R & D Costs for “Big Pharma”
(An updated Forbes article is HERE)
Why is health insurance so complicated, while car insurance and life insurance are so simple? Can health insurance be more like, well, insurance? Lanhee Chen, fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains.
Why is the government so bad at healthcare? Why did Obamacare make it more expensive than it already was? Is there a solution? Former Member of Congress Bob McEwen explains.
(Jump to the challenges directed at me dealing with America protecting these smaller countries)
Gay Patriot introduces us to the myth often put forward by the left. This post by Gay Patriot will add to the video by Bill Whittle that follows it:
One of the myths Progressive Leftists elevate to “fact” by constantly repeating it to each other is the idea that Scandinavian countries are the closest on Earth fulfillment to their socialist dream utopia. ~ Gay patriot
In an excellent Bloomberg article entitled, “Booming Sweden’s Free-Market Solution,” the myth is dismantled in toto by Anders Aslund. Here is a snippet:
Reason.org Weighs in on the “Swedish” experiment, how it got its wealth, noting how it squandered it, and how it is returning to the pre-70’s ideology:
And do not think for a moment that the free-market has not allowed Sweden or other Nordic nations to get back on their feet. This is is pointed out in the following “101” presentation on economics:
The Above Video Description via Reason.org:
For those of us who place more trust in free markets than state-directed economies, we must inevitably (and repeatedly) confront the skeptical interlocutor who details the “successes” of Swedish social democracy. “If state intervention into the economy is so bad, high taxes so destructive, then why is Sweden such a success?” It’s an irritatingly simple question with a incredibly complicated answer, though I do recommend pointing out, when the conversation turns to health care and secondary education, that nothing, in a state the confiscates a massive portion of your income, is “free.” But as many have pointed out, during its boom years, Sweden was a pretty free market place; from the 1970s through the 1990s—when taxes and regulation dramatically increased—the economy slowed until it spun out in the early 1990s…
…So here is my bottom line: When some American pundit, with expertise is everything, explains why some European welfare state “works,” or how everything you know is wrong about taxing income at 75 percent, do a little digging, make use of Google Translate, and don’t trust that, because Swedes and Danes tell researchers that they are happy, the United States should introduce “daddy leave” and provide subsidies to syndicalist newspapers.
The best English-language explication of the Swedish model comes from my pal Johan Norberg, who wrote this brilliant piece for The National Interest a few years back. And watch my interview with Norberg on Swedish welfare politics here and on Naomi Klein here.
The following interview is Johan Norberg, author of In Defense of Global Capitalism, sits down with reason.tv’s Michael C. Moynihan to sort out the myths of the Sweden’s welfare state, health services, tax rates, and its status as the “most successful society the world has ever known.”
National Review seems like a good place to continue the theme of showing how the Nordic countries have used the free-market system to recoup what it has lost with previous regulations that crippled free-enterprise. Here is a comparison between Sweden and Venzuala that was helpful in explaining how Sweden has less regulations that us in many places (a recent phenomenon BTW):
Reason.org again weighs in on whether Sweden is the right model for the U.S. to emulate:
The Above Video Description:
To the American mind there may be nothing more quintessentially Swedish than the leggy, blond supermodel.
But there’s another Swedish model that inspires almost as much admiration—the Swedish economic model. With a generous welfare state and high living standards, Sweden seems to prove that socialism works. Much of the hope that swept Barack Obama into the White House rests on the belief that America could reach new heights under a regime of enlightened progressivism, that we could be more like the Swedes.
Not so fast, warns Stockholm University sociologist Charlotta Stern: “If an American told me that the US should be more like Sweden I would say I don’t think it’s possible.” The United States can centralize its health care system and pass other laws that mimic Sweden’s welfare state polices, says Stern, but it’s impossible to replicate a culture that allows those policies to operate about as smoothly as possible. Swedish bureaucracies inspire trust, but their American counterparts (DMV, TSA, IRS) inspire punch lines, if not outrage.
But America could emulate some of the Swedish policies that don’t require extensive bureaucracies. Take school vouchers. Teachers unions in America regard the idea as free-market radicalism, but families in Sweden enjoy universal school choice. Sweden adopted its famously progressive policies during the 1970s, but after years of sluggish economic growth the land of ABBA altered its course in the 1990s, adopting a host of free-market reforms, from deregulation to tax cuts.
Although much of the disco-era welfare state remains, economist Andreas Bergh credits the free market reforms with reviving his nation’s economy. “Sweden is moving in the market economic direction,” says Bergh, “but that does not mean America should be moving in the socialist direction.”
