Friday, June 22, 2012

Stop Trying To Sell Us Government Health Care!

Here is a little piece from CNN about Sweden's health care. They do give the downsides of Sweden's system but don't explain what those downsides really mean for the patients. They have no problem highlighting the bonuses. Twice you get that in Sweden the average life expectancy is three years more than in the United States. But at what cost?

In the US we lose about one third of our income to taxes. In Sweden they give up over half of their income. What a rip off. Can you imagine having over half of what you earned taken away every year and all you get is three more years?

Go ahead and listen to the sales pitch.

So what were the negatives?
  • Crushing tax rate
  • Waiting lists for elective surgery
  • Poor doctor choice, even with a better doctor patient ratio than the U.S.
  • Poor doctor patient relationship due to the impersonal system
  • Per capita spending in Sweden is half that of the U.S.
  • Every one regardless of income or position get the same care
You might be wondering why I consider the last two of the list negatives when the video touted them as positives. Here's why.

Per capita spending in Sweden is half that of the U.S.

Sound good? No. Not at all. If I was in Sweden I would be furious! Can you imagine that you pay 50 percent more in taxes and have 50 percent less money spent on you? You pay more and get less. How is this good? Where is the money going?

Every one regardless of income or position get the same care

Sound good? Not really. It means there is no way to get anything better. No matter how much money you have, you can not buy your way to a break through procedure.

Due to the length of the piece there are no details of what sort of high end procedures are available. Are there procedure that we have in the U.S. that do not exist in Sweden because of cost? If so you see why the system is bad. Super expensive procedures just simply are not even available.

Finally I was floored by Bianca Frogner. First, I can't believe that someone has a PhD in health economics. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is so niche. What do you do with a degree like that? You teach.

Second, I couldn't believe that ignorant statement she made:
In Sweden they believe that sickness should not be a punishment ...
That infers that other countries believe that sickness should be a punishment. Really? Which countries? When you look at the negatives Sweden is the one punishing its people to give them health care.

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