot of Americans are aware that there are waiting lists up in Canada and in other countries that have a politicare. But I wanted to show “What does that mean?” What does the waiting list mean? Well, it means three things. One, your disease is probably getting worse. In most cases, your disease progressively gets worse. In some cases, it stays stable but in most cases your disease is going to get worse.
The other thing that happens is while you’re on a waiting list is you could be suffering in pain if you have a painful bone condition or whatever. And the third thing that can happen while you’re on a waiting list is you can die. People in Canada who are needing heart surgery and cardiac care—a lot of them, by the time they get to the front of the list, they either died before they get to the front of the list or by the time they get to the front of the list, their body is too weak to undergo the surgery for which they were waiting and they say, “Sorry. You’re just too weak and you can’t withstand surgery.”
Bill: Then they knock you out again. That’s incredible. That’s incredible. Only the government could figure out a way to do something like that. Make you wait, while you wait, you get sicker and then when you go to get the operation they say, “Well you no longer qualify for the operation because you’re most likely not going to make it through it.”
Abe: And most Americans don’t realize what that would mean. When government gets involved, they control every point of the access.
Logan: Absolutely, yeah. They decide what drugs you can have. A lot of the people who were being interviewed in my movie were complaining that there were better anti-cancer drugs out there and they weren’t allowed to have them. And one of the other cost control measures that I discovered in my movie is that I think in Canada, at least in the province I was in, which was Ontario and the system up there is administered differently by each of the provinces. So it’s slightly different. For example, in Alberta they might get an anti-cancer drug that the people in Ontario don’t get. So it’s a little different in each province. But in Ontario, I really think that the government intentionally has an insufficient amount of imaging. They don’t really use PET scans that much. Actually, you know what they use PET scans for in Ontario?
Logan: Scanning pets. They consider PET scans too advanced. They’re not really sure if they work so they have them in universities but then at night, you can take your dog or cat in there to get scanned.
Bill: What’s the first one called? A PET scan?
Logan: Well the PET scan is one of the most advanced scanning technologies out there.
Bill: Spell it. Is it PET?
Logan: Yeah, PET.
Bill: Okay, so PET. So I guess the irony there is the most advanced stuff sits idle and then the actual pets use the PET scan because… Well give us a little background on how crazy a world it is where you can go get your dog a scan but you can’t go there. How could a tangled bureaucracy evolve to the level that makes that happen? Where a lady could get cancer or get something wrong with her. She can’t get in for a year but she could get her dog into the same machine a couple days right after the vet says, “Hey, take the dog in.” How could that happen?
Logan: Well it’s a perfect example of a government run system versus a market-based system. Veterinary care, care for your cats and dogs and whatever other animals you have, in Canada, is completely free market. The government doesn’t run it and it’s such a stark contrast. One of the ladies in my movie Sick and Sicker, she talks about the fact that it took her months—I think it was over a year actually when you add up all the time—between when she had the symptoms and when she started to actually get the cancer treatment. Her dog on the other hand got the treatment the next day, within 24 hours her dog was being treated for cancer. It took her more than a year to get treated. And that’s because veterinary care is completely free market in Canada.
So what happens in a real free market— Prices tend to go down. Quality tends to go up. People who are purchasing the service or good in a real market shop around. They push the price down. They push the quality up because they demand it. But in a government run system, that doesn’t happen. In a government run system, just the opposite happens. The providers of whatever service know that it doesn’t really matter how fast and of course cheap isn’t really an issue because they get paid a flat amount by the government for whatever they’re doing anyway. So in a government run system, they just don’t have any incentive to be faster, better or cheaper. And that’s what you get with a market system—Faster, better and cheaper.
And so in Canada, it’s an excellent exposition to show a human going through the system and an animal going through a veterinary, market based medical system. That’s really what I wanted to show. It takes a bit of doing to match up someone. That’s something I wanted to do for the movie. I didn’t get a chance to do is find a human and a dog with the same condition, let’s say a certain type of cancer that’s similar between a human and a dog or some other condition—maybe a heart condition between a human and a dog and follow Fido the dog and Fred the human through a Canadian system, one government based and one market based and see who gets treated better, faster and cheaper.
