Finland’s Health Care and a Culture That Can’t Balance


Maybe progressives are right.  Americans should look to Finland for lessons in government-driven universal health care:

The government of Finland collapsed Friday due to the rising cost of universal health care and the prime minister’s failure to enact reforms to the system.

Prime Minister Juha Sipila and the rest of the cabinet resigned after the governing coalition failed to pass reforms in parliament to the country’s regional government and health services, the Wall Street Journal reports. Finland faces an aging population, with around 26 percent of its citizens expected to be over 65 by the year 2030, an increase of 5 percent from today. …

Sipila said “there’s no other way for Finland to succeed” besides these reforms, which could have led to $3.4 billion in savings for the government.

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In political philosophy, there is always a challenging balance to be struck when finding the boundaries for government action and defining what some citizens can demand from others using government force.  At the end of the day, most of the work ensuring that the balance doesn’t tip must be done in the culture, with our un-legislated sense of what is right and what is unjust.

We’re reaching the point in the United States that the balance is no more subtle than the political ability to force a change through.  (Witness ObamaCare.)  It is our deteriorating culture more than anything that ensures that any benefit, once granted, can never be taken away, even in the face of calamitous unintended consequences.

(Hat tip: Legal Insurrection)

  • Mike678

    “The opposition Social Democrats have been leading in the polls while support for Sipila’s Center Party has fallen to its lowest level since 2011. Sipila has been heading a center-right alliance with Finance Minister Petteri Orpo’s National Coalition and a junior partner, Blue Reform.”

    It’s an easier path to power to promise the masses free this and free that. Bernie, Warren, and the incredibly ignorant ACO. The surprising thing is that so many refuse to see the writing on the wall and elect these power-hungry demagogues. Perhaps humans have more in common with lemmings that we thought….

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Given the choice between kicking the proverbial can and biting the bullet, the doughty Finns chose the latter. And paid the political price for it, a denoument duly noted by the political class throughout the West and in Japan. (Are the Finns still the only people to have paid off their WWI loans from the US?)

    Culture being upstream of politics, upstream of culture is, what? Religion. What we have here is a collision of rival confessions. One confession professes faith in the Great God Government, putatively omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, who promises succor and healing to all who submit…as long as the bond rating holds up. A faith, shall we say, in things seen, so far…

    And in this other corner, undefeated in innumerable title bouts since Creation itself, the reigning heavyweight champion…