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Clem Fandango

The Sweden Effect

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Clem Fandango

Before people start on me being a jingoistic, conservative-nationalist, note that I am Australian, not American. I'm pro capitlaism, not pro starts and stripes.

 

 

 

So none of the corporations that Liberals hail as a rousing success of Sweden was created during Sweden's current period of heavy economic intervention? Interesting. I guess the current perception of Swenden by the left, that all problems were taken away by mummy government isn't quite true, aye?

 

What he says about health care is what I've been saying for a while. Yes, isn't living in Sweden grand; everyone has an equal right to the products and treatment invented overseas in a capitalist system. In other words, if the whole world were like Swenen, we couldn't function, because we would all have the eqaul right and access to absoutley nothing, while if the whole world were like America, or better yet, had a laissez-faire economic system, there would be more innovative economic break throughs, much more often. Watch and learn:

 

 

 

Basically, Sweden's (and a lot of other country's) system is a system of sponging, rather than economic production. dozingoff.gif

 

A perfectly fine health care system is one where people use their Employee Health funds to deal with small things like sprained ankles and sore throats, and their private insurance for cancer, or being hit by a falling bowling alley. Such a system, leaves government intervention impotent. Yet the left still claim the faults of America's system don't come from over use of insurance, they come from lack of government. I'd love to see what would happen should America nationalise the health industy, then all the drugs and treatment would stop being produced, then, as I said, we would all have the equal opportunity to access nothing.

 

Another example of how Sweden's system is one of sponging, is their low economic growth. The left loves to point out of stable Sweden is, and what high social mobility they have. But, if the whole world had such a system, we wouldn't have the opportunity to go from rags to riches at all, merely from rags to "slightly beter rags" (to quote Rockstar). It is predictedthat if the USA froze it's GDP growth for five years, the only EU countries to catch up would be Ireland and Switzerland (generally more free market) with Scandanavian countries like Swenden being the last (Sweden's GDP is already dwarfed by that of the USA, Switzerland and Ireland). So we should all become like Sweden if we want a stable economy rather than one that grows and changes to meet consumer demand.

 

Ergo, freedom rox, Sweden sux.

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Omnia sunt Communia

What you're trying to say is, the poor deserve to die because they don't have money to pay for expensive insurance deals and HMOs? dozingoff.gif

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Clem Fandango
What you're trying to say is, the poor deserve to die because they don't have money to pay for expensive insurance deals and HMOs? dozingoff.gif

No. HMOs aren't expensive, anyone with a job, or that collects welfare could afford one that covers major injuries and illnesses.

 

And Appeal to Emotion, much?

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Mike Tequeli

It took me a while to finally realize that Sweden wasn't as great as everybody claimed it to be, it's just another country, not one that is particularly advanced or well governed.

 

As for healthcare, I hope you aren't suggesting that the American system is actually okay the way it is now. Some countries in Europe have actually managed to maintain private choices, public funding and keep the price under what American's pay (in GDP). Germany would be a decent example, none of them are perfect of course.

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Clem Fandango
As for healthcare, I hope you aren't suggesting that the American system is actually okay the way it is now.

Read my post:

 

 

A perfectly fine health care system is one where people use their Employee Health Funds to deal with small things like sprained ankles and sore throats, and their private insurance for cancer, or being hit by a falling bowling alley.

 

If you'd like a more indepth explanation of Employee Health Funds, just look at part five of Sick in America: Whose Body is it Anyway. I posted part four already.

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Omnia sunt Communia
No. HMOs aren't expensive, anyone with a job, or that collects welfare could afford one that covers major injuries and illnesses.

What about other expenses? Some people cannot afford HMOs and health insurance in America because they are on a low income and have other, more important, financial concerns. I don't think people should be refused life saving treatment just because they do not make as much money as the next person.

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Clem Fandango
No. HMOs aren't expensive, anyone with a job, or that collects welfare could afford one that covers major injuries and illnesses.

What about other expenses? Some people cannot afford HMOs and health insurance in America because they are on a low income and have other, more important, financial concerns. I don't think people should be refused life saving treatment just because they do not make as much money as the next person.

