Why Health Care Costs So Much | Dr. Keith Smith and Stefan Molyneux



hi everybody this is stefan molyneux from freedomain radio a couple years ago it's actually in Oklahoma two guys in an alley you know they jumped out gave me this for no reason whatsoever and then actually ended up saving my life is quite a coincidence dr. Keith Smith is the co-founder of the surgery center of Oklahoma also known as the refugee camp for those fleeing the Canadian healthcare system such as me of course in Oklahoma owned by 40 of the top physicians and surgeons in Central Oklahoma dr. Smith serves as the medical director of CEO and Managing Partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice I assume that you're also a consultant for Ben Carson speeches as that skill set we've chatted before how are you doing dr. Smith what's new I'm great it's great to be with you again so the statement I think that got the most shock in the last time we talked which I'd like to open with again because you know we've got I don't know 150,000 new subscribers since we last chatted was the statement that you've made that goes something like this and I'm paraphrasing healthcare is not actually that expensive and that is something that really people find quite shocking of course with all of the Obamacare stuff and seen the constant escalation of their premiums what are you talking about health care is not that expensive don't you see the bills people get well there's a vast difference between what people are charged and what it actually costs to deliver care to patients and there's even a more vast difference between the idea that at people that have coverage think that they actually have access to health care as you very well know so that the amounts that you see on our website are actually the amounts that we believe it costs to actually take care of patients and not built into that are the all the empire-building charges that the typical corporate institutions stick into people's people's bills to sponsor sports franchises or or bill a you know been billed on it is endlessly to their huge fortress and we're not trying to build an empire we're not going to even franchise we we would like other people to copy us with a very simple notion that they should be honest in their pricing and put forth pricing not put patients in a very awkward impossible situation of trying to discover it and then start some market competition and and then everything that happens in healthcare will look like other industries that operate under an unfettered market right so when people get a bill to go to the hospital and they get a bill they think that that bill is really just about their health care and everything else is you know cut to the bare-bones in order to provide it's cheaper service as possible what are some of the costs that people don't see that are baked into that bill over to Bob the sort of health care services going to be provided well here at the surgery center of Oklahoma for instance we don't have an administrator so you go to a you go to a large Health System and there will be there will be dozens of people all of them make a whole lot more money than I'll ever make and I'm not really sure what they do I know that they do not actually lay hands on or take care of patients I know that for sure so here at the surgery center of Oklahoma we do not have an advertising budget you go drive down any road and you'll see billboards advertising health plans or health insurance companies or you turn on the television and you'll see very expensive ads where so-called not-for-profit hospitals are advertising you know how great they are and how they provide all this charitable care for the poor and it really is just a bunch of propaganda and lies and I've joked that it's interesting that the not-for-profit hospitals have to charge 10 times what we do to not make a profit and that is I think a comment on their on their efficiency that it may be worse and so costs of overheads with government regulations also I think for fossils the costs are that have to be passed along to others for things like the mandate to treat people in emergency if they can't pay and other things like that I'm just wondering if you you have any thoughts about the degree to which that adds to overhead now keep in mind that the hospitals have very effectively used the excuse that that to comply with all of these regulations as as just that an excuse to over over charge and to price gouge people and they hide behind that veil and do that all the time the other thing to keep in mind about the dysfunctional health care system in the United States which really operates like like the meanest Mexican drug cartel you can imagine they are actually big hospitals are actually paid to the extent that they claim that they lost money there is a program called the uncompensated care system that operates the OP like the opposite of Enron where Enron overstated their gains in order to make more money the hospital's actually make more money to the extent that they claim that they lost money because these losses that they claim like the ninety five dollars they don't collect for the hundred dollars they charge for an aspirin that loss goes to Washington DC and forms the basis of the kickback they subsequently receive so there there's a lot of propaganda there's a lot of lies there a lot of excuses all of which serve the interests and line the pockets of these corporate hospitals and in its cronyism and it's what it is they've worked very hard and paid a lot of money to to gain these favors and while the legislators auction off what few liberties we have left to these guys and there is a general misconception I think about health care in the United States that it is driven by a lot of free-market principles and this is what the free market does to health care and of course you guys since you put your prices right there on the website and operate a fairly lean organization I think you're an example of being closer to the marketplace but to what degree would you say the health care system in the United States is dominated by let's say fair free-market principles I would say it's at if you include plastic surgery and lasik surgery and this growing free-market movement I would say it's somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of the industry and it is growing very very rapidly there are people that have seen the wisdom of embracing market discipline like we have and they are and I'm actually helping them to copy us then there are people who who see this free market movement is very scary and they're joining up kicking in screen I mean but they're joining on the less you know the market has way of doing that fear fear really will drive people oftentimes to do the same thing particularly when the alternative is bankruptcy yes nothing nothing stimulates the ones once concentration like the prospect of an imminent hanging as the saying goes now with with LASIK and actually had a Canadian on here named Anne bill Gardner who is another free-market advocate who pointed out that he could get far better care for his dog because it's not socialized healthcare in the veterinary industry he could get a like a scan for his dog the next day where he'd have to wait months in the Canadian system when it comes to areas like LASIK and plastic surgery one of the kind of innovations and price drops that you see where they're most governed by free market principles well what's happened since we put our prices online is patients all over the United States are printing out our price list and walking into their local hospital telling them to step up or I'm flying to Oklahoma City now we've now treated patients from all 50 states except Hawaii many Canadians as you know so there is a there is a very competitive price movement that has begun in the United States there are there are companies in the United States large companies that have rejected the entire idea of buying health insurance for their employees and rather have taken risk on themselves and walked into the space that typically is referred to as self insurance or sub funding these companies pay their employees healthcare bills out of operating revenue rather than subscribing to the insurance em so you can imagine those companies have the sticker shock of these ridiculous bills and they they are signing up with us on a regular basis and willing to fly patients pay all of their travel and lodging expenses and even pay them per diem for incidentals to get them to come to our facility to spare them one of these bankrupting experiences in their local so-called nonprofit hospital so this is a