But of course Canadians are very afraid to talk about the system to criticize it because they’re afraid they’ll get cut off if they criticize their system. I encountered this many times, where I had somebody whose father died on a waiting list and I said, “You know what? You really need to talk about your experience. You need to speak up.” And she said, “Well, you know, I’m getting treated for some things right now and I’m just afraid. I don’t want them to cut me off.” So it’s a reign of terror as well as a bad medical service.
Bill: Well there’s billions and actually trillions of dollars that we owe as a nation. I don’t know where our country thinks—or how—that we can pay for all of this. We’re trillions and trillions of dollars in debt and there’s billions of uncompensated healthcare costs in this country. I think $43 billion is the last number that I’ve seen. Where does Obama think, Logan in your opinion, where does he think that the money is going to come from to sort of fulfill on all of this?
Logan: I have no idea where Obama thinks the money’s going to pay for Obama Care. We do knew that he cut a lot of money out of Medicare, which is kind of surprising as far as political strategy goes because seniors tend to vote more than everyone else and generally the rule in politics in America has been don’t touch Social Security or Medicare or else you’ll be voted out of office. So a certain portion is coming by taking money out of Medicare. But as far as the rest, I don’t think he really knows or he really cares. Again, I think Obama is such a socialist ideologue and socialists don’t really care whether things work. They believe a certain thing is right, whether it works or not. And so they’re not really concerned with the minutia of how it won’t work.
Bill: Sure. So it’s okay, like in this solar panel thing—It’s okay for a solar panel company to get grants to sell solar panels back to itself, just as long as there’s a fuzzy, warm feeling about alternative energy. And he’s seeking to perhaps do the same thing in healthcare and maybe buy votes. But let’s go back north for a while. Tell us some of the sad, sad stories. There are some stories in there that are just riveting. Why don’t you give us a couple of accounts because I think as Abe said, people don’t realize how this is going to affect them. They think it’s just a bunch of bureaucrats sort of haggling over things. They see it on the news and they really can’t put it together in how it’s going to affect their lives but Canadians know. And the Canadians that were good enough to speak to you in the film Sick and Sicker told you some horrible stories, some horror stories that would want to make you—depending on your emotional stability—cry or walk out of the room or turn off the TV or whatever it is. So take us through a couple of the examples that you found.
Logan: Well, one of the people who was speaking out for his brother actually, was a doctor in Ottawa. His younger brother was very active father of two children, played hockey and baseball and basketball. He had a heart condition and one day was having really bad symptoms and they put him on a waiting list—not just a waiting list for surgery or something like that but just for a cardiogram. He had to wait for a while to get it tested. And the ultimate wait he would have been on, I think, to get some type of actual treatment for his condition would be about 30 days or so. Well guess what? He didn’t have 30 days. He died 10 days into it.
And so that’s just the cruelty of this type of system. It’s ironic that people think that a system where everyone is “equal,” which of course is another thing that’s not true about it—People think that a system where everyone is supposedly treated equal is somehow more humane or more just. Nothing could be further from the truth that people dying, who A, were forced to pay into it. This fellow who died—He was force to pay taxes to prop up this politically run medical system his entire life and then when he needed it, it wasn’t there for him. That’s something that needs to be spoken to all these people who think that Obama Care and socialized medicine is a great thing that when you really need it the most, it won’t be there.
And actually, I want to talk about that point because there’s a diversion between people who have experience and use Canada’s system and those who haven’t. A lot of people in Canada really like the system. Those people tend to be people who have not used the system or they haven’t used it for anything serious like cancer or cardiac care or something like that or orthopedic care, where they sometimes have to wait a year and a half. So people who haven’t used the system, they think it’s great or they’ve just used it for some minor thing. People who have had something serious, they’re the ones that are no longer fans of the Canadian socialized medicine system. And some of the other stories that came up in the movie.
There is a lady, again, that we talked about who had cancer and she kept getting on one waiting list after another. They were misdiagnosing her, making her wait. In Canada, you wait at several different levels. You have to wait to get in to see your primary care doctor and then if he says, “You know what? You need a certain test or imaging or screening or whatever,” then you have to wait for that a couple months. And then after that comes back they say, “Okay, yeah, you definitely need this surgery or this chemotherapy or whatever.” Then you have to wait again to get the actual treatment. So when you add up all the waits, it can be a very long time. And the government in Canada does actually keep track of the waiting lists on their websites, on government run websites but they don’t add the wait from that first part of the wait, where you’re waiting from the time you make the appointment to see the primary care doctor. So the waiting lists are actually undercounted on the government site.