What if the two nations continue on in different directions? Maybe some day when America is looking for a way to rejuvenate its economy, pundits will point to a different kind of Swedish model. One that increases individual choice and competition.
“Sweden—A Supermodel for America?” is produced by Daniel B. Klein, and written and produced by Ted Balaker, who also hosts. Shot by Jonathan Liberman and Henrik Devell, with additional production support by Zach Weissmueller and Sam Corcos and post production by Hawk Jensen and Austin Bragg. Special thanks to Niclas Berggren, Martin Borgs, Nils Karlson, and the Ratio Institute.
A Challenge Directed At Me
In conversation about an audio upload to my YouTube Channel of Dennis Prager discussing Bernie Sanders, I was challenged with this:
To which I responded with a quote from an International Business Times article:
I also pointed out that this promise went back to the Cold War, and was not known about till a Swedish defense think-tank/security firm uncovered the agreements in 1994. The original story’s link has been lost, but it is here on FOI’s site. FOI’s “about us” page has this:
Here is the info from the old article via WIKI:
Some More Discussion
In this first back-and-forth, I noted some of the above and got this response:
To which I respond:
Someone else joined the discussion, and mentioned the following:
Again, I respond:
Gay Patriot ends the beginning of this post well:
…Still Has No Plan To Get $400B A Year For It (HOTAIR).
I bet people are scratching their heads thinking, “wait… 400-billion a year? I though it would be free?” Now it is headed to the Assembly:
More from BREITBART:
In an excellent article entitled:
(Via CITY JOURNAL), it is noted [well] that what many people THINK is the free market is anything but that:
Dennis Prager deals with the outcomes of forced fairness, pointing out that this egalitarianism never produces equality or “good” for society on a whole. In my in-depth dealing with the mantra/myth of the glass ceiling, I quote that older NYT’s and L.A. Times articles mentions in the above audio:
(NYT – 2011) …..But the productivity of the doctors currently practicing is also an important factor. About 30 percent of doctors in the United States are female, and women received 48 percent of the medical degrees awarded in 2010. But their productivity doesn’t match that of men. In a 2006 survey by the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges, even full-time female doctors reported working on average 4.5 fewer hours each week and seeing fewer patients than their male colleagues. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 71 percent of female pediatricians take extended leave at some point — five times higher than the percentage for male pediatricians.
This gap is especially problematic because women are more likely to go into primary care fields — where the doctor shortage is most pronounced — than men are. Today 53 percent of family practice residents, 63 percent of pediatric residents and nearly 80 percent of obstetrics and gynecology residents are female. In the low-income areas that lack primary and prenatal care, there are more emergency room visits, more preventable hospitalizations and more patients who die of treatable conditions. Foreign doctors emigrate to the United States to help fill these positions, but this drains their native countries of desperately needed medical care.
If medical training were available in infinite supply, it wouldn’t matter how many doctors worked part time or quit, because there would always be new graduates to fill their spots. But medical schools can only afford to accept a fraction of the students who apply…..
(LA TIMES — 2011) ….The answer, they speculate, is that women are choosing lower-paying jobs on purpose because they offer greater flexibility in hours and are generally more family-friendly. The researchers acknowledge they don’t have the data to prove that this is the case, but the data they do have is consistent with this theory.
If so, they say, that would be a victory for women (and even men.) Studies show that many doctors are burned out and would rather take jobs that allow them to have a good quality of life. Now — thanks in large part to the growing ranks of female doctors — such jobs are available. They just come with lower salaries.
“Instead of being penalized because of their gender, female physicians may be seeking out employment arrangements that compensate them in other — nonfinancial — ways, and more employers may be beginning to offer such arrangements,” the researchers wrote…..
Here is a great example of what we should expect from government run healthcare, via NewsBusters:
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal editorial page caught this story about Britain’s National Health Service.
“A former NHS director died after waiting for nine months for an operation–at her own hospital,” London’s Daily Mail reports:
Margaret Hutchon, a former mayor, had been waiting since last June for a follow-up stomach operation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
But her appointments to go under the knife were cancelled four times and she barely regained consciousness after finally having surgery.
Her devastated husband, Jim, is now demanding answers from Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust–the organisation where his wife had served as a non-executive member of the board of directors.
He said: “I don’t really know why she died. I did not get a reason from the hospital. We all want to know for closure. She got weaker and weaker as she waited and operations were put off.”