very this is a growing movement it's very threatening to the status quo the cartel is either acting like this is not happening or worse they're actually donning the badge of transparency when they're anything but and I I figured this would happen there'd be photons Peron see fo3 marketers who who say yeah we post our prices but ultimately there are many asterisks and things that are not included right a bedpan and sheets are extra now when you prefer to insurance as a scam again the majority of the world deceives America to be this laissez faire Wild West free-market paradise for health care and then look at the disastrous and say well that's what happens when you liberate the economy in health care when you refer to insurance as a scam I mean in a free-market it's not it's a choice you can roll your dice or not why do you call it a scam well true insurance like you buy for your car or your home is not a scam you have a claim and you file the claim and they pay the claim but you do not buy insurance for an oil change and you do not buy insurance for new light bulbs in your house but that is how we've been conditioned to think of insurance in the health industry there's a reason for this and it's because there are a lot of people who line their pockets because it's set up that way many years ago major medical insurance policies were truly good insurance policies and you could buy you could buy an insurance policy that covered health and medical uncertainty that's the purpose of insurance after all what we do now is we prepay for health care and because an third-party intermediary is involved the prices are driven very very high the patients many times do not have the sticker shock so they don't care what it costs that's actually changing and the good news is the government never gets anything right you know they here in the United States they they have prohibited entrepreneurs from issuing insurance policies that people actually want anybody in the insurance industry has to promote a product and a service that really nobody wants but then they're forced to buy so insurance really is a scam but the good news is in an effort to severely line the pockets of the cronies the current administration drove deductibles up so high they inadvertently very unintentionally created a consumer market where so much money was coming out of patients pockets that they were actually shopping and their comparison-shopping and they're finding facilities like mine where the entire expense for a surgery is less than their deductible under one of these new silly plans so there's unfortunately you know the good news is the government just screws everything up that they ever get involved within and they're actually assisting us in this movement people ask me am i scared the government will come shut us down and I said no I lay awake at night at night afraid that someone from the government will come here to help me because that would be the kiss of death right so they've made these deductibles on on I've heard like $5,000 deductibles maybe they're even higher than that but $5,000 deductible so I think some people are basically saying when it comes to Obamacare I'm going to pay the fine for not having insurance I'm because the deductible is so much greater than the fine and if something should happen that I can go to a place like the Oklahoma Surgery Center and get something done cash out of pocket and I'm going to pay for surgery probably less than I'm going to pay in a year or two of insurance premiums that fundamentally remain unusable for me because the deduction is so high so this rational calculation it's in a sense driving more people because Obamacare of course I would argue a sort of in response to two things number one is that young people who are mathematically literate we're doing the math and saying well wait a minute why am i paying for all of this healthcare for stuff I'm never going to use that's largely for older people and so on so the young healthy people who are essential you can't have an insurance company where only the sick people apply that's living in let's like having insurance for car crashes that only kicks in you can oh you can get it only after you've had a car crash as it wouldn't work at all so I think young people were opting out and they kind of needed to be herded back in and also I've heard some arguments and say the number of illegal immigrants you know 10 20 30 million or whatever who are piling into the emergency wards when they get desperate is also driving up the cost of health care so I think people were kind of roped back into health care to prop up a system of cross-subsidization usually from the young to the old from the healthy to the sick and from the legal to the illegal I don't know that's just sort of my thought I wonder if you had a bigger picture view of that yeah I think you're exactly right and judging by the number of young and even I mean people in their forties and fifties and sixties judging by the number of people who come to the surgery center of Oklahoma and leave their obamacare card in the car and come inside with a cashier's check for thirty seven hundred and forty dollars to pay for their knee arthroscopy that is a very rapidly growing portion of our business and not judging by the number of people that we see I think you're right I think that this has turned out to be a very good gamble for for people to not pay for these ridiculous insurance policies that have been mandated well they say I know you've seen this the government is that institution whose ideas are so great they have to be mandatory and I think these insurance policies have gotten to be so horrible and not seen as the value that in the marketplace there were enough people that were just simply choosing to be uninsured that was probably a big part about of why the United States decided to inflict the unfelt or will care act on people was to make sure that that we were required to buy these policies that otherwise left alone and to our own devices we've never bought our own so maybe you can help me unravel a central paradox that I always have trouble with when looking not just at American health care but health care around the world and it seems to me something like this health care is increasingly expensive out of reach people going bankrupt and so on but at the same time it seems that people are just talk about Americans Americans seem to be taking less good care of their health even at a time when they're increasingly complaining about health care cost so for instance you know obesity of course is a huge problem in the United States at the same time that people are complaining that health care costs is so high I wonder if you can help me unravel this paradox of people complaining about something and then doing everything they can to drive up their own costs of consumption with bad health choices yeah I think I think about Ambro beer Ambrose Bierce and his devil's dictionary he defined accountability as the mother of them and I think that there is a a general amount of unaccountability that probably explains some of what you described the other problem in the United States and really all over the world is really a almost like a conspiracy to keep people and healthy and to keep them fat I mean the foods that are that are terrible for people are cheap and readily available so as the economy continues to take hits from the great usurper of choice the government and and people's opportunities become more limited as does their income then it becomes more difficult for them to actually eat well and make better choices in and after all this huge safety net is perceived as underneath everyone I think that adds the incredible stories about lack of access particularly to quality care begin materialise you'll see some turnaround of what you described where people will realize you know I've got to take care of myself because nobody else is going to do it and you know if I get into trouble because of my lifestyle I may just be left holding the bag so I think that we may see a less sedentary turnaround very paradoxically from the government getting involved in an industry where they really don't have any business at all in healthcare so I hope that answers your question that's how I see that yeah I mean some bad luck with me it was bad luck but of course a lot of people a 70% as the estimate that I've heard of healthcare issues are I don't know it's you four mystery called lifestyle-related which is basically you know people making bad choices and other people in their life not intervening to to talk them out of those bad choices and I think there is this