Healthcare Reform Seen as Crucial to Securing Government Finances

| March 8, 2019

Cartoon by Tom Stiglich  ©2019 

In one of your arguments against someone on the left, you may have heard of the term “Nordic Socialism Model” or “Nordic Model”.  In general terms, this is a model that allowed for the implementation of socialistic ideas that “worked” and went “hand-in-hand” with the free market.

It’s “proof” that the argument, advanced by those who advocate letting the free market run the economy, is “in error” with regards to the negative effects of socialism.

It turns out that, as many here have argued, a country can’t really successfully implement socialism without seeing the negative effects.

Finland, and other Nordic countries, are grappling with the need to reform their healthcare programs if they are to remain financially viable.

From Reuters:

Other Nordic countries have also grappled with the need to cut costs. Sweden is to gradually raise its retirement age and has opened up parts of the healthcare system to the private sector in a bid to boost efficiency.

Denmark will gradually increase the retirement age to 73 – the highest in the world – while cutting taxes and unemployment benefits to encourage people to work more.

The problem has been particularly acute in Finland where the financial crisis of 2008-9 magnified the effects of demographic changes such as a rapidly declining birth rate.

The article explains that two of the challenges that healthcare programs are facing, among developed nations, are increasing costs and increasing longevity. Add to this the declining birth rates and the increase of pensioners compared to those who remain in the workforce.

Hopefully, many on the left would look at this as an example of why we should not try that model over here.

Details can be read here.

Category: Politics

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5th/77th FA

This one keeps rearing its ugly head. The amount of outgo from your money will expand as the income expands. The more your tax base makes, the more they going to want to take. As stated many a time, you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Social Security would “fix” itself if there was no cap on the earnings that are taxed, and if so much was not being hi-jacked for SSI.

Medicare would be OK, but for Medicaid. We the worker are subsidizing for those that have not paid a penny into the system.

IMO if the congress critters were on the same system the average person was on, they would come up with a “fix.”

The age for retirement for SS purposes will go up. When I report back after this medical leave I’m on, I will be forced to retire being as I can no longer do my job. Will be age qualified for full SS bennies when that happens. Have been paying in since I was 12 yo. About time I took some back.


Hopefully, many on the left would look at this as an example of why we should not try that model over here.

Now, laddie – aren’t ye a wee bit auld t’be a believin’ in Leprechauns? (smile)


I looked out my window just now and discovered I did not live in Finland. If I did live in Finland:

– Doctors and nurses would be paid half of what they are paid in the US.
– The population would have a literacy rate of near 100% and not have nearly as many ignorant people living in it. People might actually care about their health and understand how nutrition works. More people can not read in the US than the entire population of all Nordic countries put together.
– The drug problem, which is related to more than half of ER visits and ICU stays would be reduced by about 90%

I could go on and on but US does not Equal Nordic Countries.


And in the next year wee will likely get about another 500,000 illegals who can’t read and write.

MSG Eric

I’ve tried explaining to others I know how dangerous this is. One guy is so eager for it because he thinks “the collective” being in charge is sooooo much better because the people will be in charge, not evil capitalists!

Also talks about how we already are a socialist country because of our social programs, blah blah blah.

Even trying to say, “look, we have 330 million people, nordic countries are the population of our states and our bureaucratic problems would exponentially increase if we did that.” doesn’t work.

Even discussed the whole Hitler, Mao, Lenin, etc., used socialism to gain power argument and got the “Hitler wasn’t a socialist!!!!!” response. Of course he wasn’t, everyone else in Germany was.

Plenty of articles about the scandanavian countries and their use of socialism AND capitalism to maintain what they do. But these are more good points.


Who would have ever thought that Crazie Bernie would come to represent the -moderate- Wing of his Party.


Thanks for that article, MSG. Here’s another I recently referenced in response to one of those “Scandinavia is Socialist” people:

“Sweden is not socialist. The government doesn’t own the means of production. It is a free-market economy. Sweden does, however, have a huge welfare state and their people like it. Funding the welfare state takes a lot of money and you need a strong economy to create that wealth. Also, they found that government isn’t very good at providing the services people want so they have a more market approach to many of the benefits provided by the state. For instance, they have school vouchers that students can use to go either a public or private school. What might America’s so-called socialists think about that?”

Read the whole thing:



Reality has a way of biting the ass of those who insist on ignoring reality.