Why not condition welfare so that some of it has to go towards coverage for dependants? Oh right, what if they can't afford to pay for it, that's why socialised medicine is supposedly preferable... now remind me again how they will be able to afford to pay for it through tax, then?

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Omnia sunt Communia
No. HMOs aren't expensive, anyone with a job, or that collects welfare could afford one that covers major injuries and illnesses.

What about other expenses? Some people cannot afford HMOs and health insurance in America because they are on a low income and have other, more important, financial concerns. I don't think people should be refused life saving treatment just because they do not make as much money as the next person.

Why not condition welfare so that some of it has to go towards coverage for dependants? Oh right, what if they can't afford to pay for it, that's why socialised medicine is supposedly preferable... now remind me again how they will be able to afford to pay for it through tax, then?

Simple.

 

They pay their taxes and as such are entitled to free health care. Lots of country's do it. I don't see why any person should be denied the right to free health care other than the fact that some fat cat want to line their pockets with the money of suffering people.

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Mike Tequeli
No. HMOs aren't expensive, anyone with a job, or that collects welfare could afford one that covers major injuries and illnesses.

What about other expenses? Some people cannot afford HMOs and health insurance in America because they are on a low income and have other, more important, financial concerns. I don't think people should be refused life saving treatment just because they do not make as much money as the next person.

Why not condition welfare so that some of it has to go towards coverage for dependants? Oh right, what if they can't afford to pay for it, that's why socialised medicine is supposedly preferable... now remind me again how they will be able to afford to pay for it through tax, then?

Simple.

 

They pay their taxes and as such are entitled to free health care. Lots of country's do it. I don't see why any person should be denied the right to free health care other than the fact that some fat cat want to line their pockets with the money of suffering people.

It isn't simple, in many cases such as yours (and mine), we have a single payer system. This can often be inefficient, cause wait times and high taxes. The trick is finding a balance between private and public funding to keep everyone somewhat covered but many people still receiving the better private health care. In that way it also motivates the private companies to not be so useless, as they are in America. They aren't simply going to die like the TV commercials suggest , a good health care company might actually survive health care reform, as long as it isn't a single payer system.

 

This doesn't even begin to cover the problems of America though. They spend more then anybody else on health care in taxes and in private insurance, every little step they make towards better health care is actually making it more inefficient. I wouldn't know where to begin in fixing that, anybody who suggests a single payer system, like the NHS, is wrong, there is no other way around it, it would cripple the economy. Theoretically universal health care should actually cost less for Americans then it is costing now, but obviously that isn't the case. Perhaps starting from scratch, privatizing the whole thing, and then introducing more streamlined method of public funding. Again, I have no idea.

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Otter

This is a rather large scope for an argument. Let's be honest here; I don't think many people actually believe that Sweden is the model of utopia. Rather, they present some interesting ideas that get people asking 'why can't we be more like that'? and I believe it works as a thought experiment. In practice, you're right - the entire world could not operate like them for long.

 

I'm of two minds on the subject. First of all, I believe healthcare, education, and welfare (within limits) are essential services along the lines of such things as an armed forces, or local and federal police. On the other hand, I'm a fan of private business with no government meddling. The focus for government when it comes to business should be promoting fairness, not limiting success.

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Clem Fandango
They pay their taxes and as such are entitled to free health care.

I could spend all day watching boxing matches and not see a dodge like that. dozingoff.gif

 

My question was that, if HMOs are so far out of their reach, how do they afford to pay the necessary taxes?

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Otter

....because taxes are proportionate to one's income?

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Clem Fandango
....because taxes are proportionate to one's income?

So? Even if it's only 10% of their income, combine that to the amount of increased prices on most goods due to GST, and it's quite a bit money. They could easily afford an HMO that covers major injuries and illnesses without taxes.

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Omnia sunt Communia
....because taxes are proportionate to one's income?

So? Even if it's only 10% of their income, combine that to the amount of increased prices on most goods due to GST, and it's quite a bit money. They could easily afford an HMO that covers major injuries and illnesses without taxes.

