Small Government Socialism?


TAPped notes that the U.S. government spends more per capita on healthcare than Sweden.

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  1. These figures would suggest that it’s possible for the US government to provide universal health care while cutting overall health care spending. The only catch I see is that things cost more in the US because we’re one of the few places without price controls. If we’re going to get a return on our medical spending comparable to Sweden’s, we might have to impose such controls.

    The million dollar question is whether we can impose price controls on medical care while maintaining our current level of medical innovation….

  2. No. You owe me a million dollars, pay up, buster.

  3. The reason our prices are so high is because of other nations’ price controls…not because we lack them.

    Retake basic economics and this time pay attention. I always thought that libertarians hated price controls…oh how disillusioned I have become.

  4. This is what “we don’t need universal health care, poor people get treated in emergency rooms” gets you.

  5. Don’t fool yourself, Swedes pay for that health care in hundreds of other ways.

  6. Repeat after me: “Price controls are not cost controls.”

    Lack of developement, loss of supply, lowering of capacity are terrible costs to pay for price controls.

  7. richard: Instead of insulting me, you could reread my post and see that I was pointing out the flaw in TAP’s comparison of the US with Sweden.

  8. For a discussion of medical licencing see: “The Half Life of Policy Rationales” Eds. Foldvary and Klein, chap. 8. The sub-title of this book is: “How new technology affects old policy issues”
    Iv’e just read a couple of the chapters, but so far it’s very strong, very interesting and looks to continue that way.

  9. Rick Barton writes: “the fact of Canadians (the ones who can afford to, that is) coming down here for surgeries because their provincial governments haven’t seen fit to move them up on the waiting lists. This situation has at times worked out tragically for those who couldn’t afford this option.”

    Probably doesn’t happen as often as an uninsured American waits until an emergency to obtain treatment, at which point the problem is difficult or impossible to treat (ie, finding cancer late, when it becomes an obvious problem, when it has also probably spread, rather than early, when it is only a small, painless lump).

    I’d much rather have coverage that allowed such things to be caught early, even if the overall system isn’t perfect, especially if the coverage didn’t depend on the vagaries of employment.

  10. No matter how much you legislate…

    No matter how much you regulate…

    No matter how many tax dollars you spend…

    We are all going to die.

  11. But, medical insurance is so expensive because medical care is. And, the reason for this is, again; that it is the most government regulated industry extant; from medical licensing to the tremendous FDA regulation costs in bringing drugs and medical equipment to market (not to mention the attendant and often tragic delays) and the costs of compliance for FDA medical equipment use regulations, etc. etc.

    Lets get to the root cause instead of adding even more government. This is what we see so often; government causes the problem and then comes in to “fix” it. With health care though, this dynamic is often causes tragic suffering.

  12. The other reason Canadians are sent south is BECAUSE the provincial regulators recognize that the backlog of equally severe cases is such that moving up the schedule is not possible. In cases like this the provincial health plan still covers the expenses for the procedure, just not the trip down. I know, because my mother can now see properly again, as she was suffering from macular degeneration.

  13. “sent south”? Does that happen? I am aware of the numbers available on Canadians hopping across the border for health care, but had no idea some were.. “sent.”

  14. EMAIL:
    DATE: 02/28/2004 06:22:03
    Anyone can learn from pain.

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