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What Sweden Teaches Us About Obamacare

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The National Center for Policy Analysis has written up a review of a Wall Street Journal article that has a big subheading: “Universal public health care means the average Swede with ‘high risk’ prostate cancer waits 220 days for treatment.” The article, written by Per Bylund, touches on one of the easiest points for opponents of Obamacare to make to win support for its repeal — that of rationing.

Here is an excerpt from the NCPA summary:

The United States can look to Sweden for a preview of America’s health care future, says Per Bylund, a professor at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

Sweden is routinely praised as an example of a successful socialist country, but its health care industry suggests something else entirely. While Sweden’s universal health care system is consistently ranked as one of the best quality-wise, the country has an access problem.

  • Swedish patients face incredibly long wait times simply to get an appointment with a doctor, even having to wait for emergency care. Certain procedures have multiyear wait times, and treatment is sometimes denied altogether.
  • As of 2013, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare reported that the average wait time from initial referral to start of treatment for “intermediary and high risk” prostate cancer was an incredible 220 days.
  • One 80-year-old Swedish woman recently had to wait four hours before an ambulance arrived. And no ambulance at all came to a one-month-old infant who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.

This rationing is due to the gap between the number of people seeking care and the capabilities of health care providers — and the United States can expect to see the same results thanks to ObamaCare.

Free markets lead to innovation, as companies and entrepreneurs respond to demand and find ways to offer better products at better prices. Decentralization is the key to an effective free market. But ObamaCare does the opposite.

Read more: NCPA.org

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