We don't appear to be having a problem paying our taxes and affording essential goods here in the United Kingdom.

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Otter

 

....because taxes are proportionate to one's income?

So? Even if it's only 10% of their income, combine that to the amount of increased prices on most goods due to GST, and it's quite a bit money. They could easily afford an HMO that covers major injuries and illnesses without taxes.

Healthcare in BC is $54 a month, if you make more than 30000. There are multiple levels of subsidization below this. As far as I know, most (if not all) HMOs do not subsidize based on income.

 

There are no per-visit fees, there are no deductibles, and there are no cases where I may find myself without coverage because of some sort of loophole that'll require me to mortgage my home.

 

For larger procedures - say, preparation for a liver transplant - your travel may also be covered so you can be helped at a hospital with more room and avoid the fabled 'waiting time' issues.

 

I fail to see the benefit in paying more for something that covers less.

 

 

But it seems that your argument (taxes vs HMO) is also forgetting that taxes fund everything else, as well.

Edited by Otter

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Clem Fandango
We don't appear to be having a problem paying our taxes and affording essential goods here in the United Kingdom.

Again, you've failed to answer my question. I didn't say people won't be able to afford food and shelter if they have to pay for nationalised health care in taxes; I asked you how, if it's impossible for some people to afford health care, they will be able to afford the taxes that pay for it?

 

 

There are no per-visit fees, there are no deductibles, and there are no cases where I may find myself without coverage because of some sort of loophole that'll require me to mortgage my home.

And yet it's only a matter of time before the system falls flat on it's face. Rationing has already begun in the United Kingdom, and Canada is getting there (see the Sick in America video). Also, stop pretending that nationalised health care will assuredly cover everything without any out of pocket expenses. We have a similar system here in Australia that I hear American liberals praise, yet the government only gave me $150 for a dental check up. The check up cost around $300.

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Omnia sunt Communia

 

Again, you've failed to answer my question. I didn't say people won't be able to afford food and shelter if they have to pay for nationalised health care in taxes; I asked you how, if it's impossible for some people to afford health care, they will be able to afford the taxes that pay for it?

 

Because, as Otter already stated, taxes are proportionate to your income. If you are making a low income then you will only have to pay a low amount of taxes. Though the amount of money you pay does not determine the level of health care you recieve. Everyone who pays their taxes (and even those who are too young/not eligable) recieve free health care.

 

I personally, see this as being the (almost) perfect solution to healthcare. Why do we need to make profit from people's health? I don't see anything positive about capitalizing on illness other than it feeds money into the pockets of a few fat cat business men. I believe that every person has the right to free health care, no matter how rich or poor.

 

Would you deprive a person of an education because they cannot afford it? Why should heath care, a (some would argue) more important public service? Why should people be forced to suffer and die just because they cannot afford health care? Why is it their fault that they do not have the necessary funds?

 

 

And yet it's only a matter of time before the system falls flat on it's face. Rationing has already begun in the United Kingdom, and Canada is getting there (see the Sick in America video). Also, stop pretending that nationalised health care will assuredly cover everything without any out of pocket expenses. We have a similar system here in Australia that I hear American liberals praise, yet the government only gave me $150 for a dental check up. The check up cost around $300.

 

I'm not sure of the case in Australia, but in the United Kingdom, dentists are separate from the rest of the health care system. You will have to pay to go see your dentist after a certain age (16 or 18 I believe it is) or if you are not eligiable from free dentist work (student, OAP, claiming benefits etc.). I do not believe this system works as well, but as most work carried out by dentists isn't an life or death sitauation; I can live without it.

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Clem Fandango
Because, as Otter already stated, taxes are proportionate to your income. If you are making a low income then you will only have to pay a low amount of taxes. Though the amount of money you pay does not determine the level of health care you recieve. Everyone who pays their taxes (and even those who are too young/not eligable) recieve free health care.