general sense that you know doctors are magicians and whatever you do to your body they can come in and fix with some magic but there's a lot that people can do to take healthcare costs in their life and get them under control a lot of those have to do with better choices but it just seems weird you know you look back at at movies from like the 1940s and 1950s and everybody looks so skinny you know and your head down to a beach at Disney World and you wonder how many mammals have washed up on the shore so it seems like there's this paradox that people are more afraid of health care costs but are making worse decisions and thus exposing themselves to more and there's only so much that the health care system can provide you know if people are they get diabetes they're directly taking away health care from other people because doctors country to people at the same time and it is an act to some degree I would argue of of general or collectivist irresponsibility to make these bad choices which then drive up costs for everyone and that's that's the tragedy of the Commons really and that's one of the nice things I think about the resurgence of the free market in health care is that it promotes individual responsibility and an individual accountability and so I think there's a very very good chance that we will see a turnaround in this trend very optimistic and as powerful as these legislators think their pens are they're not nearly as powerful as as the forces of the market and and I in the United States there really is a growing movement of people that are embracing market discipline and the individual responsibility that goes along with it another thing I think that is a bit of a free rider that the socialist healthcare systems have is the amount of research that goes on in the United States is seems to be quite staggering I was going through this list of medical innovations that have come out of America and the remnants of the free market system do seem to be kicking up a huge amount of innovation that is not being matched as you would imagine by the socialist systems is that sort of your experience do you see a lot of you go to conferences and so on and you have to keep up your education do you see still a lot of innovations is the pace slowing or increasing or staying about the same I think it's staying about the same I would caution anyone that is that bemoaning the United States Oh disproportionate contribution to research to consider that the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine and the editor of the medical journal Lancet both resigned and discussed because they claimed at least 70% of the articles that were in their journals were trash and were completely biased toward the folks in whatever corporate healthcare industry that funded this research that the government funds a lot of research and as you can imagine the results of many of these studies are consistent with receiving the next grant or consistent with the views of whoever in government was agreeable to funding these studies so a lot of the research that goes on that's not directly linked to innovation is is very frankly not very good there is some that is I don't want to broad-stroke it too much but there's a lot and and that just not me that's New England Journal and Lancet saying that the innovation is tied by the government itself I mean that Food and Drug Administration is it's just a complete disaster and in excess to protect the existing players in the industry and to really hamstring true innovators and upstarts and underdogs to make their cost of entering the market so prohibitively high that the big dogs can buy them or take them over or stop them out so the FDA really works as the strong man in healthcare innovation in the United States and we'd see a lot more of it if the government would just get out of the way and that's no different than any other industry I know but it's certainly true in health care as much as people would like to say that it's not yeah I mean dr. Mary Robert who's been on this show has talked about the degree to which the FDA by keeping life-saving drugs that are legal in other countries and continents out of the hands of American America is responsible for the deaths of millions of Americans who can't get access to medications that are perfectly safe acceptable and used in other countries but of course competing treatments are using or the FBI keeps competing treatments out I wonder some degree whether it has industry influence over the FDA to keep competition out oh yeah and they also approve killer drugs they also give the green light and stamp of approval to drugs that are killers and then cover up the fact that they knew that so I don't there's no doubt Imam on the FDA acts as a strong man for the existing crony players to keep the upstarts from effectively competing with them right now for those who are coming from savasana style healthcare systems I just wanted to mention what an astounding experience it was to to work with you and your team on my my health issue because I grew up in England oh Lord I mean it just about everything was socialized there in health care including dentistry that's of course British people are famous for their lovely teeth but it was an incredible experience you know I would almost suggest to people in socialist health care countries you know go run into a wall and then fly to Oklahoma just just once in your life you need to experience free market man listen I mean let me give you a quick example of what it's like to be trying to get health care in Canada okay so I'm on a conveyor belt see and the doctor has about 18 seconds like hey Doc already got this problem one of you ha I just go and through the whole time than just shooting you out like a cannon yeah caching caching caching so keeping people's attention you know your team sat down with me we went through everything that was going to happen I actually the shunt was recited doctor came to me like this is amazing you know this is like literally expecting a doctor to come to you is like expecting to climb Mount Everest by having the mountain rise up underneath you the doctor to come to you and help you took out the shunts after the surgery and so on it was an unbelievable experience and it was really nice of course I mean the relationships are great it was fantastic to feel like I wasn't begging you know because in the healthcare system you're like well I can't upset anyone because then they can just chef me to the back of the line or just not pick up the phone or whatever to have actually wait in an economic interaction is so refreshing and when I think about the amount of taxes I've paid for the healthcare system which I then had to flee it is a really shocking experience and incredibly powerful you know when my sort of ideology matches life circumstances so powerfully it is an amazing thing do you talk to other doctors about like the ones who are currently in I guess more government focused or government centric or Medicaid or Medicare focused practices do they seem to have the same kind of relationship with patients that you have because it seems that would kind of decay away to a quasi Canadian experience yeah unless unless say a physician rejects almost all of the mainstream thinking in health care even here in the United States they're not going to be able to operate or practice the way that we do the way that we're set up is is very simple and our livelihood depends on success stories like the one you just told if patients are not satisfied with us then they move on and we all are broke so there is total accountability and we've embraced that because we know that competition makes us all better and it tends to drive prices lower and create even more efficiencies and opportunities that's a very scary prospect for somebody who is involved in a cartel system basically where we're competitors are locked out but our our ability to spend time with and directly relate to and communicate with patients and and really judge their satisfaction from that interchange is is unparalleled and is a direct result I believe of rejecting many of the tenants of of American healthcare and what we have in the United States is not a failure really of the free market it's an absence of the free market and what you experienced is a very different brand where where the all the players involved all know that your satisfaction is key and and that and that results are predictable so maybe any other business that you know the Department of Motor Vehicles doesn't rely on your satisfaction and so that that's really not one of their priorities that's not the top of