Social Democratic Sweden headed for private health insurance?
**Posted by Phineas
The poster-child for European social democracy seems to be learning that government-controlled healthcare just doesn’t work. Via Reason:
According to Sweden’s insurance trade industry organization, Svensk Försäkring:
“The number of private health care insurance policies has increased in recent years. In 2011 about 440,000 people had private health care insurance. Most of these people have their policy paid by their employer.”
The trend continues, with the English-language The Local reporting last week that “One in ten Swedes now has private health insurance.” The site also says, “More than half a million Swedes now have private health insurance,” though that seems to refer to the growth in the number of policies, with many more of the country’s 9.5 million people actually covered by private insurance.
Why the growth? From The Local:
“‘It’s quicker to get a colleague back to work if you have an operation in two weeks’ time rather than having to wait for a year,” privately insured Anna Norlander told Sveriges Radio on Friday. “It’s terrible that I, as a young person, don’t feel I can trust the health care system to take care of me.'”
In a separate article about Sweden’s shrinking welfare state, The Local also noted that “visitors are sometimes surprised to learn about year-long waiting times for cancer patients.”
There’s more about Sweden’s move away from Socialism and toward free-market solutions. I’ve written about this trend myself, with regard to education and prosperity in general.
Like many people living on either coast, I have friends who are downright Europhiliac — anything Europe does is better, wiser, and more fair than what’s done in the United States, and we should move toward their model.
I can’t wait to tell my progressive friends how Sweden proves they’re right.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)