Bill: Yeah, so you have to wait to wait is basically the system they have devised.
Logan: Yeah. Exactly. And I interviewed a lot of people that did have cancer that again, they paid for—through their high taxes they paid for this government based health insurance and then when they needed it, it wasn’t there and so what did they have to do? They eventually had to go to the United States or in one case a guy went to Germany and pay again—pay a second time to get what they really wanted to get, as the latest cancer drug, faster imaging and so forth. There is one gentleman in my movie who had a serious problem with his spine. I think one of his discs was ruptured or something like that and he was in intense pain and have to take painkiller basically all day long and have to lie in his bed all the time. And the treatment that he wanted that was the latest and greatest treatment for that just simply wasn’t allowed by the government. They didn’t allow him to get it. So he had to pay to fly all the way to Germany and get the treatment. So that’s what happens in a government run system is bureaucrats decide whether or not you get treatments.
Abe: So Logan, I have a question for you. In the United States, if a physician does not treat the patient in a timely manner, he can get sued and lots of physicians and also health systems, they want to get the patient—as soon as the diagnosis is done, they want to get the testing done and get the patient on the road. Otherwise and one of the problems that everybody says about cost in the United States is tort reform, but in the Canadian system, it seems like the patients cancel the doctors? Or their government officials?
Logan: As far as I know—and this isn’t a part that I did much research on—but as far as I know, yeah, I don’t think you can sue the doctors if you don’t get timely treatment and it wouldn’t be their fault anyways because you’re put on a list to get treatment and it’s simply the fact that the doctors can only see so many patients a day and there aren’t enough doctors.
Bill: So you’d be suing the government basically.
Bill: And they have all the money in the world to throw back at the lawsuit and the judge would throw it out.
Abe: Yeah, but in the States, if a doctor put you on the list and says, “Bill or Abe, I’ll see you in 10 days…”
Bill: There is a level of treatment that’s expected here and when doctors deviate from that… And tort reform is probably good but in a sense, it does kind of keep them honest because if they spend a lot of time…. Like that burn case that you were talking about up there. That burn case is important because burn cases here are treated within hours. Abe’s in the medical field and he has sons that have stories about the University of Iowa here where people just get wonderful treatment in just hours. But you’re talking up there about how long if you have a burn patient—days and days and days.
Logan: Yeah, there was one farmer who got burned working in his shop, in my movie. There were so many things that went wrong with his treatment, starting right from the get-go. When they called 911 and they tried to send the ambulance to their farm, they didn’t have the address right. I think they screwed it up at least twice and then finally they got there and they said, “Oh wow. We need to fly him out.” And then eventually they got a helicopter there because the local hospital couldn’t deal with his burns. He had to go to a bigger city hospital where they have a burn center. But the problem was they called all over the province and all the burn centers were full.
They didn’t have any beds for this guy. So they had to send him to the United States. So they had to send in a helicopter but by the time the helicopter got to this poor guy, the pilot said, “Oh, you know, we’re under regulations. We can’t fly any longer. We’ve got to leave.” So they waited for a while. He wasn’t ready to get on the helicopter or whatever and so the helicopter left. So then they had to take him in an ambulance to another airport and get a fixed wing flight in and it was just one thing after another. And he got to the US and the US hospital, which was the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, which is actually where I went to college. My mother studied nursing in that same hospital.
When he got there, this Strong Hospital said, “Hey, we want to treat him. We need to start doing skin grafts right away.” And again, the government of Ontario—they’re primary concern is saving money. They don’t really concern themselves with the welfare of the patient. They’re like, “No, no, no, no, no. Send him back here. We’ll find someplace for him. Send him back. Don’t do the treatment.” And the US hospital said, “No. This guy cannot go anywhere. He is too sick. He had third degree burns. We’re holding onto him for a couple of days until he can at least recover to the point where he can be transported.”
And then eventually, the Canadian government sent a helicopter over to Rochester to pick him up and bring him back to Canada because they didn’t want to pay the US hospital the cost of treating him promptly. And when the helicopter from Canada got to Rochester, they hooked him up to the respirator and guess what? The respirator was broken. So the hospital had to loan them a respirator so he would survive the transport back to Canada. So ultimately, instead of being treated with skin grafts for his third degree burns within a few hours, it ended up being several days before he was treated. So can you imagine having third degree burns and just suffering, in extreme pain? And of course, most of your skin is burned off so you you’re at big risk of getting an infection all this time as well.