their list they know you have no alternatives you're coming back and we we do not operate in that way at all there was a moment I don't think I've ever told this to the listeners but for those who don't know the history very briefly I had a lump developed on salivary gland and the doctors up here basically said oh it's nothing you know it's you know we'll we'll we'll remove it at some point and so on and they took a biopsy was fine but anyway so the doctor I talked to said well you know we open up your whole jaw line here to get at the salivary gland and remove it and of course you guys did a great little thing down here whereas I get an increasingly old guy turkey neck it's good it's gonna be better in there and so and then they said oh by the way it'll be months until you can get this lump removed although it's you know it's benign or whatever right and it was you know getting fairly whiter ish right so so I thought okay well I'll go down and get this benign thing removed I do public speaking and I don't want people to say what what's growing out of your head we need to know that and so what was interesting was si was going to be wheeled into the operating theater into the operating room my cell phone rang and it was my doctor's office or the doctor's office in Canada and they said oh listen something's opened up in two days now I could have you guys were fine you said you want to go back and go back so I had free surgery in Canada first of all my first thought is hmm I wonder why his surgery opened down you know that's usually know maybe someone died who was under his care or whatever but even though I had the alternative to get right back on a plane and get free surgery in Canada I gotta tell you no doubt in my mind because basically there was setting off a cherry bomb on the side of my head I'm gonna pick up the remnants and you guys went in I don't know with what kind of weird bizarre spider leg surgery technique to use but even when I had the choice of eminent surgery that was gonna pick it was going to pay for or free surgery back in Canada I just basically hung up said nope taken care of thank you very much and I think that's a really powerful thing for people to understand that there's nothing cheap there's nothing more expensive than free particularly when it comes to your health that's a story without a question so I just wanted to mention that for and I remember that very clearly if you remember I was the one that wheeled you back to the operating room and I remember when your phone rang and I remembered that very clearly we had a brief laugh about that before he drifted off to sleep because so it's you know PJ O'Rourke the quasi-libertarian comp comedian said if you think healthcare is expensive now wait until it's free and I think that's a great way to sum up what happens when when you ultimately just throw caution and accountability to the wind in health care yeah and I mean I've been perfectly cancer for instance you guys operated I still go in for my blood work and so on so I also wanted the degree to which the doctor in Canada might have actually got it all and of course you guys did which was you know literally a life-or-death decisions oh well it costs me a little bit of money yeah well you know it still cost me less than a funeral and that's pretty significant now I just wanted to mention one or two other things ask you a question out sort of what people can do so one of the things that as a free market guy you said if all these prices are outrageous right a lot of people have to pay for these as you say hundred dollar a Spurs and so on so most people would say okay well what we should do is we should just let's go up and open a hospital in from providing this this stuff for free now one of the kind of regulatory hurdles I remember reading something about a certificate of need or something like one of the hurdles that of stopping people from just going in and undercutting these outrageous prices well in the United States there are several states that have these certificate of need laws and what it basically says is if I want to go start a hospital I have to go before a board and demonstrate that the community actually needs this hospital that I am willing and able to fund on my own and the members of the board invariably are the are the big hospital administrators for existing players in the marketplace with whom this new hospital would compete so there is just no there's just no passing the certificate of need barriers those laws are coming under more scrutiny and review in the United States because that it's just so obviously unveiled in any competitive and I think that that those those laws will actually begin to break down and we're starting to see that the other barriers one is in the unavailable Care Act where the government basically said there can be no government payments to any hospitals that are owned by doctors so that prohibited the construction of hospitals that have any portion of physician ownership attached to those facilities Surgery Center of Oklahoma were completely owned by the doctors who operate and work here so that was a that was a gift from Washington to the American Hospital Association to gain their support of the unavailable Care Act so what's happening now though is there are physicians who are building hospitals and they're saying we just won't take any government patients and we won't take any government money but that obviously provides an access issue for a lot of people and there are lots of regulatory barriers the certificate of need laws and the anti-competitive stance against physician owned facilities are obviously – one of the other things that's happening is the giant hospitals are had they've been on a buying spree of primary care doctors practices one of their favorite things to do is to walk into a small town and buy all of the practices there and that starves off all referrals to the local hospital which they can then pick up very cheaply that local hospital then just serves as the entering point to the conveyor belt to the mother ship and that that's been a strategy by these big so-called not-for-profit hospitals that charge so much money and they have enough money to go out and really engage in these hostile takeovers so if you are wanting to start a hospital in an area you know you're going to have to have some source of referrals you're going to have to have physicians who are willing to come there or send their patients there but you're constantly looking over your shoulder waiting for the Leviathan hospital you know to come in and basically by any and everyone that you're associated with and it just completely shuts off the water supply patients supply to a facility so cronyism is alive and well in health care and the people you know the other thing I caution people it's really easy to take your eye off the ball and blame these cronies blame these big insurance companies in these big hospitals but all they've done after all is purchase these favors and purchase these advantages from the real goons in the equation people really should not take their eye off the ball but it's the state it's the government in DC that is auctioned off all of these favors and that's really where we need to focus because whenever something's wrong the average guy says we need to appeal to government to solve this when government caused it in the first place and invariably they they use our own welfare as as their alibi for completely taking over our lives so I I've been harping on that recently that you know is as greedy as some folks are and by greed I mean actually actually taking what is not their due by actively and entering into exchanges that are not mutually beneficial and being perfectly okay with that the real culprit is is the state and it's the government so when people are at their dinner parties or wherever they're hanging out with their friends and this sort of topic comes up of you know we need to have socialized healthcare we'd you know it's so expensive and so on if you could sort of give me the elevator pitch that people can replay in their brains what is it that you would like people to say to those who are feeling cornered into you know the Democrats obviously have wanted socialized healthcare for 50 or 60 years and their stated goal is to destroy the insurance market with Obamacare so that the insurance companies can be swept aside what is it that you would like people to really have in their heads when they want to push back against these kinds of arguments well of course the source of every problem in health care in the United States is the government anything you want to