It would be cruel to put this down to karma, so instead we’ll just note that it can’t possibly be true. After all, as New York Times star columnist Paul Krugman has observed, “In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.”
In the above video we see Obama saying the following:
“IF you are already getting health insurance on your job, then, that doesn’t change. Health insurance reform passed was passed six months ago. I don’t know if anybody here has gotten a letter from their employer saying, ‘you have to go on government health care’….”
This statement is just false. I have posted in the past on this topic of companies dumping their plans because it will be cheaper for them just to dump their employees onto the government plan. Here is a recent example exemplified over at HotAir – 3M to dump retirees from medical coverage:
Remember when Barack Obama repeatedly promised that no one’s current coverage would have to change if Congress approved the health-care overhaul he demanded? When the ObamaCare bill passed, the Associated Press suddenly discovered that the change of tax law that would supposedly generate billions of dollars to pay for the costs of the bill would also drive companies to dump retirees from their existing drug coverage and push them into Medicare. Minnesota-based 3M became one of the first large corporations to do just that — and push retirees off of all their plans as well:
3M Co., citing new federal health laws, said Monday it won’t cover retirees with its corporate health-insurance plan starting in 2013.
Instead, the company will direct retirees to Medicare-backed insurance programs, and will provide reimbursement for that coverage. It’ll also reimburse retirees who are too young for Medicare; the company didn’t provide further details.
The company made the changes known in a memo to employees Friday; news of the move was reported in The Wall Street Journal and confirmed Monday by 3M spokeswoman Jackie Berry.
The ObamaCare bill created a fund to subsidize employers who didn’t dump their retirees, but the WSJ notes that it simply wasn’t enough to change the negative incentives created by the government interventions:
The changes won’t start to phase in until 2013. But they show how companies are beginning to respond to the new law, which should make it easier for people in their 50s and early-60s to find affordable policies on their own. While thousands of employers are tapping new funds from the law to keep retiree plans, 3M illustrates that others may not opt to retain such plans over the next few years. …
Democrats that crafted the legislation say they tried to incentivize companies to keep their retiree coverage intact, especially until 2014. The law creates a $5 billion fund for employers and unions to offset the cost of retiree health benefits. More than 2,000 entities, including many large public companies, have already been approved to submit claims for such reimbursement. 3M did not apply.
How did Democrats come up with the $5 billion figure for subsidies to protect retirees from losing their plans? From the looks of it, they simply made it up. They also didn’t do much calculation to determine whether the subsidies would actually incentivize employers into rejecting this strategy for cost savings. To some extent, they may not have been able to make that calculation, because thanks to the massive amount of ambiguity in the bill, no one can really say for sure what the future costs would be. And of course, that’s why 3M chose now to dump the retirees.
3m has 23,000 retirees, many of them likely to be living in Minnesota. They’re also likely to vote in the upcoming midterms, perhaps even more likely now than ever. That won’t be good news for House Democrats in the Minnesota delegation hoping to win a new term in four weeks.
We already know we will not know the ultimate costs… and going off of experience, we know all government programs are always more than what we are told:
This is a concern for the Dems and will be a losing issue (among the many others). Here are a couple examples of the impact this ridiculous bill has had on business:
Big Hollywood h/t:
I “Snoped” this and it checks out. A friend passed this onto me via FaceBook, and so I reproduce it here. It if an open letter to the President and makes some of the points needed to be heard… heard and the ramifications of such actions on society by said persons. This open letter is written by a young physician by the name of Dr. Roger Starner Jones. His short two-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a “Culture Crisis” instead of a “Health Care Crisis.” Bingo!
Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.
While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as “Medicaid”! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care? I contend that our nation’s “health care crisis” is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a “crisis of culture” a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me”. Once you fix this “culture crisis” that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you’ll be amazed at how quickly our nation’s health care difficulties will disappear.
ROGER STARNER JONES, MD
Just as a side-note: Almost no one thought the earth was flat in Columbus’ day. Talk about misinformation… jeez! I wrote Leslie Marshall in the hopes she would forgo such use of non-history in the future:
Just an FYI, almost no one (including who was funding and sending Columbus to explore) believed the earth was flat. People from early Grecian days knew it was round. In other words, you were talking about misinformation and gave a misinformed analogy. Even Stephen Jay Gould said, “there never was a period of ‘flat earth darkness’ among scholars.” I suggest two books on the subject, one in-depth, the other a short chapter. The sorter read in entitled, Not So! Popular Myths About America from Columbus to Clinton. The more in-depth book, Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians.
I hope this helps,