The Concept of “Medicare for All” is Misguided
Stanley Feld M.D.FACP,MACE
Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has long been touting Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway as the shining examples of socialism and socialized medicine.
The New York Times reported on a UN study proving Finland is the happiest country in the world. The problem is the Finns do not think the study is accurate.
The New York Times has once again printed fake news to influence readers to believe in the wisdom of “Medicare for All.”
Carl Sandberg said in “The Prairie Years”, “If you tell a lie enough times it becomes the truth.”
“Similar problems are bedeviling Sweden and Denmark, two other countries frequently held up as models to follow on health care. Finland’s crisis in particular comes as calls for universal health care have grown louder among Democrats in the United States.”
Americans have not heard from the mainstream media about the collapse of Finland’s government or the reasons for that collapse.
Norway is excused from this discussion because Norway has become a very rich country from its North Sea oil income and its restrictive immigration policies. It is the citizen’s sugar daddy along with a 50% tax rat
The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 58 percent of Americans oppose “Medicare for all” if told it would eliminate private health insurance plans, and 60 percent oppose it if it requires higher taxes.
Reuters reported that soaring treatment costs and longer life spans have particularly affected the Nordic countries financial problems.
“Nordic countries, where comprehensive welfare is the cornerstone of the social model, have been among the most affected,” according to Reuters. “But reform has been controversial and, in Finland, plans to cut costs and boost efficiency have stalled for years.”
..Just a few days before Finland’s government collapsed over its inability to foot the bill for its expansive socialist experiment, Sanders took to Twitter in an attempt to shame America.
“In the United States it costs, on average, $12,000 to have a baby. In Finland it costs $60. We’ve got to end the disgrace of our profit-driven health care system and pass Medicare for all.”
“With the collapse of Finland’s government over its inability to financially support its massive socialist agenda, Bernie will undoubtedly do the same thing he always does when socialism (or communism) fails: ignore, obfuscate, and deflect.”
We only have to remember Vermont’s “Medicare for All” failure.
Bernie Sanders and AOC should read Finland and Sweden’s newspapers to understand that the people are unhappy with free but unavailable medical care. The unhappiness of the citizens historically happens in every socialist state.
If Democrats are successful in getting “Medicare for All” into law, we will face the same dilemma in America’s future.
Finland has been held up as a model welfare state. The distribution of the resulting high taxes is spent on the social issues the politicians think are most important and not what the citizens think are most important. The majority of the high taxes are spent on education and childcare, not on health care.
The experience of a patient in Finland is very educational. This article appeared in Britain’s Guardian newspaper as Britain struggles with its National Health Services system.
“Why is Finland’s healthcare system failing my family?”
This reporter moved to Finland from the U.K. to experience this highly rated welfare state. Finland receives an extremely positive press in Britain. The British welfare state systems are failing.
“I have moved to from Britain to Finland because it is lauded as the shining example of a successful welfare state.”
“Imagine going to your nearest doctors’ surgery at 9am on a weekday with your sick six-year-old daughter because you cannot make an appointment over the phone. After your drive to another part of the city, you can’t simply book a time with the receptionist.”
There is no receptionist. You have to swipe your daughter’s national insurance card through a machine, which gives you a number.
“Then you and your feverish child simply sit and wait. Or rather, you stand, because the room is so crowded that people are sitting on the floor, on steps, or leaning against walls. The numbers come up on a screen every 10 minutes or so, in no particular order so you’ve no idea how long your wait will be as your daughter complains of feeling cold then hot and then cold again.”
Patients get sicker and frustrated waiting for care.
“By 10.45, another patient’s dad exclaims he’s been there since 8.15, he’s had enough, and he’s going to go to a private GP. “You used to just be able to make an appointment with a doctor!” he says angrily.”
You are not waiting to see a physician you are waiting to see a nurse that will determine whether you see a physician assistant or General Practitioner.
“At 11.30, you give up and take your daughter to see a private doctor as well, forking out £50 for the privilege.”
Finland’s schools always have the best ranked international student assessment results in the western world; there’s high social equality; all its teachers have master’s degrees.
But unknown to Bernie Sanders, Finland has one of the worst health services records in Europe.
According to an OECD report published in 2013, the Finnish health system is chronically underfunded. The Nordic nation of five million people spent only 7% of GDP on its public health system in 2012, compared with 8% in the UK. In 2012, the report found, 80% of the Finnish population had to wait more than two weeks to see a GP.
America’s healthcare system is becoming unaffordable. When politicians like Bernie Sanders, AOC, and all the announced Democrat candidates for president support “Medicare for All” it sounds easy and appealing. The fact is socialized medicine doesn’t work.
The only system that can work is a system that creates incentives for consumers to be financially and medically responsible for themselves and the creation of rules by the government forcing insurance companies and hospital systems to become competitive in favor of consumers.
Donald Trump knows this. If only our elected officials in Washington wanted to act for the benefit of the citizens who elected them.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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