QUESTION #4: What are some of the current problems you see and the solutions that your organization, Citizens Council for Health Freedom, are promoting?
“…So, doctor-patient healthcare is available. Putting it together is available and it’s actually happening and something we call The Wedge of Health Freedom is a way to identify that, but I want to just answer your questions about the fundamental problems. The fundamental problems that really should be addressed are the fact that any of us depend on our employer for our insurance. Most people have no idea how much of their wages is being diverted to the health plan, because the health plan just comes in and negotiates with their employer, and sometimes their employer doesn’t have that much to negotiate with, and the premiums keep going up, which means that the wages keep going down.
There’s this amazing diversion of income to the health plans, which are growing by leaps and bounds in these huge marble buildings, and big lobbying staffs, right? People don’t understand that they should own their own policies, like they did before congress gave that ability for employers to offer it tax deductible. Individuals should either get their own tax deduction, just like the employers get, or nobody should get a tax deduction, just like you don’t get a tax deduction for other insurance. That’s a big problem…
(However), one of the things that I say is, “The price of today does not have to be the price of tomorrow.” And you can see why this is true. When you look at, for instance, the direct primary care clinics, which are cash, check, charge. That’s all they are, they’re growing around the country. There’s the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, which is cash, check, charge. And the prices to have surgery in Oklahoma, where people from all over the country and Canada come, the prices are 50%-90% less and they often include every expense. It’s not like there’s additional expenses beyond there, it’s often the medication, sometimes it’s the flight, two days there in Oklahoma City. Again, the prices of today don’t have to be the same, because when you do cash, check or charge, which is what we did before we all had employer sponsored coverage or government healthcare, there was no third party payer overhead.
Right now, everything goes through the insurance company, which means all this reporting has to happen, these contracts take place, there are lawyers and coders and billers. And when you sign up with the government as a doctor or as a clinic you have 132,000 pages plus of Medicare regulations, that was 10 years ago or so when that count happened, so we have many, many more thousands of pages since then. We’ve got all the Obamacare regulations, we have all of these government regulations, and that’s what’s caused prices to be unaffordable. We can go backwards, we really can.
Our organization would like to make sure that everyone can have access to a catastrophic health insurance policy, which is true insurance. We do not consider managed care, or your health plan, or Medicare Advantage to be true insurance. True insurance for example, is like insurance for your house. You don’t use your home insurance when you need to change a window, or get new carpeting, or fix the steps. You use it for when the flood comes, when the fire destroys it. That’s what insurance if for, it’s for the financial catastrophe. If we get back to that and Obama Care got rid of it, it prohibits that kind of insurance for anyone over the age of 29. If we get back to having that and the right to have it, we can bring all the prices down, all the prices from the premiums to the delivery.
…So we have always considered the patient doctor relationship to be the center of healthcare. If there’s no patient there’s no need for a doctor right, there’s no need for a healthcare system. The system doesn’t work for the patient if the patient actually can’t get access to care, and the patient is more worried about the prices than they are about the condition that they’re facing, which is sometimes the situation today. That’s just wrong because we have always considered medicine to be a mission.
We say that right now the problem is that the mission of medicine is being taken over by the business of healthcare, and that is not where they should be. After all, from a Christian perspective there was the Great Physician who didn’t charge anything, who looked at people’s conditions, and didn’t even make them become a Christian to save them. This is a mission, this is a mission field and it’s going the wrong direction.
Some of the things that really have to happen is the reason why we created the Wedge of Health Freedom. The problem today, the business aspect of today is because we have third party payment for everything. We are using the Wedge of Health Freedom which we call The Wedge, and which you can find information at www.jointhewedge.com . We’re using The Wedge to restore, first to identify to people that there is a free trade zone happening today between patients and doctors, cash, check, or charge, and charity for those doctors who want to offer charity. Or lower prices, whatever they want to do there’s freedom in that. There’s no third-party payment. There’s no government, there’s no insurance company contracts, there’s nothing. So, all of their prices can come down.
That’s why they can focus on the patient. The patient is their only customer. Or as one doctor said to me, “It’s not a contract between my patient and I, it’s a covenant.” The Wedge is meant to really go back to true catastrophic insurance which I know a lot of people don’t even remember this. I had somebody nearing their 80’s telling me that they used to have an indemnity policy. When they had heart surgery in the early 1970’s the insurance company sent them a check for $68,000 and they used that check to pay their doctor and their hospital. The insurance company did not interfere. The insurance company did not tell them, “You must only go to this network of doctors. You can only go this hospital. You can only have that medication. You can only have this treatment.” There was no interference. That’s what true insurance is, and that will take out all the high costs.
The Wedge is meant to put patients and doctors together who want to build this system outside of Medicare, outside of Medicaid, outside of insurance. It doesn’t mean you can’t be insured, it doesn’t even mean that your health savings account can’t be used to pay those costs. We want to build the system that doesn’t require Congress, and we want to start having every doctor, every doctor in this country refuse to sign a contract with the government, refuse to sign a contract with the health plan. That is one of the ways that we can bring healthcare back to the mission, back to affordability, back to complete confidentiality, and back to the patient being the sole focus of the doctor.