discuss whether it's high price whether it is lack of access and any any part of that rural health care issues and access every bit of that is by design has come from Washington DC so the idea that we want to actually throw the solution to this problem to the very people who caused it seems illogical to me that's a response many times I give people the other the other way to think about this is I'm not a utilitarian at all the idea that you know we need to do this because it works better oftentimes ignores what I'm considered the moral flavor of taking from one person their property and giving it to another I oftentimes oftentimes will use this this scene where you know you tell a family cancel your vacation because this fellow across town you know is sick and he needs all that money you were going to go spend on yourself and your kids at Disneyworld so you know cancel your vacation somebody you don't even know is sick really really kind of I think helps people understand and there really is a difference between charity and theft and we're called I think to be charitable toward our fellow man and people typically are whenever somebody asked me that question yes but what about the poor and I asked the me of what poor person what a poor individual do you have in mind is there someone you would like to help because I know what my intentions are toward the poor why don't you tell me yours but there is this very easy trap where the folks on on the big socialized medicine fan side they they want to consider the poor in the aggregate and if we're going to consider the poor in an aggregate then we ultimately wind up talking about a system if we're talking about the poor in the aggregate then we also need to talk about the virtues and the benefits of the free market in the advocate that's the only apples to apples comparison and when I think about the money that we have saved people here at the surgery center of Oklahoma in the extent to which that could have been used to ameliorate the needs of the poor that's an aggregate to aggregate conversation but typically when somebody says what about the poor I'll ask them what what person do you have in mind that we can help and they typically go running off because they they have no intention of getting their checkbook out I think it was Rothbard said there's nothing easier than conspicuously spending other people's money on your favorite project so that that is the way that's the nature of the conversation I typically have with someone and we can talk about it doesn't work how about the fact that Canadians are coming to Oklahoma City I mean what else you need to say seriously so that's the utilitarian side but I rejected I think on a premise that's far upstream of that and that's that it's it's simply wrong to consider that you you have the right in control to somebody else's property and that's what it boils down to for me right yeah no I literally will get people on my show calling in and demanding how the poor would be educated in a free society and to which my reply is well I'm handing out 7 million free lessons a month what are you doing you know unless you're actually operating on a poor person for free while asking that question I don't really consist you know it's just a way of clogging up the works and stopping anybody who wants to do anything really good with this imaginary sympathy for an imaginary group that these people aren't actually getting off their butts to help so so I really want to make sure people get your vital statistics the website and also remember even if you can't make it to Oklahoma you can as you mentioned take the Oprah Oklahoma priceless would you one of the few places that actually do put your prices on the web and you can shake it in people's face and say you know like you're going to buy a computer and you say if there's a cheaper computer across the street so let's get your information your hours of operation how long you've been around the website and so on make sure people can find you too to get to you or to at least use your stuff as marketing leverage well our our website is surgery center ok calm and we've been open 19 years this coming May we opened in 1997 and your listeners might appreciate we have never taken a dime of government money and never will and we're located in Oklahoma City and what am i one of my favorite statistics I just got this morning and it's not really a statistic it's a story I had a surgeon come into my office and say he set a new record from the time the patient called to the time they were actually on our surgery schedule was 30 minutes so it is a very efficient very fast it's directly and and the other thing I'd like to mention Stephan is there is an organization that I've started called the free market Medical Association and the reason I started it is there are so many facilities and physicians in the United States that have desire to copy what we're doing so if people will go to market medicine org there's a picture of a United States map and there are dots all over it where there are facilities that operate very much like we do so they may find someplace that's closer to home that's not all the way to Oklahoma for instance if their facilities in Virginia and California and New York and all over the country that are that are clamoring to and running to this model so that's something else I would like to mention we don't want to franchise we're not trying to get rich we want everybody to copy us so there is a real change and in the free market can dominate healthcare like it does the few industries that are left that if embraced it that that's but that's that's something we're checking out is that free market Medical Association website yeah we'll put links to all that below to make sure that people can find it and I really strongly urge people have conversations about freedom within healthcare proactively because generally the way that the system works is that people are healthy so they don't really care about it that much and then when you get sick you're too busy dealing with being sick to activate for change and then when you're done you're so relieved to have it in the rear view that you just want to get on with your life so there's never a sweet spot where you're really motivated and effective in working for greater freedom in healthcare so you I think you have to kind of grit your teeth confront people talk about these difficult issues because waiting until if circumstances kind of dictate the need for you is almost always waving too late it's like it's like criminal reform you know like if you're not arrested you don't care and if you are arrested you're too busy fighting the system and afterwards you're too relieved to have it in the rearview to circle back and do it so I really strongly urge people to really have these conversations with people about health care because it is is such an essential issue you know I lived my whole life I've never been in hospital never broken a bone perfect health my whole life then boom out of nowhere you know Satan touches my neck and if I go on this one adventure and now that it's in the rearview of course my urge is to just never go back there again but it is really essential that we talk about these things because more so than just about any other issue other than direct incarceration it is a life and death issue for millions of people in America and around the world so strongly urge people I want to give you guys one last compliment other than thanks for not feeding Canadian worms with my body but when I came back when I came back my doctor was like wow where did you get that done and I I told the story and she was like holy that's great how did they do that oh my god so fast though so yes if you have a problem if you stub your toe if you have something in your eye call the owner surgery center these are the guys to talk to and I just I can't thank you enough my family thanks you enough my listeners thank you a lot for the fantastic work I mean I you know we pay it was economic relationship but I just wanted to continue to express my appreciation to you what you've done the stand you've taken your staff your facilities everything that happened there was fantastic and the outcome has been you know cancer-free for years no signs of any any problems and I I just from the bottom of my heart thank you so much for all of the fantastic stuff you've done for me and for the world as a whole well it's it is certainly our pleasure and honor to have participated in your care and I'm thrilled that thrilled that you've done so well all right thank Saville and we'll talk again thanks a lot okay bye-bye