I didn't even say we should do away with medicare, that pays for the health care of people who can't afford it, I said nationalised health care, that covers everyone and is literally run by the government (as opposed to medicare, where the government or a charity pays for your priavte health insurance in your stead), is a terrible idea. Of course, this only applies to those in the deepest depth of poverty - people who can afford it, which is most of the working class, can easily afford their own health care. Nationalisation is simply unnecessary.

 

 

Why do we need to make profit from people's health?

Because profit breeds innovation. I wrote you a novel on why people should in the OP, and posted a half hour news special about the subject. Just like all fields of services (ie, food - you don't want us to nationalise the farms and supermarkets) the private sector does things the best, because of competition. It's fine to have a safety net, but having the government completely monopolise the market is absurd.

 

 

I don't see anything positive about capitalizing on illness other than it feeds money into the pockets of a few fat cat business men.

And yet you don't mind these fat cat business men capitalising on your thirst, amirite?

 

user posted image

 

Why is it alright for a group of fat cats to charge people who can easily afford it money for their drinks, which they need to survive, but not alright for them to profit from health care?

 

 

Would you deprive a person of an education because they cannot afford it?

School vouchers.

 

 

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Omnia sunt Communia

Are you honestly comparing healthcare to Coca Cola? Really? Because last time I checked you can drink a glass of water if you're feeling thirsty, but if you've got liver damage or need a heart transplant there aren't that many options.

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Clem Fandango
Are you honestly comparing healthcare to Coca Cola? Really? Because last time I checked you can drink a glass of water if you're feeling thirsty, but if you've got liver damage or need a heart transplant there aren't that many options.

...and if you need a heart transplant or have liver damage, you can go on medicare.

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Omnia sunt Communia

...if you cannot afford Coca Cola, you can drink water. If you can't afford medicare or any sort of health care, what do you do? You're confusing necessary services with simple pleasures. You may not need cola to stay alive, but you sure as hell might need health care.

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Clem Fandango
If you can't afford medicare or any sort of health care, what do you do?

I don't know what the f*ck you're talking about, considering that medicare is a state run function with no costs associated.

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Otter

Melchior, I think you're seriously misinformed on a lot of issues. Let's forget your ludicrous "coca-cola defense" and the fact that you're trying to pass off your dental work as medical, (probably been drinking too much coca-cola, yourself wink.gif ) and get to the point where you state Canada's healthcare system is going to "fall on it's face" with no evidence aside from a hype video.

 

The fact is, Canada's system is going strong. Sure, like any other country, we have occasional hiccups - like our recent medical isotope shortage. Compare this to a recent American shortage of flu shots - we had Americans crossing the border by the thousands to seek flu shots here.

 

But these are not signs of a failing medical system, rather indicators of poor planning. Rationing will always be an issue, but not in a two tiered system - which is the direction Canada is heading.

 

Look, the states already have medicaid. It's a great system, and needs to be bolstered. This innovation due to competition that you speak of (and I'd love to see what such innovations in medical insurance can do for us) will still be present with a stronger medicaid, in addition to the existing infrastructure.

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major underscore

As a person who as lived all of his life in Sweden, I feel obliged to contribute to this topic.

 

Sweden's perceived success, as it were, has several explanations:

 

As Norberg notes in the video, Sweden followed pretty much a laissez faire policy up until the 1950s, when the Social Democrats began their major expansion of government that lasted up until the 1970s. During this early laissez faire era, Sweden went from being a third world country in Europe to one of the most developed countries in the world, dispite its remote geographic location and low population density. It is true that none of the country's major companies was founded after 1970. This is, in part, because of the Social Democratic governments choosing to make deals with such large national companies while neglecting the interests of small and middle sized companies, conserving the status quo in terms of industry structure.

 

The country remained neutral throughout both the first and second World Wars, coming out of those conflicts with an intact industrial base. This meant that while most of the rest of Europe had to rebuild, Sweden could export its goods and get a boost to the economic while its neighbours were trying to catch up with where they were before the wars.

 

Sweden has historically has an extremely ethnically, religously and culturally homogenous population, leading to few internal conflicts and great stability, a luxury that many other countries have not enjoyed.

