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Single-payer health care, or its cousin known as “Medicare for All,” is being proposed as a solution to U.S. health care woes. It would put the federal government in charge of a significant amount of our health care, if not all of it. We at Samaritan Ministries are concerned that this approach would take health care in the opposite direction of liberty and destroy what health care freedom we have.
Five years ago, filmmaker and Samaritan member Colin Gunn released the film Wait Till It’s Free about the workings of health care economics and liberty. We asked him recently about his views on single-payer/Medicare for All, five years away from releasing the film that sounded the alarm about the problems embedded in our health care system.
What do you think has changed for health care freedom in general in the past five years since the release of Wait Till It’s Free? Are there any encouraging signs?
There is some positive stuff. Price transparency is probably one of the areas that people talk about more. There has been a change in the law in relation to that. I have seen a little bit more media on that.
I don’t have a huge, positive view of any significant change in the direction our health care is going. Understanding health care economics better still needs to happen. Just the rhetoric I see from politicians and on television, I don’t see them really getting it.
It’s in God’s timing. In the homeschool movement, you definitely saw a significant change over a 20- to 30-year period, with people taking responsibility for their children’s education. We’re not there with health care, though, where you see people saying, “I’m going to take this responsibility on myself. It’s going to cost me money, it’s going to be difficult, I’m going to have to work hard at it and I’m going to do it for the sake of my children.” We’ve not seen that in health care as much. Maybe on the personal health front, but not in terms of the economics of it and doctors themselves.
What would “Medicare for All” or a single-payer health care system mean for Americans? How do you think it would end up?
It would be a radical reduction in choice. If you look at what single-payer means, it means it’s run by the government—it’ll be inefficient, it’ll be dangerous, it’ll be politicized.
Politicians administer health care politically. That’s why in Britain you have this political football that is focused on bringing people sex-change operations instead of getting grandma back on her feet. There’s no political capital with helping the elderly, but if you come out and offer whatever trendy thing will get you press, what is fashionable, that is what happens. Politicians are concerned about re-election, they’re concerned about votes, so they are administering something politically with their cronies surrounding them rather than it being administered through the free market, which is the perfect choice for individuals.