44 comments

  1. A true capitalist healthcare system without regulations would make every aspect of healthcare and innovation better.

  2. GREED. That’s the reason, plain and simple. Doctors are greedy. Hospitals are greedy. Medical schools are greedy. Administrators are greedy. BMWs, Mercedes, big houses, fancy food, fashionable clothes, complex up to the minute fancy toys. Vacation homes, expensive entertainment, expensive yachts. Check the stocks of pharmaceutical companies.

  3. 3 years later, and this still hasn't taken over.
    The government "organized crime syndicate" is really doing it's thing & living up to it's crooked reputation as crooks!!! 😠

  4. Yeah, if you are rich you can get your health care in the US.
    Great job, mr. Money bags Molyneux.

    All your viewers are poor, yet they cheer for you. It's amazing. All the Americans here: Get cancer, and see how much you agree with this rhetoric.
    Only if you have money, the health care in the US is an option.

  5. My insurance company covered a $700 charge from a company for my breast pump. The same pump is $220 at Target. Absolutely ridiculous.

  6. It has always been a frustration that as a patient/customer, I have to pay twice what insurance companies pay. Those insurance companies have almost limitless money, and I'm struggling, but doctors and hospitals still want to rape my wallet. Backwards, upside down and inside out.

  7. health insurance is the result of a free market health care policy. And insurances will always drive the prices up. It's a reason the US health cost prices are the highest in the world.

  8. Bloody hell though… even these guys are expensive. 11+ grand to give birth??? 15+ grand for a hip replacement? As socialized as the NHS is, at least I never see the bill… Though again, I'm not sure how much more I'd be earning in the US if I didn't pay the tax associated with my national insurance here in the UK.
    No wonder the americans aren't procreating… 11 fucking grand to give birth..???

