‘Wait Till It’s Free’ Documentary Examines Dangers in the Current State of U.S. Health Care
Filmmaker and Samaritan Ministries Member Colin Gunn Says Biblical Principles Offer the Way to Cure the System’s Ailments
PEORIA, Ill.—Universal health care is again being promoted as a solution to U.S. health care woes. Some of the proposals, such as “Medicare for All,” would put the federal government in complete control of America’s health care.
From its founding 25 years ago, Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, has advocated an opposite approach, increasing individual liberty and health care freedom, not taking more of it away.
To help educate current Samaritan members, potential members and American patients about this fact, Samaritan Ministries has been helping to promote a documentary called “Wait Till It’s Free,” which explores how Americans feel about health care, health care economics and the importance of patient freedom. The film takes a hard and honest look at the way we do health care in America, examining everything from the escalating costs to a move toward socialized medicine.
Samaritan member and filmmaker Colin Gunn released the film several years ago, but its content is even more relevant today. Samaritan Ministries recently conducted a Q&A with Gunn about his views on the current state of health care since his documentary sounded the alarm five years ago.
Samaritan Ministries International: 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?
Colin Gunn: 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 … but 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.
We don’t 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.”
SMI: What would “Medicare for All” or a single-payer health care system mean for Americans? How do you think it would end up?
CG: 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. … Our Veterans Administration medical system is like that. It’s the perfect example of what single-payer is like: the loss of choice, and, of course, the increase in taxes, the huge cost of it.
Socialist systems are in decline. Socialism works for a little bit of time until you have exhausted the capital of the system that preceded it. That’s where we’re at with Venezuela. It was a massively popular and great place to visit at one point. It wasn’t a paradise, but it had liberty. Now look at it.
SMI: Why isn’t this obvious to people, to Americans?
CG: Americans value—and it’s a big mistake—what they think is the most secure path, and the add-on to that is what they think is the secure path given to them. They’re told what the secure path is, and it’s interesting because that sort of relates to treatment. They trust that the guy in the white coat will tell them they need this, this and this. We’re trying to sell them this unusual thing (health care liberty), just like homeschooling’s hard to sell to people, too, because it was weird—“Is that legal?”
I think we’re at that stage with health care. Americans are following the secure model. They’re following what everyone else is doing. They’re following what the government tells them they should be doing. So a radical opinion, which is what I am essentially presenting to them, is very hard for them to understand. They trust the government, they trust institutions, they trust hospitals—there’s too much misplaced trust in these big institutions.
SMI: If you could update “Wait Till It’s Free,” what would you change or include?
CG: I’ve become more aware of the stark difference between the established health care system and what the Christian alternative would be. “Wait Till It’s Free” dealt largely with economics, and while that’s important, I don’t think it’s an argument that easily resonates with people and that people really understand.
I do, more and more, see the need for a presentation of the antithesis between the health care system we have, which includes the economics of it, and what Christian health care needs to be. I’ve become more aware of that in relation to the health care establishment’s connection to our abortion holocaust and the loss of life that we have seen in our nation since Roe v. Wade. We’ve seen this moral disaster perpetrated in our nation largely with support from our medical establishment. That shows glaringly that the guilty party of our nation is not just an economic problem, but there’s a huge ethical problem in our health care system.
Abortion is the pinnacle of that, but there are multiple other areas of health care that are very clearly anti-Christian, which includes deception and theft, but also the proper view of man doesn’t exist. We touch on this in the film. But how they view man and then how they view the work of medicine is antithetical to a Christian system. We really need to look at how health care needs to change across the board.
SMI: What do Americans need to watch for in order to guard what health care freedom we still have?
CG: A big thing in our film is personal responsibility and understanding the motives of those that are trying to take control of your health care, that you have to act with the best interest of your family and have Biblical wisdom. Prayerfully examine your choices in relation to health care and don’t just take it for granted that the system as it stands is what you need. The personal responsibility of taking care of your own health, your own family, takes a lot of effort if you’re going to break free of the system as it stands. As you know, just the simple act of walking into a doctor’s office and announcing that you’re cash pay is a difficult thing. It’s a challenge to do it, because you’re doing something that no one else wants to do or thinks about or cares about, maybe even the doctor that you’re talking to. You may have more information on health care economics than maybe he does.
Each month, more than 82,000 Samaritan member households (270,000-plus individual members) send their financial shares directly to other members, along with notes and cards of encouragement, through this effective, God-honoring ministry. Samaritan’s growing Biblical community shares approximately $29 million in medical needs person-to-person each month. In fact, Samaritan Ministries members have shared $1.8 billion in health care needs over the past 25 years.