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So about that free healthcare in Finland

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by RealGatorFan, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. RealGatorFan

    RealGatorFan Premium Member

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    The dark side of Finland's famous free health care - CNN

    Bernie and his compatriots have been trumpeting (no pun intended) about Medicare-For-All and using the Finnish model as their proof we should be doing it too. True, it works very well for the Finns but there is a dark side to that free health care.

    The main issue with countries like Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden is location. Those who live in rural parts of the country get 3rd rate healthcare, about as bad as a free clinic in Philadelphia. The problem is the quality is dependent on how many pay into the system in the area you live in:

    So healthcare in Helsinki is going to be far far better than in in the outlying rural areas. And keep in mind, healthcare isn't 100% free. Someone with cancer will still pay quite a bit of money on top of the taxes they already pay. The government can also say no to treatment if they deem it too costly and for little gain.

    Worse, Finland's government resigned recently over healthcare reform because the costs are close to exceeding revenue. To make it even worse, Finland knows they are on borrowed time because their population is aging faster than the population growth meaning tax revenue faces a massive shortfall within the next 2 decades. To make it even worse than that, they can't tax much more than they already are. Something has to give and most are saying Finland may have to abandon free healthcare or exclude those that are too expensive.

    The nutcracker here is Finland's proposed healthcare reform...drum roll please - privatized healthcare. What??? Don't we have that now? Why are we the ones contemplating someone else's failed system when it used to be everyone wanted to be like us? What makes systems like Finland's and the other NU countries is population size. It's far easier to hold down costs and run a system when your population is about the size of Dallas. To do it at the federal level with the population size equal to ours makes it nearly impossible to pull off.
     
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  2. mdgator05

    mdgator05 Premium Member

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    So you just skipped over the high satisfaction, low maternal mortality rates, and high life expectancy to deal with the issues of trying to provide healthcare in rural and isolated communities as if that is a unique problem and not simply an issue of large capital investments in areas that don't have the population to pay for them, a problem for both private and public healthcare?

    I mean, we have the same problem here:

    Health Disparities Affect Millions in Rural U.S. Communities

    Healthcare in Philadelphia is almost certainly far superior to many of these rural communities.
     
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  3. uftaipan

    uftaipan GC Hall of Fame

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    And that’s with other countries guaranteeing and indirectly paying for your defense.

    But I’m sure it’s going to work out even better over here.
     
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  4. nolancarey

    nolancarey GC Hall of Fame

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    There is no logistical way to reform healthcare to a single payer in under 20 years without a constitutional amendment. It took the ACA until 2014 to go live, and by that time Obama had been President for nearly 5 years, and that is a system which favors business interests over people who need healthcare. Any Republican President would simply dismantle a new initiative within the first 100 days. I hope it happens eventually, but we've been stuck in this system since Nixon while Britain has had NHS since Israel became a country.
     
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  5. ursidman

    ursidman GC Hall of Fame

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    Anecdotal but here goes: I have a Finnish friend whose mom came down with Alzheimer’s. Her mom went back to Finland (not Helsinki) where she got a free nursing home, medical care, and personal care aide around the clock. With medical costs a leading cause of bankruptcy even among those with medical insurance, sounds pretty good to me.
     
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  6. slayerxing

    slayerxing GC Hall of Fame

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    I just DO NOT UNDERSTAND, of all the things to make a stand and die on a hill about, why fight about stopping people from having access to healthcare?

    It's not like most health insurance plans that exist are all that great anyways.
     
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  7. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    Finland isn't a NATO member. They are relying on the Russians still being embarrassed about what happened in WW2 and not trying shit again probably.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. gator7_5

    gator7_5 GC Hall of Fame

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    Obesity levels:

    USA: 36%
    Finland: 22%

    Just saying.
     
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  9. Crusher

    Crusher GC Hall of Fame

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    I'm surprised Finland's rate it that high....probably only after the NIH re-jiggered our height/weight charts to include a few million Somalians suffering the effects of famine.
     
