Podcast 030: Health Insurance Industry
The topic of Podcast is acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore’s new documentary, Sicko. In this documentary, Moore sets out to investigate the American healthcare system. He sticks to his tried-and-true one-man approach, while shedding light on the complicated medical affairs of individuals and local communities.
At the beginning of this Podcast, Martin calls for an end to false dichotomies such as the split between Republicans and Democrats in our political world. These divisions are only making us short-sighted and will eventually lead to us irreversibly destroying our planet, rendering it uninhabitable.
Instead, Martin claims we need to be thinking long-term – holistically – taking into account all the ramifications and consequences of our actions. That is not just the way we should look at treating our planet, but our bodies as well.
Martin takes this viewpoint along with him, as he offers up some very exciting opinions about this brand new documentary. While he praises the filmmaker for providing colorful stories of citizens whose health insurance has failed them, he doesn’t hesitate to offer some critiques of the Liberal agenda as well.
Podcast 030: Health Insurance Industry
Scott Paton: Welcome everybody. You are listening to the Life Enthusiast Co-Op podcast. I am your co-host Scott Paton along with Martin Pytela, restoring vitality to you and to the planet. Hey Martin, how are you doing this week?
Martin Pytela: Wonderful, really good. Thank you. Kindly.
Scott Paton: Excellent. Excellent. Well, I want to get right into it. We ran kind of longer than we normally do last week and we could have gone on probably for another hour. It was just really, really good information and good talking I think.
Martin Pytela: I should hope so. [laughter]
Scott Paton: We have had a few people, you know, leave comments and…
Martin Pytela: Yeah, I remember I got quite political with my comments, but what the heck, you know. I think that we need to do is get beyond the conservative and the democratic or whatever they call them, liberal, or whatever label.
Scott Paton: Or politically correct maybe?
Martin Pytela: Well, no, not even that. What I mean is you know the Republican and Democrats in America or the conservatives and what are they called in Canada? Liberals. You know, it’s the Left and the Right and are we going to be fundamentalist or are we going to be relativists or whatever. We need to get out of that. We need to absolutely get out of that because if we don’t start thinking long term holistic, we are going to so mess up this world that it’s probably going to go well to hell in a hand basket.
Scott Paton: And that’s what some people think is happening.
Martin Pytela: Oh, yeah, the Armageddon, yeah, some people would like to actually get there quicker. [laughter] You know, I mean… once you are convinced that the way to bring the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is to cause the destruction of the world, then I guess you are going to work towards that.
Scott Paton: Yeah, yeah and certainly that seems to be the direction some people are heading in.
Martin Pytela: Yeah, I find that unfortunately very, what shall I say, shortsighted because you cannot force even God’s plan. Even if you believe that it’s plan, you cannot force it.
Scott Paton: Let it happen in its own time. So, last time, speaking about plans, we talked about a documentary that Michael Moore has just made and come out called Sicko and you know we talked… we commented on Al Gore’s documentary last time, so, we want to give Michael equal opportunity [laughter] and so… and I haven’t seen it, so, I am quite interested to hear what you have got to say and I am probably going to rent it tonight so that I can get my own opinion on it.
Martin Pytela: I am sending out a newsletter with a link to a… to the presentation. You can watch it online. I am sure it is well worth it. So, you can watch it on YouTube and you can watch it on some other video presentations online, but sure, I mean, go see it on the big screen. It’s a lot more fun seeing it really big. Well, both Al Gore and Michael Moore are pushing the Liberal agenda, strange enough and although I am really a very, what shall I… I would say I am very soft hearted when it comes to social issues, but I really do help people and I do all kinds of charity and I do all kinds of volunteering and then I put my time in into good works, I disagree with where they are coming from.
Scott Paton: Okay.
Martin Pytela: Well, about Michael Moore, it’s tactical versus strategic. So, Michael, correctly, very correctly, identifies in his movie that the health insurance industry is absolutely, completely broken because there are 50 million people or 47 million people in the United States who are without health insurance and even those who think or who know that they have health insurance and who think they are covered, they are actually not and Michael shows a whole bunch of wonderfully sickening examples of people like a good man, 35-year-old guy, who thinks he has an insurance, but comes up with some kind of a tumor in his brain and the insurance adjusters say, “Well, that would be fine and good, but the treatment that you deserve, well, it is experimental and no, we are not going to fund it for you. So, well, you can’t have…” Two months later, he is dead.