 

During the 1970s and 1980s, Sweden repeatedly devalued its currency, making its exports cheaper, thereby articificially making the country more competitive. This all led to inflation levels sometimes in the double digits and a real estate bubble and ultimately came to a crashing end in the 1990s, when the country went into a severe economic crisis that forced it to get the economy back into shape.

 

Unbeknownst to most leftists outside Sweden, the country has actually been moving right roughly since the mid 1980s, toward less government involvement in people's lives.

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Ronnyboy

Nationalized health care is kind of a common good thing. Since we are in an age where some people can't afford there own health care, and more and more are falling into that hole, we need something to save us. Now is everyone going to like it? No. Is everyone going to benefit it? No. Right now business pay for your health care, but many can't afford it anymore with the growing population of workers and their pay. Now you can go to private firms with your money, but what if your not Mr. Bigshot and can't afford private health care for your son who needs to see a doctor due to a possible ear infection? Unfortunately, things are getting that way, to a point where a large percent of our population will be on government funded health care. I hope we do get a system like Canada's, where they have a very fine health care system. However, the richer group of America will protest to keep things the way they are with Private and National health care, but we could have a great, all around National health care system instead!

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Clem Fandango

 

Words.

Did you even read this topic? Honestly, you sound as though you just looked at a brief mention of it in the OP and immediately went to post what you read on ThinkProgress.

 

How does a large amount of uninsured people necessitate national health care for people who are perfectly capable of paying for their own? Simply have the government or a charity, pay the insurance bill to their company. I don't know why you think Joe Bloe and Richie Rich deserve ridiculous entitlements just because Sammy Pauper needs them (not that there's anything wrong with that).

 

Besides, insurance wouldn't be so expensive if companies would only cover major injuries and illnesses, while Employee Health Funds cover minor things. In which case, people would seek cheaper priced treatment, forcing companies to lower their prices. Indeed, as it is, pharmaceutical companies are immune to the guidance of the invisible hand, and therefore have price making power, because no one knows what things cost. The government, or there insurance company pays for it.

 

And I really do hate reading about how good Canada's system is, AGAIN. In fact, because of the long wait for colonoscopies, the incidence of colon cancer in Canada is 25 percent higher than in the U.S. And because the two top drugs we use for chemotherapy for advanced stage colon cancer are not available in Canada because of cost, the death rate is 25 percent higher. I just can't understand the appeal of this system. Hampering of the invisible hands ability, as well as waiting lists? Doesn't sound like Michael Moore's utopian dream is all it's cracked up to be! Medical establishments have already pledged to cut back on the number of cesarean births, anti biotic use, MRIs as well as other forms of imaging in order to accomodate the Obama dream.

 

 

and the fact that you're trying to pass off your dental work as medical

Dental work is medical, hence it is covered by Medicare. Either way, I missed your point. Are you saying that government can assuredly give me adequate coverage for a doctors check up, but not a dental, or eye check up?

 

 

Compare this to a recent American shortage of flu shots - we had Americans crossing the border by the thousands to seek flu shots here.

 

It's really not much compared to the deals the Canadian government has had to strike up with northern USA hospitals, where by they can use their machines, given Canada doesn't have enough.

 

 

I'd love to see what such innovations in medical insurance can do for us

Indeed, there is very little innovation necessary in insurance. But how do think places like Sweden and France keep their prices so low? Price fixing of drugs, and other forms of treatment. This is what hampers innovation, and is commonplace under a corporatist system, in order to insure the government can actually afford to cover people (which it usually can't on it's own. Social Security, anybody?).

 

 

will still be present with a stronger medicaid

Sure it will, but not under universal health care. This just brings me back to the original point: why do people who are more than capable of paying for their own insurance, need to be entitled to government assistance?

 

Whose body is it, anyway?

Edited by Melchior

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Otter

Hold on one second. Forget everything else for the moment - are you honestly going to argue against limitations on the cost of drugs?