That’s what it’s like in a government run system. And that’s part of the reason I made this movie. We need to fight this. And not only do we need to repeal Obama Care but we need to fix the problems that created this escalating cost in the first place. We need to move to a market based system and there’s a lot of different reforms we need to implement to get there because it wasn’t just one piece of legislation that messed up our medical market and our health insurance market. It was so many different laws and regulations that have driven up costs. And we need to remove them one at a time.
Bill: How do you think…? I’m kind of curious. How do you think the Supreme Court’s going to handle this deal right now? Do you think…? How do you think the vote spread’s going to go?
Logan: Well I stopped trying to guess how they were going to vote when the Kelo versus City of New London ruling came down, which basically allowed eminent domainities to go on unchecked. That was the last sort of political activism thing I was involved with where it was a 5/4 decision allowing the government to take your home, land or anything else, anytime it feels like. So I really don’t know how it’s going to come down. The problem is, even if they repeal or they strike down the individual mandate, Obama will be happy with that because basically all of the regulations such as guaranteed issue, which forces insurance companies to sell insurance to people that are already sick—that’s just going to accelerate the destruction of the health insurance market because when you have a law that says, “Okay, if you sell health insurance, you have to sell to people that are already sick.”
Here’s what happens. People say, “Well, I’m healthy. Why should I pay for health insurance right now? I’m healthy. I’ll just wait until I get sick and then I’ll buy health insurance.” That’s what happens and when that happens, the rates go through the roof and the whole system collapses and Obama is not stupid. That’s intentional. So if we get rid of the individual mandate, you’ll still have this ridiculous regulation. And just to make the analogy even clearer, imagine if you had a law that said, “Well if you sell car insurance, you have to cover people who have already been in car accidents.” That would be absurd. That’s really what’s going on.
Bill: Yeah. That is absurd. Abe, do you have any final questions as we kind of wind her down a little bit?
Abe: Yeah. In your movie, you talk about the Canadian taxation increase—for every $100 that they increase their taxes, the wait time actually went up.
Logan: Yeah. What it is is that there are so many people in Canada that need treatment and they’re aware that there are these awful waiting lists, especially for like orthopedic conditions, that some Canadians don’t even bother going on the list. So the list would actually be longer if everyone who needed a certain thing actually took the time to register and get on a list. So what happens is when the politicians say, “Oh, aren’t we wonderful? We’re going to increase spending for this certain condition.” It gets printed up in the paper, “Oh, wonderful! Government’s going to throw more crumbs our way. They’re going to provide more care for this certain treatment.” Everyone who wasn’t even on the list suddenly goes to the doctor and says, “Okay, put me on the list.” So when the government increases spending for a certain condition, the waiting lists don’t tend to go down. They tend to go up because all the people who weren’t even on the list suddenly say, “Hey, let’s get on the list now.”
So it’s just a strange world when the government runs things. Everything is upside down. And one of the upside down things I show in the movie is when all these waiting lists with all these people waiting, you would kind of assume that Canadian hospitals would be completely full. Every room would have at least two or three people in it. But lo and behold, a lot of hospitals in Canada are 25% empty, 30% empty. And why is that? Well in their system, they give a fixed amount of money to the hospitals and they say, “Okay, here’s your money for the year. Don’t spend it all in one place. Good luck.”
And the hospital has to make do with that amount of money. And so a lot of times they’re not able to make it through the year. And so rather than just shutting down the hospital in November or December they say, “Well, we’ve just got to shut down a wing of our hospital.” And so what happens, Canadian hospitals have empty hospital wings, empty rooms. What do they do? They rent out the rooms to people making movies.
So I said, “Well, I’m making a movie. I’m making a movie. I’d like to rent out this hospital wing.” And of course I didn’t tell them exactly what my movie was about. I just said, “We’re just sort of scoping it out for this bizarre sci-fi movie.” And so what I did is I had these characters who were in mascot costumes who were going to be running through the hospital. What I wanted to show was I wanted to show how many rooms, how much of this hospital was empty, while at the same time, we have all these waiting lists. So I had the characters running through as many rooms as they could and the administrators just thought we were crazy. They didn’t know what we were doing. So that’s the kind of bizarre things that happen. Supply and demand get completely out of whack when politicians try to run things.