Scott Paton: Oww…
Martin Pytela: Or a small example, you know, a woman gets into a car accident and an ambulance is called and she is transported into the hospital while in a… I don’t know, I won’t call it coma, but she was unconscious. She is transported into a hospital and she is attended to and after the whole thing, the insurance company calls her… sends her a rejection sheet saying, the ride in the ambulance is not covered because it was not pre-approved.
Scott Paton: Oh, no.
Martin Pytela: And she is asking, “When was I supposed to get the approval for it?”
Scott Paton: Yeah, yeah.
Martin Pytela: “Just before I got into the accident or while I was lying in my blood in the stretcher??
Scott Paton: That’s a pretty good question.
Martin Pytela: Anyway, you know, like those are really strong examples and Michael does a fantastic job of presenting it and showing it just how absolutely broken the insurance industry is and I am thinking about it, well, all right, we should have catastrophic insurance for everybody. He is actually idolizing the British, French, and Canadian health insurance systems saying, “Look at those people actually cover each other so that if… if in Britain, you are having a child, you don’t have to pay all kinds of money to have the child delivered because their National Health System or Service they call it, NHS, covers it.” They are covered. Same in France you know. You go there and if you have a health problem, they look after it and I agree with that. I totally agree that people should be covered, but more importantly than that we should be covered, the point is what should be covered, because in Canada for instance, people are covered right?
Scott Paton: Yeah.
Martin Pytela: But what’s covered is the mainstream allopathic medicine. So, the good thing is that all the surgery is covered and I applaud that greatly. You know, if you are in trouble, if you are in a car accident, if you chop off a finger or if you have a sports injury somewhere doing stupid things, boy, I am so glad that I can go and be covered for that.
Scott Paton: Right. If you break something, it will get fixed.
Martin Pytela: Right and you don’t need to worry about it, but I somewhat resent the fact that I am having to cover the procedures for people who put themselves in danger intentionally. You know, I mean… that accident that you could have had on that mountain in the Rockies?
Scott Paton: Yes.
Martin Pytela: You know, I mean if you actually did the stupid thing and went over and broke your neck and spent the next 25 years in a wheelchair needing a nurse and all of that, I would resent that because it is coming out of my pocket to cover that. So, you know, fortunately we all pay into that kind of insurance, so, we are forced into that plan and we are forced into covering the stupid behavior of everybody else including ourselves of course.
Scott Paton: Right. Right.
Martin Pytela: Which is okay. I think that sort of thing in general works. The second part, which I do have a huge problem with, is that they only cover the allopathic medicine, only cover is drugs from the drug cartel, dispensed by the MDs and the psychiatrists of this world. How come they don’t cover naturopaths, how come they don’t cover physiotherapists, chiropractors, and how come they don’t cover nutritional supplements, prevention?
Scott Paton: That’s a question I would like to know too because that’s a huge savings and improvement in people’s lives.
Martin Pytela: Well, what that indicates is that the Canadian health system is far from perfect and the second thing it tells you is that the companies or rather that the… I shouldn’t call them companies, but whatever is in charge of that system, whoever is lobbying the government to manage that system in that particular way, is doing a very fine job of doing if for themselves and what we know is that the most money is in the pharmaceuticals. We have already learned that you know a typical drug that’s sold to you, there is only a penny on the dollar… oh, no, I should say, penny per hundred dollar in ingredients. I mean there is… it’s published on our website too is that you know a typical cost of a $100 prescription drug is about a dollar or two. So, there is huge margins in that sort of product and they can afford to spend big bucks on lobbying. One of the wonderful things that Michael Moore put in his movie is he was showing that there are four lobbyists for every Congressman in the Congress that are from the drug industry. Imagine, four guys chasing a single Congressman making sure that these people do what they are told and then he is actually in that movie showing a beautiful thing, the price tags, of the kind of money that people take from the drug industry for their reelection campaigns and these are in hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, the question is never mind that we need a national or nationwide insurance; we do, but what are we going to insure? Are we going to insure the same idiotic, stupidity that we are doing already? Chasing up symptoms, curing nothing? So, this is the criticism, this is my criticism of Michael Moore’s movie. All he does is he is raising a problem. He says, “This health insurance industry is broken and it is managed for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry in the first place,” but like any good 13-year-old teenager, he says, “I don’t like this. This is broken.” When you come back to say, “Well, how would you fix it?” there is just long silence.
Scott Paton: No answer.
