Health care lessons from Sweden

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by Row6, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    Today's NYT's column explores the differences between Sweden's government run health care system and ours. Ours is less efficient and costly (1/2 as much) with no overall advantages in results and the author notes ways in which Obamacare addresses some of these problems, though it was hampered in this regard by politics - and suggests the House quit wasting it's time on votes to repeal and get down to the business of improving it.

    "While in Sweden this month as a visiting scholar, I’ve asked several Swedish health economists to share their thoughts about that question. They have spent their lives under a system in which most health care providers work directly for the government. Like economists in most other countries, they tend to be skeptical of large bureaucracies. So if extensive government involvement in health care is indeed a recipe for doom, they should have clear evidence of that by now.

    Yet none of them voiced the kinds of complaints about recalcitrant bureaucrats and runaway health costs that invariably surface in similar conversations with American colleagues. Little wonder. The Swedish system performs superbly, and my Swedish colleagues cited evidence of that fact with obvious pride.

    The United States spends more than $8,000 a person per year on health care, well more than twice what Sweden spends. Yet health outcomes are far better in Sweden along virtually every dimension. Its infant mortality rate, for example, was recently less than half that of the United States. And males aged 15 to 60 are almost twice as likely to die in any given year in the United States than in Sweden.

    In fairness, those differences result partly from lifestyle. In Sweden, workers are more likely to commute by bicycle than by car, for example, and obesity is far less common. Absolute poverty and income inequality — both associated with adverse health outcomes — are also lower.

    But when illness strikes, the Swedish health care system responds efficiently. Managers have exploited economies of scale by consolidating services into fewer but larger hospitals. The American system has also gone through consolidation, but, by contrast, boutique hospitals are also more common here — partly in response to demands from patients with very high-cost health plans. In large hospitals, CT scanners and other expensive diagnostic and treatment machines are in nearly constant use, versus only a few hours of weekly use in some small ones....

    ...For that to happen, however, Congressional critics must abandon their futile efforts to repeal Obamacare and focus instead on improving it. Their core premise — that greater government involvement in health care provision spells disaster — lacks support in the wealth of evidence from around the world that bears on it.

    The truth appears closer to the reverse: Because of pervasive market failures in private health care markets, this may be the sector that benefits most from collective action."

    mobile.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/business/what-sweden-can-tell-us-about-obamacare.html?from=homepage
  2. g8orbill
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    g8orbill Gators VIP Member

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    why don't you just move there-It would make it a lot easier on you-over 50% do not want obamacare
  3. oldgator
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    oldgator Premium Member

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    only differ from OP in one regard----

    To attempt to compare one nation's healthcare system with another country's system is not really a very helpful way of deciding things.

    what works in one country may not work in another country
    ---cultural differences
    ---racial differences(and the social conflicts that may exist within a country differ from country to country)
    --political difference
    --educational difference
    --avg life expectancy
    --percent of people in cities, percent in rural and suburbia.
    --type of work people do
    --life style differences
    --etc

    There are things that can be learned from other countries--but ---consideration of differences between countries should be factored in
    • Like Like x 1
  4. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    We should add to the articles citing of lifestyle as a reason to why outcomes are different (speaks to how amazing our health system really is/if we could only get government out of the way in its delivery) that we are trying to compare a country one fourth the size of Califorina or one thirtieth the size of the United States health systems...
  5. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    We don't agree on much. That said well put!
  6. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly!
  7. 108
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    108 Premium Member

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    Biggest one there is "political differences"

    Here we allow our elected reps to bow to the highest bidder, therefore we have a healthcare system that works best for the provider and not the patient
  8. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Swedes probably don't go to the doctor for every little ache and pain (real or imagined) like Americans do. Americans are the "worried well" and that alone has caused healthcare costs to skyrocket.
  9. Row6
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    Row6 New Member

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    The column discusses cultural differences between Sweden and the US and allows for it's impact on healthcare costs. Since they pay 1/2 per person what we do and the author highlights specific cost saving practices there, cultural differences are unlikely to explain all or most of the savings they enjoy, or for that matter those of the rest of the developed world, which on average spends 60% what we do on health care.

    As is clear from this thread, the differences you note and which are real are a favorite excuse fir some as to why we spend more by far than any other country and yet enjoy no demonstrated overall advantage in outcomes or patient satisfaction. Among those countries outperforming us are some with higher smoking rates and/or only recent declines in that number.
  10. PIMking
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    PIMking New Member

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    I'm one of the few conservatives that believes that health care is a right to everyone regardless of ones political, financial, or racial background. However with that being said I don't like the ACA for the reason that its not going to work. You cant rob Peter to pay Paul, we had a chance to look at all of the other systems around the world and mold one of the best systems out of it and those who want to keep their own insurance could, but we didn't, we had a thrown together bill that we must pass before we can read it to find out what is in it, we have congress members trying to get themselves out of it, and insurance premiums have gone up.

    BTW, Sweeden has a super high sex rate but an extremely low STD rate.
  11. PIMking
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    PIMking New Member

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    What I've always thought that our biggest issue is with a universal system here in the states is that we have a large amount of illegal aliens here. We have more illegal aliens at 11 million than the whole country of Sweeden's 9 Million

    It's hard to give everyone healthcare when you have 11 million people unaccounted for that are leaching off us
  12. PIMking
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    I remember reading something not too long ago about Finland's teachers and how they make more money per year than their MD's, and that they take only the top 10% to become the teachers of their youth.

    That country puts a value on it's youth and education unlike here in out country.
  13. vangator1
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    vangator1 Well-Known Member

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    It's the NY Times. End of story.

    Sweden is a different culture than here. They don't have the high percentage of parasites like here, although it's growing. Muslims are invading.
  14. candymanfromgc
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    candymanfromgc Well-Known Member

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    Last I checked Mr. Scholar-Sweeden did not have 20 million + alien invaders draining their system. For a scholar you show little regard to the fact that Sweeden and the US have a completly different scenario, different cultures etc. You Mr. Scholar should be ashamed for this shameful comparison.
  15. neisgator
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    neisgator Belligerent Gator

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    Total Bullcrap, party of one, your table is now available.

    Google $ per student spent on education.
  16. neisgator
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    neisgator Belligerent Gator

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    All the greatness that has come from Sweden vs. the USA. Yep.
  17. The_Graygator
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    The_Graygator Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    And also, when Sweden has 320+ million citizens let us know too. lol

    It is amazing that even with all the FACTS about the costs and short-comings of Obamacare, libs continue to defend this monstrosity of a bill.

    Trying to use facts and logic with a liberal is just like trying to convince a habitual smoker to stop smoking before it kills them... they're going to have to WANT to listen.
  18. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    Differences between the U.S. and Sweden:

    percentage of illegal aliens

    percentage of people on disability

    percentage of people who think the gov't has an endless supply of money, and they want their fair share

    education system

    entitlement mentality

    percentage of people who eat themselves into a coma with junk food

    percentage of people who get almost no exercise

    percentage of doctors who want to have the biggest house and Mercedes in town

    percentage of people willing to sue the hospital's pants off if anything goes wrong
  19. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    That is a great point...
  20. candymanfromgc
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    candymanfromgc Well-Known Member

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    I notice the OP has left this alone as he knows he has been caught trying to do the usual liberal misdirection.

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