Burma Bob

Reality is that like Japan, South Korea, and the Nordic countries referenced, the US is not reproducing at replacement rate. Coupled with anti-immigration initiatives and tax cuts, revenue is not going to be making a huge jump any time soon. When I was selling drugs (erythropietin in this case), I got to look at how several dozen countries’ healthcare systems buy them. Most if not all use what’s called a tender system, mostly at the state or province level. Brazil and Mexico and all of the EU use this system. Competition among suppliers was and is still cutthroat, unless the drug in question is under patent and the only product in the market. Another common thing is that all of these countries do not allow for drug companies to play games to keep generics off the market. The militaries of most of the countries I was selling into did not for the most part have a separate healthcare scheme for dependents. Some only had a separate medical corps for strictly field deployments. All of them were on the national or provincial schemes, and some would have a small supplemental insurance to cover co-pays. I don’t think Canada has a very large thing like the VA. I told a ROK counterpart one time about the comprehensive healthcare enjoyed by AD, dependents and retirees -outside of the VA-, and I swear his response was “Wow! That sounds like socialism!” Medicare and SS are going to come to a screeching halt in the… Read more »


True socialized medicine is neither medicare nor Medicaid. True socialized medicine is a system where all the medical facilities and their personnel are owned, operated and staffed by the government, like the NHS in England. The Communist countries like the old USSR and Cuba have socialized medicine. Under such a system all the doctors are employed and/or paid by the state. Although some countries like Britain allow doctors to have private patients who pay directly for their care.

Burma Bob

Yes. That’s EXACTLY what the VA does. What Medicare does is take taxpayer money and pay it to private for-profit healthcare providers. The difference between the two systems is the profit motive.


false and empirically incorrect. Socialized medicine is government control of the means of production (capital), not the location of production.

Medicare and the VA are both socialism in action and cannot work. The only reason these schemes appear to work in Europe is that those governments receive billions of dollars in unearned cash from a certain over taxed nation that pays for their defenses and infrastructure.

No, there is no value in national health systems. In fact, our own system was efficient and correctly priced until the utopian socialists started creating the thousands of subsidies, transfers and government payment systems.

Even so, I say we give the tyrants what they want and watch the world burn.

The medicare for all crowd doesn’t care about healthcare, they just want a free lunch. The fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch matters not at all.


Another very important difference is accountability. If your private sector doctor screws up he gets sued and may also lose his license and be prosecuted by the government. At the very least, you can choose another doctor or hospital. If your VA/gov’t. doctor or hospital screws up, nada.

That’s also why Socialist economies turn into trainwrecks.


Can’t stand to look at John Oliver much less hear that subversive puppet.

Anyway, another part of high cost excuse/scam of many drugs in USA is companies claim astronomical R&D costs, what they do not say is R&D costs are mostly paid for by R & D grants/subsidies for US tax payers. SO they are actually screwing US twice making us pay high prices for the high costs that we already paid .


False, most R&D is not paid for by grants.

Also, foreign nations place price levels below costs. Pharma companies are charging prices in the USA to cover the losses overseas.

Our government pays almost nothing for R&D in any field. Almost all of that money goes to DARPA and universities.

Burma Bob

Pure research is mostly paid for by grants. Drug development is on the company. Pharma does not lose a dime overseas. In the EU and some other jurisdictions the healthcare systems look at that pharma charges for a drug i a selectr group of reference countries, and the lowest of those becomes the ceiling price. Believe me, pharma NEVER loses money. The myth that American consumers are covering costs for the EU patients is patent bullshit. When a new drug is introduced in the EU they try to get as high a reference price set in the poorer countries (Italy, Portugal) so that they make more money in Germany and France.


” Believe me, pharma NEVER loses money”

Probably because, like any other sane person, they stop selling it if they lose money on it.

Burma Bob

UNtil I saw the John Oliver piece on federal payment for ALL ESRD costs, I forgot it was a thing. One of the drugs he mentions was the one I sold (EPO/erythropoietin), absolutely critical to treating anemia in kidney patients. AMGEN and J&J have the 1st world market all to themselves and charge whatever they want, more than $100/vial. The last patents AMGEN held expired in 2014, after AMGEN had made $2-5 billion a year off this drug.

What EPO sells for in the 3rd world, made by biosimilars companies is maybe $3/vial, tops. Nobody who makes this stuff gets any R&D for free, as they still have to do all of the recombinant DNA engineering to make a cell line, prove that their EPO is the same, or close enough within a range of criteria, and then spend real money on clinical trials.

Copies of biotech drugs (“biosimilars”) like EPO are approved in the EU and other places, but Big Biotech here in the states fights tooth and nail to keep these off the market. The EU has science-based pathways for approvals of biosimilars.

Most Pharma R&D has migrated to China, and the labs that used to cover parts of New Jersey have largely gone dark, along with their manufacturing capacity.

God help us if we get into a real war and need antibiotics. None are made here anymore.


This comic needs to have a long corridor, filled with doors. Each door featuring one our communist Congress members, all of them breaking through at the same time.

Burma Bob

So that’s why public healthcare would work in racially homogeneous countries like Korea and Japan, but not Singapore and Malaysia? And definitely not in USA?


“Nordic Socialism” only works in homogeneous(one race) productive societies. You can forget it anywhere else.
Always leeches, thieves, and subversives when you mix races/ethnics


It’s the software, not the hardware. It’s not genetic, it’s cultural.