  9. To be fair, Stefan’s comments from March 2016, concerning wait periods for scans in Canada were then and had been for several years, obsolete. Stefan had been diagnosed and treated for Lymphoma in Canada at a time when A particular type of scanning had become the required medical gold standard for diagnosing and staging cancer prior to treatment. I live in the same general area as Stefan and I was diagnosed with Lymphoma,about the same time. I was highly upset with the wait period I’d been given to get a scan, so much so I was interviewed on a Canadian TV news broadcast after I’d been treated. But the fact of the matter is that there was a simple solution to the wait period. I elected to arrange for my own son in Buffalo NY. I think it was $500 US plus the cost of driving and time lost etc., but it was no big deal. I gave the results to my oncologists and my radiation treatment began a few weeks after they’d completely diagnosed me and staged the Lymphoma. Given time, I can look back and see that I was being ridiculous. I had a cousin at that time who suddenly developed a life and death emergency health condition that required an immediate scan, exactly the kind I was scheduled to wait 6 months for. My cousin got her scan the same day, in her city in Canada because doctors determined she could die momentarily without it and the required treatment afterwards. in spite of the horror I felt at knowing I had untreated lymphoma, it was clear to my doctors that I wasn’t anywhere near deaths door or gave any indication that my one apparent Lymphoma tumour was about to spread. I was finally diagnosed and treated for Stage l AE MALT Lymphoma, involving 20 radiation exposures at Sunnybrook Toronto. That was 15 years ago and I’ve not had any known recurrence and I almost never think about it. Aside from the cost of the scan in Buffalo, the entire ordeal cost me nothing. If they’d been required to bill me, the invoice would read $ 0.00. I have no idea how much it all cost as I was never given any paperwork or indeed any idea what it cost as it was totally unnecessary. The scan situation was dealt with and there have been no undue long waiting periods for non urgent scans and there never was a waiting period for urgent scans. Again, if you didn’t like the system you could pay for whatever portions of health care you want to get immediately in the US using your own money. That’s reasonable and acceptable.
    What cannot happen, though, is an American who’s facing 6 figure bills to treat cancer in his own country, cannot come to Canada and have access to our health insurance system and be treated without cost. It’s generally agreed and accepted in Canada that Civil insurrection would occur if the government tried to eliminate our health care insurance system. Some criticism it, which is good and necessary but they would never want to eliminate it.

  10. It’s official. Jehovah’s Witnesses can no longer practice their faith freely in Russia, where the Supreme Court on Thursday declared the pacifist religious organization an “extremist group” and banned all of its activity.

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    The judge ordered all 395 local chapters and its Russian headquarters to close and authorized the government to seize all property. Under the ruling, distributing copies of the Watchtower, discussing their beliefs in public, or even worshipping at a meeting hall has become a crime.

    A lawyer for Russia’s justice ministry, Svetlana Borisova, told the court that Jehovah’s Witnesses “pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order and public security,” according to media reports.

    The decision comes at the conclusion of 30 hours of trial over the past few weeks and about a month after the government suspended Jehovah’s Witnesses activities in March. The organization had launched a global letter-writing campaign and a lawsuit claiming political repression, but both were unsuccessful.

    To human rights and religious freedom advocates around the world, the move comes as a major blow. While ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin have put ongoing scrutiny on all non-Orthodox faiths, this case represents the first time the country has banned a registered religious group.

    In a report of the verdict on the jw-russia.orgwebsite, Jehovah’s Witnesses described the outcome of the case as “a black day for fundamental human freedoms in Russia.” They noted that “this decision could lead to the saddest consequences for believers of different faiths, as well as for Russia's image on the world stage.”

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center has 30 days to appeal to a three-person panel at the Supreme Court, but Jehovah’s Witnesses say they anticipate serious problems, regardless of any pending appeal.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses added that, if necessary, they will take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    “If Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted, then that means later ‘on the block’ will come other religious movements—for example, Protestant churches,” law professor Anatoly Pchelintcev told Portal-Credo, an Orthodox news site. “For the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Armageddon has arrived, and the faithful of other religions await the apocalypse.”

    Russian Protestants have been more ambivalent about the legal fate of the fellow minority group, as CT previously reported.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses number 175,000 adherents in Russia, while Protestants are about 4 times larger. Though they have suffered under some of the same restrictive laws (like the anti-evangelism measures enacted last year), Russian Protestants have a better reputation among Orthodox and government officials. They disagree with the Witnesses’ theology and methodology for evangelism, often seeing their tactics as annoying.

    Roman Lunkin, an expert in Russian church-state relations, told Time that it’s unlikely the government would use the extremist label against evangelicals’ literature, since they tend to use the same Bible translations as the Orthodox.

    Still, some Russian evangelicals see the repression of Witnesses as reason to worry, according to William Yoder, spokesman for the Russia Evangelical Alliance. Some have brought up German pastor Martin Niemöller’s “First They Came For” poem and asked, “How soon will it hit us if we don’t protest?”

    The crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses follows rising nationalist furor in Russia and a skepticism toward groups associated with the West.

    “The treatment of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reflects the Russian government’s tendency to view all independent religious activity as a threat to its control and the country’s political stability,” according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which condemned Russia’s ongoing campaign against the group. “This approach dates back to the Soviet period and impacts other religious groups, including peaceful Christians and Muslims.”

    Known for their door-to-door evangelism, Jehovah’s Witnesses have historically been on the front line in the fight for religious freedom. They are considered a bellwether for the rights of minority faiths and public expression.

    The full impact of this week’s ruling is still unfolding, though Russia has been quick to act. The government’s financial monitoring system already added the Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters to its list of “organizations, against which there is evidence of involvement in extremist activity or terrorism,” and its financial transactions are already blocked.

    In the trial, Jehovah’s Witness representatives refuted the justice ministry’s claims that the Administrative Center imported “extremist” literature, financed “extremist activity,” and failed to take effective measures against “extremist activity” by local religious organizations.

    The group’s lawyer, Viktor Zhenkov, concluded his remarks by asking: “What happens if the court upholds the justice ministry’s request? If this is the will of the state, then the country successfully acquires 170,000 prisoners of conscience and a corresponding reputation. If the will of the state is to comply with the law, then the court can come to only one decision: to refuse to uphold the justice ministry’s suit.”

    Another noted the violation of believers’ rights since the justice ministry issued its suspension order and expressed his fear that liquidation would lead to “even more tragic consequences.”