Martin Pytela: No answer. So, I guess I should call it a perfect initial step in a nationwide debate about what should be done. My big concern is that the debate is going to be directed by the dollars that are required to have that debate. So, in the media, it is going to be the drug cartel doing their thing. You can already see that on television because more than 50% of all advertising on television is already for drugs. So, if that’s the medium in which most people communicate, we are in big trouble because what we are going to get is a nationwide debate about that we should insure more people, so, this next presidential election in the United States is going to run with that one topic, what are you going to do about the nationwide universal insurance and the Democrats are going to get elected because they are going to say, “We are going to introduce a nationwide, universal heath insurance” and the drug cartel is going to run with it and say, “Yes, that’s what we want. We want universal insurance for everybody for our products. Thank you very much and only our product.”
Scott Paton: Right. Well, it’s like if you can get the government to pay for the consumption of your product instead of the population, you are set, right?
Martin Pytela: You just gave yourself a paycheck. You just gave yourself a huge paycheck.
Scott Paton: Yeah and nobody is going to lobby for vitamin C or blueberries. As you know I love blueberries, right?
Martin Pytela: Yeah.
Scott Paton: I know that for everyone to get a pound of blueberries a day and that would be all the vitamin C and probably a whole bunch of other things, phytonutrients that they need to make a huge difference in their lives.
Martin Pytela: Yeah, now, instead you are going to get lobby from the big agri business for corn and wheat so that you can have Honey Bunch Cheerios or something like that for your breakfast, sweetened with corn syrup. Oh… [laughter] Uggghhh…
Scott Paton: Uggghhh…
Martin Pytela: I tell you….
Scott Paton: But they all work together, right? Like the corn syrup is very, very cheap, make lot of money on it and then the drug companies get to give you the diabetic drugs that you are going to need to live after you have had all that stuff and…
Martin Pytela: Yeah, huge business, yeah and diabetes, gosh, diabetes is on the rise in the United States in phenomenal, alarming ways and it is mostly caused by the huge consumption of the… I can’t think of the name of it, but it is the corn syrup, the high fructose corn syrup and that’s… I mean you can’t taste it other than that it makes things sweet and it is just supplying a huge number of calories for nothing, for nothing, only that it makes the food more addictive, so you want to eat more of it. Oh, Lord, so, what about this world that we live in? You know, I believe that the only way out of it is education and I pray that the Internet is the medium through which we could actually help educate people.
Scott Paton: Well and that’s the goal and the reason why we do what we do, right?
Martin Pytela: Yeah.
Scott Paton: Is to help people think a little bit differently about their health and maybe a little more strategically about it.
Martin Pytela: Yeah. Yeah. You know, I remember I was watching the Canadian election debate before this past August… it is about a year-and-a-half ago now when the Liberal candidate, Paul Martin, was standing there and saying, “I will fight for universal Canadian health insurance and I want to have a plan where nobody can get ahead of the line and where everybody is getting the same care. We want universal and not two plans, one for the rich people and one for the other ones” and I was thinking about it and I thought, you know, this is so wrong. There already are two systems, the one that’s the government insured allopathic medicine and then there is the naturopathic medicine that actually cures and heals people, but for that one you have to pay.
Scott Paton: Yeah, that’s right. [laughs] I was thinking of it slightly differently because we are so close to the US border and if you need something, it can be… like I know a fellow who actually lives in Vernon, your hometown, he waited 13 months for triple bypass surgery, but when he actually went, it was a quadruple bypass surgery and I thought I can’t believe that he worse in that year, but of course he was… and they made no changes to his lifestyle, and… so, he had to wait 13 months, but there are people that say you know what, I am not going to wait 13 months and they will just go across the border into the States and get the operation done; they will also pay 5 000, 10 grand whatever it is…
Martin Pytela: Oh, this one is more expensive. This one would be like 25 to 50.
Scott Paton: 25, 50, oh, it’s my life, I don’t care, right, sort of thing.
Martin Pytela: Right. Sure. I don’t want to be dead.
Scott Paton: That’s right. I don’t want to be dead and so, he… so, I mean, there… I have always felt there is two systems, one is you just go somewhere else and get it done right away and the other one is you wait.
Martin Pytela: That’s just simply management of the input, but the strategic thinking is what should you do? And imagine if this guy had spent the $25000 on good drinking water, superfoods, and gym membership…
Scott Paton: Yeah and stopped eating pies and donuts…
Martin Pytela: Oh, even that, but even just this other stuff, you know, just the dollars, imagine, I mean a bottle of Exsula is 50 bucks, okay? 50 bucks a month is 600 bucks a year, right?
