No doubt you’ve had an argument with one of your liberal friends about Obamacare or some other bit of Socialism, and they proclaim, Well it works in Sweden! . . . or some other place in enlightened Europe.
Well, it doesn’t work in Sweden. Socialism doesn’t work anywhere. It can’t work. Oh, it can work for a while, quite nicely in fact, until, as Margaret Thatcher once noted, you run out of other people’s money.
Because you can’t design and command human behavior. Because God gave us free will, and the capacity for avarice, as well as for love and compassion. If He wanted someone else to take care of ourselves and others for us, He would have created government instead of resting on the seventh day.
Actually, it would have taken Him longer than a day.
The Wall Street Journal today has an article by Swedish professor Per Bylund describing the miracle of socialized Swedish health care and the inevitable future of Obamacare, about which President Obama thinks he may now rest his case.
Sweden’s problem is access to care. According to the Euro Health Consumer Index 2013, Swedish patients suffer from inordinately long wait times to get an appointment with a doctor, specialist treatment or even emergency care.
For example, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare reports that as of 2013, the average wait time (from referral to start of treatment) for “intermediary and high risk” prostate cancer is 220 days. In the case of lung cancer, the wait between an appointment with a specialist and a treatment decision is 37 days.
This waiting is what economists call rationing—the delay or even failure to provide care due to government budgetary decisions. So the number of people seeking care far outweighs the capabilities of providers, translating into insurance in name but not in practice. This is likely to be a result of ObamaCare as well.
Free markets allow companies and entrepreneurs to respond to demand by offering people what they want and need at a better price.
The Affordable Care Act does the opposite by centralizing health care, minimizing or prohibiting differentiation in pricing and offerings, and mandating consumers to purchase insurance. It effectively overrides the market and the signals it sends about supply and demand.
Stories of people in Sweden suffering stroke, heart failure and other serious medical conditions who were denied or unable to receive urgent care are frequently reported in Swedish media. Recent examples include a one-month-old infant with cerebral hemorrhage for whom no ambulance was made available, and an 80-year-old woman with suspected stroke who had to wait four hours for an ambulance.
Never has a statement so true been so ridiculed as Sarah Palin’s remark about Death Panels. What the idiots who think she is an idiot didn’t understand is that she was speaking metaphorically. She meant that ultimately, rationing health care kills us, and that someone will have to decide what health care to give and when to give it.
The Death Panels are coming for you. Or your children or grandchildren. Those like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the rest of our wealthy, ruling class liberals will simply pay doctors directly and get health care when they need it.
As for the rest of us, well, when we attempt to make an appointment, the phrase “die trying” is going to have a whole new meaning.