Last Friday evening, the Christians for Liberty Austin Chapter met to watch Wait Till It’s Free, a documentary produced by Colin Gunn of Indoctrination and Captivated. Running with the catch-phrase from P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think health care is unaffordable now, wait till it’s free,” Colin exceptionally presents the terrifying landscape of government-regulated health care. Of course, the focus is upon the United States, but Canada and the United Kingdom are mentioned as well. Well-known experts are interviewed, as well as lesser-known doctors and organizations including multiple Christian-run clinics and non-profits.
Hopefully without ruining the film for you, here is a list of some of the critical points that might catch your interest…
- Hospitals and doctors tend to have no price transparency in their services.
- Learn about what the “charge master” does in a hospital
- Nowhere else in the marketplace are prices so unclear
- In the United States, amazingly enough the most common payer of medical care is the U.S. federal government.
- Medical care in the USA is often criticized as too capitalistic, but the data bears out that it is “barely capitalistic at all”.
- Critical legislation in the USA
- During the New Deal, the Stabilization Act enacted by FDR froze wages for workers. As a result, companies started offering unrestricted benefits such as health insurance.
- Medicare and Medicaid signed by Lyndon Johnson.
- C.O.N. laws passed by Nixon
- E.M.T.A.L.A. signed by Reagan – forces hospitals to provide medical care no matter what
- Clinton’s “reforms”
- Bush’s Medicare Part D: The US government becomes the largest purchaser of pharmaceuticals in the world.
- Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act
- Most on the left and right these days are aiming to a “single payer system” as often practiced in Europe.
- The “mixture of business and government” is often viewed as compromise but is actually just cronyism.
- Whoever has the best lobbyist gets the best deal
- This is compared to that classic presidential phrase “a Chicken in every pot,” but it is accomplished effectively by forcing people to buy chickens.
- Government gets in the way of the doctor-patient relationship by positioning itself between them.
- Licensing creates an undersupply of new doctors.
- Doctors encounter huge frustrations — debt, burnout, inability to act in the way they see best for the patient
- 50% of doctors in USA over 50, 60% plan to retire early
- Europe and Britain are often lifted up as examples of good government systems yet their are documented cases of institutional neglect and errors.
- Liverpool Care Pathway — Britain’s NHS put people on this high level of sedatives and no food until they die
- Effectively a death panel
- The I.P.A.B. is kind of like a death panel within the US government. Eventually, trusting the government with your medical can result in not getting any care at all.
- Answers proposed:
- Surgery Center of Oklahoma: They practice 100% price honesty and transparency.
- Dr. Julienne Maddic in Marble Falls, Oasis Medical Clinic: Personal care, house calls, no insurance!
- John Mackey: Let capitalism work! We’ll solve all the problems with the marketplace in under a decade if the government gets out of the way.
- Dr. Stoll: 75% of health care costs are preventable — take the biblical principle of taking care of the body seriously.
- Taking care of the elderly ourselves rather than letting the state do it.
- Free care centers for the needy like the Zarephath Health Center
- Christian health sharing ministries, such as Samaritan Ministries and others.
- Best Quote: “This is me, pretending to read the Affordable Care Act.”
So besides this being a great documentary, I want to emphasize that this is what our Christian libertarian meet-up groups are for! We get together, discuss big ideas, encourage each other, and have a great time. You can get involved too!
Right now, we are ramping up sixteen small groups all across America. You can always find our active groups here, and if you don’t find one in your area perhaps you can start one yourself. Get in contact with us and we will help you do it.