Scott Paton: Yeah. That’s easy…
Martin Pytela: Okay? Yeah. 6000 every 10 years and that’s…
Scott Paton: Yeah. Well, I pay a 100 bucks a month for my medical insurance. So…
Martin Pytela: Yes. Well, that’s your catastrophic insurance just in case you fell off your bike and break your neck.
Scott Paton: That’s right. So, if I can pay that, I think I could pay 50 bucks.
Martin Pytela: Right. But in America, you would be paying something like 600 dollars or 1200 dollars for your health insurance if you were self employed. Is that the true price of it? You know, in Canada, you pay that much as well through your other taxes. You know, in British Columbia, where you live 79% of the cost of the health insurance is collected through general taxes, not through the health insurance premiums.
Scott Paton: Right. Right. We don’t even see all the money that goes into it.
Martin Pytela: No. It just comes off the top. Well, you are probably not a good example because you are probably self employed now and you don’t pay huge amounts of taxes, right?
Scott Paton: That’s true.
Martin Pytela: But all of the people who…
Scott Paton: I did. I have, for many years, I did… [laughs]
Martin Pytela: Yeah, I am sure you did. You were quite regular when you were the wage slave at the grocery store chain.
Scott Paton: That’s right. [laughter] I did for sure.
Martin Pytela: Yes. Well, so, here is Martin telling the world “Thank you Michael Moore for opening up a debate about the national health insurance. There should be such a…, but please focus on what you are insuring as opposed to that you are insuring people as well.” If we don’t have that debate at the same time, all you are going to end up with is a system like the Canadians have and that is pretty broken too.
Scott Paton: That’s true. That’s true. So, sum it all up, you saw Sicko, do you recommend everybody see it Martin?
Martin Pytela: Absolutely. Oh, God, go see it. You must.
Scott Paton: Okay and then after you have seen it…
Martin Pytela: And think critically. Think critically, seek solutions, understand that that is just one part of the whole problem.
Scott Paton: Right. Right. And once you have seen it, what do you think the first steps someone should do would be?
Martin Pytela: Oh, call… well, you know, you decide how you are going to vote, call the people that you are… you know get political, get involved. I think either there has to be a full on revolution, which I don’t really advocate because it gets bloody and awful or get involved in the political process, contact the senators, contact the congressmen, contact your… here in Canada, your MLA and MP, and tell them what you think. Tell them what you want. When they understand what you want and if they don’t do what you want, you will not vote for them, they will want to do what you want.
Scott Paton: That’s true. When people start talking, the politicians do listen.
Martin Pytela: Absolutely.
Scott Paton: Sometimes we don’t think that they do, but they really do.
Martin Pytela: Oh, they do. They do.
Scott Paton: Cool. All right. That’s your rant for this week.
Martin Pytela: Yes sir.
Scott Paton: Head over and see Sicko by Michael Moore.
Martin Pytela: And if you don’t decide that you would start doing some prevention, I just don’t know about you brother.
Scott Paton: You are listening to the wrong podcast if you don’t believe that you can prevent cancer and heart disease and diabetes and everything else and live a healthy, strong, vibrant life on a healthy, strong, vibrant planet.
Martin Pytela: Scott, you said it well.
Scott Paton: [laughs] Thank you.
Martin Pytela: This is Life Enthusiast Co-Op restoring vitality to you and to the planet.
Scott Paton: And if you want to leave a comment on today’s podcast, head over to lifeenthusiast.podomatic.com because we would love to get your questions, your comments. Let us know what you are thinking and we appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to listen to us. More… if you want to get more information about any of the things that we have been talking about, head over to www.life-enthusiast.com because we have got hundreds and thousands of pages on disease information, health education, newsletter archives, just a whole pile of great information that will help you on your journey strategically.
Martin Pytela: And if you really want to ream me out for something I have said, call me at 1-866-543-3388, this is Martin, ready for you. [laughs]
Scott Paton: And don’t hesitate to call that number if you just want to say yeah, Martin, love listening to you every week and hearing what you have got to say.
Martin Pytela: And especially call that number if you are ready to buy some of the products, like the green superfood.
Scott Paton: That’s right. I can’t live without it.
Martin Pytela: [laughs]
Scott Paton: All right. Talk to you next time everybody. Bye, bye.
Martin Pytela: Thank you.