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  10. NavyGator93

    NavyGator93 GC Legend

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    The flip side being we could save a few trillion by not being the world's police. Maybe toss some of that at US healthcare or infrastructure.
     
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  11. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    I don't understand how people hear universal access and Bernie telling them how amazing the Nordic countries are that it's all they think they need to know. We would be handing healthcare delivery over to maybe one of the most incompetent and broken organizations in the country. They can't even tweak their own insurance regulation law, Obamacare, let alone take on the whole thing.
     
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  12. channingcrowderhungry

    channingcrowderhungry Premium Member

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    Over the last 3 years I've paid roughly $14,000 in health insurance coverage for myself and have visited a doctor 0 times. Prior to that I was on ACA and other folks were paying for 95% of my coverage. Our system is terrible.
     
  13. slayerxing

    slayerxing GC Hall of Fame

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    So you want to trust insurance companies?

    LOL at you.
     
  14. NavyGator93

    NavyGator93 GC Legend

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    All systems probably have issues and the problems with small population densities will make them worse. I am not sure what the correct answer is to health care, but what we are doing is horrible.

    health costs.png
     
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  15. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    Most people are happy with their employer provided insurance, but that doesn't achieve universal care. My point was that it's a bit myopic to think that either Bernie is right or the GOP is right because it's very likely that neither are right. So it's probably prudent to explore the issues that they talk about, like whether Finland's system is really that great and would work here, before you hand over the entire system to the feds with no option to go back. Remember in Europe that most of those countries implemented their nationalized healthcare systems many years ago before healthcare cost per capita went way up. They had a long time to adapt and tweak as things changed in the market. If we were to cut over today, the government is controlling 1/5th of the economy and a service that everyone depends on to stay healthy or even alive. There are many many ways in which it could go wrong and if it does, then it could actually get much worse than it is today. For example, there is a lot of evidence that says that the private system today is helping to subsidize medicare because the reimbursement rates are too low. If those same rates are expanded to all care, then a lot of GPs could go out of business and access actually goes down overall and certainly in poor and rural areas.
     
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  16. slayerxing

    slayerxing GC Hall of Fame

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    Of course people with money are happy with their advantageous health insurance policies. NO DUH.

    We shouldn't have millions of people without health care just because those of us with money like our gold-level plans and crap.

    I know we complain that universal healthcare is an ENTITLEMENT... but jebus... the entitlement syndrome of those of us with the money to enjoy great health plans is insane, and then we sneer at people that want to provide some kind of free coverage to others just because we may have to sacrifice our privilege. It makes me SICK.
     
  17. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    Ok smart guy, so what happens when we implement medicare for all and you end up with cancer, but the government disallows the treatment you need? Why? Well people are complaining about taxes going up so they don't have enough money to subsidize all types of care and the company that makes the drug is bribing several key members of congress with campaign contributions so their drug is exempted from price controls. The only solution for them is to ration the care. Or if you do a quick google you will notice that many rural hospitals are going out of business because the rural populations are aging as younger people move to the city. So you have more medicare recipients requiring more care that can't fully fund those facilities. They have no access because there is no damn hospital. Also you were ripping on insurance companies, but Switzerland has a private insurance market and supplemented it with a mandate so there is universal access (and everyone pays) and also price controls to keep costs reasonable. Their outcomes are some of the best in the world. It's not as simple as just supporting anyone who promises universal care.
     
  18. nolancarey

    nolancarey GC Hall of Fame

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    So... we're back to death panels? That's fun.
     
  19. 96Gatorcise

    96Gatorcise GC Hall of Fame

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    Get rid of insurance all together. Have doctors and hospitals compete for your dollar.

    The problem with the costs of HC is the same as student loans. The govt got involved and drove the costs up by guaranteeing payment.
     
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  20. gatorpika

    gatorpika Premium Member

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    Uh, you could google rationing in healthcare systems and get a bunch of results back and not look ignorant. Everybody seems fine with believing in the rationing we have in the U.S., which is based on wealth and the ability to pay, but can't conceive of the government having a similar problem when squeezed between the politics of high taxes and political influence from the industry? It's not a leap that you need to be a genius to make.