 

Drugs are a horribly inflated inflated industry who do not seek innovation, rather they seek inflated income and long term solutions over proper cures. This is not a case of competition fueling innovation; this is a case of "intellectual property" cashing in on mortality - and personally I think murder is too good for some of these swine. I've had friends die because they can not afford absurdly overprice medication. I've had others close to me suffer at the hands of overpriced medication, subject themselves to years of guinnea pig tests to even attempt to qualify for subsidization.

 

I;d love to know how waiting for a colonoscopy can increase your chances for getting cancer, I really do. Considering that a colonoscopy will not find it unless you already have it. Gotta love O'Reilly.

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Clem Fandango
Forget everything else for the moment - are you honestly going to argue against limitations on the cost of drugs?

Of course. Price fixing has never really worked. The visible hand is usually impotent at getting people a good price

 

And didn't I already point out why drugs are so expensive? It's because the invisible hand is powerless when people don't pay for their own drugs. See the video in the OP - and it isn't a "hype video" it's a leginimate story; you really need to stary checking things out before making painfully erroneous assumptions.

 

 

long term solutions over proper cures

Proof?

 

 

I;d love to know how waiting for a colonoscopy can increase your chances for getting cancer, I really do. Considering that a colonoscopy will not find it unless you already have it. Gotta love O'Reilly.

Isn't it painfully obvious? It doesn't increase your chances of getting cancer, it means your cancer goes untreated for longer, increasing your chance of dying from it.

 

But way to defend waiting lists and government rationing.

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Mike Tequeli
Hold on one second. Forget everything else for the moment - are you honestly going to argue against limitations on the cost of drugs?

 

Drugs are a horribly inflated inflated industry who do not seek innovation, rather they seek inflated income and long term solutions over proper cures. This is not a case of competition fueling innovation; this is a case of "intellectual property" cashing in on mortality - and personally I think murder is too good for some of these swine. I've had friends die because they can not afford absurdly overprice medication. I've had others close to me suffer at the hands of overpriced medication, subject themselves to years of guinnea pig tests to even attempt to qualify for subsidization.

The one time I ever agreed with Dennis Kucinich is when he apparently said that drug prices were too high due to patent monopolies. Whoever sells a certain drug, depending on how new it is, can pretty much set the price to whatever they want because they have a total monopoly on its sale.

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Otter

Yes, patent monopolies are killing people.

 

As for proof that drug companies seek long-term solutions over short term, it's in the pudding. Why invest money to actually cure something you could profit from, instead? It doesn't make sense from a business standpoint. Here's a great article on pharmaceuticals and why companies actually charge more for their drugs in the USA than other markets. It's a bloated industry.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/13/jackson.trial/index.html

 

Anyhow, I'm sorry, I misunderstood the term "price fixing" to mean limitations on the cost of drugs. The whole argument may have been avoided. Obviously, I'm against the proper definition of price fixing. In fact, so much so that I'd like to see watchdog groups pressure companies to market their products at a lower price. Price fixing is why drugs cost an arm and a leg in the states.

 

 

As for colon cancer, he didn't state that the death rate was caused by lack of colonoscopies. He said that the incidence was higher, caused by waiting times. Waiting time: one week. (I know from experience. tounge.gif) This tells me that the man's spouting rhetoric. Not to mention the oddly round 25% figure. The incidence is higher, but as I said, this has nothing to do with detecting it via colonoscopy. I've got no idea how to explain why this is so, but it for damned sure has nothing to do with waiting times. Who knows - maybe it's all the snow.

 

 

To briefly revisit, rationing is a problem, but hardly a major problem, and it's an issue that presents itself in every system. When HMOs have to ration, they simply deny you coverage - as it is their right to do so in many cases.

 

Waiting lists are unfortunate. Prioritizing patients is nothing new to medicine - and it happens everywhere. Believe it or not, hospitals only have finite space and staff even in a private model. However, especially here in Canada, we've been working on the problem to great results. Private companies are allowed to supplement our medical system - private imaging equipment, private clinics. Again, a two-tiered system in the making.

 

Finally, I suppose I've driven this quite far off the topic of Sweden. Maybe best discussed in another thread.

Edited by Otter

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