Bill: And that’s what socialism…. That’s the main tenant is that you can force something on reality that’s just not there. I think that’s why it always gets turned upside down. In some cases it’s laughable, some of these things. But in some cases it’s tragic. This is tragic. This movie is a wonderful movie, ladies and gentlemen. It’s at the website. You can learn more about it at www.SickandSickerMovie.com. And Logan, why don’t you talk a little bit about the screening package thing because I think a lot of the people that listen to this are kind of activists and get all fired up and you’ve got a way for them to kind of try to transform a few people, change a few lives, kind of educate as many people as possible. Tell us about the screening package.
Logan: Absolutely. I’ve got an innovative new way to release Sick and Sicker. And I hope other free market and freedom loving filmmakers will follow my lead and use the same system as well, which is this. Anybody out there who wants to show my movie publically, I sell a screening package. I call it the Obama-ectomy screening package. And what you get is you get the right to show the movie publically, which normally you can’t do because it is copyrighted and so forth. You get the right to show it publically. You can either charge admission or not, whatever you want to do. And you also get 100 DVDs, which again, you can sell and profit from or you can just give them away if that’s your concern. And I sell the entire package for $495. So you get 100 DVDs, which I sell them individually for $15 so that’s $1,500 worth of DVDs for $495 and you get the screening package.
So what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to work through groups that are fighting Obama Care on the local level, Tea Party groups, doctors’ groups, Republican groups, Libertarian, Objectivists. Every type of group out there who is opposed to Obama Care and maybe they’ve got 100 members, 200 members. They can get my screening package and they can show their community where Obama Care is going to go—what I call the terminal destination of Obama Care—and they can raise money for their group. It’s $495 and if they just sell all the DVDs, they’ll make $1,500. So they’ll end up with at least $1,000 profit, which for a little group, that’ll help pay for some of their meetings.
So that’s the idea is that I designed it so that the people showing my movie can actually profit from it. Michael Moore actually makes money with his movies. He’s not only pushing socialism. He’s also making profit for himself and for all the people who distribute his movie and everywhere down the line. And for us to succeed on the other side of the fence, we need to have a movie distribution system that is profitable all the way from top to bottom. Otherwise I can’t keep making movies. It’s very expensive.
Bill: Sure. Everybody has to win. That’s a great idea because you could also take, as an entrepreneurial or enterprising individual, you could sell them all and could take your $1,000 and pay some of your health care costs. That would be a bizarre twist, wouldn’t it? To be able to engineer some success that way…
Abe: Get a community vaccination project going.
Bill: Get something going. Yeah.
Logan: And even better yet, some people will say, “Well that’s great Logan. It’s $495 but we don’t even have $495.” Good news. There is a website out there called www.KickStarter.com. If nobody can cough up the $495 themselves, what they can do is we set up a Kick Starter for their group and then what they do is they email all their members and their members can all go to the Kick Starter website—it’s www.KickStarter.com– and then they chip in with their credit card toward the $495 goal and then when it’s hit, they get the screening package.
Bill: Wow. That’s fabulous.
Logan: Yeah, so we’ve even got a great financing system as well.
Bill: Very cool, Logan. Anything else you want to say as we get ready to wrap it up?
Logan: Well, this is the ultimate battle. Government is taking over every single part of our life and now is going to take over our life itself. If we don’t repeal Obama Care, basically politicians and bureaucrats are going to hold our life in their hands and decide whether we live or die and we have to fight this with every ounce of strength that we have, with every dollar we have, with everything that we have. This is a line that we cannot allow government to cross and it’s already gone over it so now we have to push it back and we have to implement free market solutions. Otherwise, I think this could be the final nail in America’s coffin.
Bill: Well said and with that, I think we’ll close up. Everybody that has a chance, if you can, buy this video, whether you buy it from Logan’s site, www.SickandSickerMovie.com or whether you buy it from our site, it’s something that you’re going to want to watch. It’s hard medicine. Abe, how’s that? Hard medicine.
Bill: It’s hard medicine. So thank you for your time. Thanks for spending it with us. We know that your time is valuable and we very much appreciate spending it with us.
Abe: Thanks, Logan.