  11. Government caused this by selling favorites, but who is buying the favorites, are they not culpable or at fault?

  12. I saw a patient who had had total hip arthroplasty done in Canada and the work was excellent.
    The same is true of a CABG. Their medical schools and training programs are easily as good as those in the U.S.
    Medical care in the U.S. produces shockingly poor results, esp. considering the charges.
    Read a local charge recently for those little paper cups that they use to pass pills to patients.
    What do they cost? I don't know but perhaps a few for a penny in bulk. Charge to patients? $10 each.

  13. We need open immigration for Doctors from other western countries. So Doctors from socialized medicine like Canada, Great Britain, EU, Australia can come to the US. Open competition instead of artificially keeping the supply of Drs in the US low. Free market people. Just like we have IT workers and their H1B, we need this for health care workers.

  14. "Health Care"? really? It is sick care and death care. I am obliged by my corrupt government to pay nearly $800 per year for medications I will never take…it covers 8000 drugs, I looked up quite a few of them, not finished, all of them have debilitating side affects. I treat myself with real health care and loosing $800 this year will be a detriment to my healthcare regime which is mainly based on nutrients. I will be paying for someone else s poisoning.

  15. In the 60s, the FDA's budget was seriously cut. Much funding was to come from user fees. Those who want to get drugs approved must pay huge fees. If a pharma company wants to get an approval fast-tracked, they have the option of paying a more huge fee. Drug companies became clients, of the FDA. There is much personnel swapping through the "revolving door." Favored drug companies have managed almost complete regulatory capture. The FDA ain't working for us. It's working for them.

  16. Most kinds of Insurance is a scam, worse than lotto. Scalpels and surgery; the last vestige of allopathic's tool kit medicine. There are always too many costs, upfront and hidden when dealing with allopathy. ⚰ The Death Care medicine ⚰ wake me when Life Care becomes a non-hanging-on-the-cross or a non-burning-at-the-steak event again! 🙏

  17. Great way to refute the question when idiots ask "what about the poor?" Just ask them what person do they have in mind to help.

  18. Just listened to this that I think interestingly was recorded in Feb of 2016. Which is when I was in a Chinese hospital dealing with 3 kidney stones I'd had for 10 years but not causing problems until one started moving. Short version is that we prepaid $600 USD for treatment. Then after CT scan, IVs, all medications, and doctors fees, 5 days in hospital with seven sound wave lithotripsy treatments. We were refunded all but the $340 total cost of care. Very few Chinese use or trust insurance, there is no welfare, but because of low taxes the average Chinese saves 65% of their income almost everyone has money for healthcare.

  19. Those of us in the "civilised" world [outside the USA] cannot believe just how the medical system in the US manages to rip off the populace.I would love to visit but my insurers jack up the premium to such an extent that it is just not feasible.

  20. Democrats gift to America. The Clinton went after HealthCare and College Tuition and the cost went way up…. Then Obama came along to 'fix' HealthCare and College Tuition and the cost skyrocketed out of sight………..Hope and change pocketed by the Democrats.

  21. More and more people are getting healthier because we do not trust the government. Also we can get more informed choices. * Finally, lies are being discovered…. like the real facts about SUGAR vs FATS. And the fact that doctors generates prescriptions for profit, never mind the patient's health……

  22. Goid presentation but leaves out a very important issue. The hidden costs of frivolous lawsuits which is like tax.

  23. …… WHAT CAME FIRST ? ….. THE CHICKEN
    OR THE EGG? ….. "DON'T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF
    THE BALL?" ….. NOW …. THAT'S AN IMPORTANT
    SENTENCE!

  24. "CORPORATE MEDICINE" TOO LITTLE …. FOR TOO MUCH!?….. HEAVY MED.
    TECH DRIVES ….. SKY ROCKETS…… MEDICAL COSTS! ….YES! ………..
    THERE HAS BEEN AMAZING ADVANCES ….. WITH MORE HIGH TECH………..
    MEDICAL SERVICES , AND EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE …. BUT ….. AT THE …….
    SAME TIME …. THE MEDICAL …. PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES HAVE
    STRANGLED ….. THE AVERAGE MEDICAL CONSUMER POPULATION …………..
    "GREED" RUINS MUCH OF WHAT USED TO BE …… CONSIDERED GOOD MEDICINE!
    TIC …. THERE'S NO MORE … LOCAL FAMILY MD'S …. TAKING WAX OUT OF YOUR
    EAR @ AN OFFICE VISIT …. FOR 65.00! …… NICE WORK GENTLEMEN !

  25. Bureaucracy, red tape and of course corruption are the scourges of many a governmental and corporate establishment ?

  26. I love his quote about how expensive free things are. Everything needs to be discussed on an economic basis. The Return on Investment. From everything I've seen and all the numbers I've seen the only medical coverage that should be tax payer subsidized is Contraception.

    Nearly 50% of births in the US, UK, and CA are unplanned and that ends up costing the welfare state and criminal justice system BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

    Every $1 spent of taxpayer dollars has a return on investment of $7.09 calcilated as of 2014 if I remember correctly.

    Stop the 14 to 25 year old trauma survivors from throwing litters and you can dramatically reduce the number of people in poverty and break the intergenerational transmission of trauma!

    An 18 year old girl that has been molested by Mama's boyfriend since she was 7 can finish her education if she doesn't have her first kid at 17. Get her on Contraception, get her into a nursing program, and while she'll still bang every guy in the trailer park or housing project but she'll be doing it while getting professional certified for a job where she'll be able to get therapy for her trauma and get out of poverty.

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