Thursday, June 20, 2019

about them Nords

Once again, as if on cue, as if to prove my point, we have this article on how Nordic countries are moving toward a private-insurance model for health care:

Rising support for socialism in the United States comes at a time when politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., promise a great many “free” services, to be provided or guaranteed by the government.

Supporters often point to nations with large social programs, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Scandinavian states, particularly when it comes to health care.

Never mind that these are not true socialist countries, but highly taxed market economies with large welfare states. That aside, they do offer a government-guaranteed health service that many in America wish to emulate.

The problem for their argument is that, despite these extremely generous programs, some of these countries are seeing steady a growth of private health insurance.

“Medicare for All,” the prominent socialized medicine proposal in the United States, is most similar to the Canadian system in which providers bill the regional office administering the program.

In Medicare for All, there would be no cost-sharing schemes and all coverage would be comprehensive, including prescription drugs, dental, vision, and other services deemed necessary by the secretary of health and human services.

The Scandinavian systems are similar to Medicare for All in the respect that they use regional offices to administer reimbursements to providers.

Yet they differ in critical ways: They employ cost-sharing for certain services, they are less comprehensive in their coverage, and they allow for private health insurance plans to complement or supplement the government system to cover out-of-pocket expenses and to circumvent wait times or rationed access to specialists.

These are precisely the things Medicare for All would abolish. It’s intriguing that while socialists in America would rush to nationalize the health care system, Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes are all gradually increasing their use of private health insurance.

Be sure to read the rest.

Scandinavian countries are basically capitalist, not socialist. The three main sectors in which something like a centralized-and-redistributionist system can be found are (1) education, (2) welfare, and (3) health care. And that's it. Nordic countries are entrepreneurial dynamos—almost aggressively capitalistic. And the problems associated with nationalized health care are only becoming more obvious as the populations of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland continue to increase and diversify thanks to unchecked immigration. We already hear nightmare stories of people dying of cancer in Canada thanks to long wait times. How long until such stories become equally numerous in Scandinavia?

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