Giving up a little bit of liberty for a little bit of security is fool’s errand.

Finland is circling the drain economically as it borrows financially to cover its losses in revenue. The highly centralized state has been trying to divest itself from its centralization of concentrated power, but to little avail, the unions have its collective grip around the present government’s lone testicle.

I was recently in Helsinki at an Israeli embassy sponsored event where I was told by a National Coalition MP that he was greatly disappointed by the lack of success by this present coalition government (which includes his party) in getting their reforms through. It’s nearly impossible.

In 300 pages, Ms. Partanen offers an expanded version of what my Swedish antagonists could summarize before the herring and schnapps were served: America is a pretty horrible place and would be less horrible if it were more like Finland. Or Sweden. Or Norway.

Stockholm Syndrome

Spotify threatened to abandon Sweden if the government didn’t address over-regulation and sky-high taxes.

A May Day march in Malmö, Sweden, organized by the Left Party, 2016. A May Day march in Malmö, Sweden, organized by the Left Party, 2016. PHOTO: GETTY 

There are plenty of American runaways scattered around Sweden. The now elderly passel of draft dodgers and former Black Panthers; a recently arrived spy, dodging prison time for penetrating the State Department on Cuba’s behalf; and various others relying upon Sweden’s unwillingness to extradite those accused of “political crimes.”

My reasons for emigrating from Brooklyn to Stockholm in 2003 on the eve of the Iraq War, as its opponents loudly considered seeking refuge from George W. Bush’s America, were more prosaic. I was in pursuit of a woman.

But Sweden is Berkeley, Calif., in country form—a place where even romantic relocations are ultimately recast as political acts. Soon after my residency permit was affixed to my passport, I found myself before the first of many Stockholm dinner party tribunals, during which I would be held accountable for America’s manifold sins. Indeed, the job of volunteer war-crimes defendant was so onerous that I considered fleeing the country, declaring myself a refugee from First World political persecution.

As my language facility increased, I discovered that the country’s largest newspaper objected to Jimmy Carter receiving the Nobel Peace Prize because he was, apparently, a right-wing supporter of terrorism. A columnist at the same paper routinely hailed the armed “resistance movement” in Iraq because their “actions were mostly directed at the occupation forces.” When that paper’s automotive correspondent sat in judgment of a new series of Chevy pickup trucks, his review was punctuated with an attack on how America’s “Jewish lobby” ruined Christmas.


In a book allergic to nuance, one would nevertheless expect Ms. Partanen to confront Finland’s current position as “the sick man of Europe,” stemming from its long-declining GDP and steadily increasing unemployment rate. (Youth unemployment is above 20%, double the American figure.) The current government is now openly contemplating new limits on paid holidays, overtime and sick leave to constrain runaway budget deficits. Sweden’s vaunted health-care system, so fulsomely praised by Ms. Partanen for eschewing privatization, will soon be allowing patients more choice between public and private providers. Finnish economist Jan von Gerich recently said that “the only way for Finland to have a future is for the old model to be reformed.”

While Ms. Partanen insists that the Nordic social model is the answer to most of the U.S.’s problems, she all but ignores one social phenomenon long familiar to Americans: immigration. Convulsed by waves of migration that are straining resources and provoking the rise of the far right, Nordic social democracy is being challenged by a more heterogenous population. It’s the one of the most important issues facing Nordic countries today, but Ms. Partanen won’t go near it, instead commenting that “many immigrants to the Nordic region find its citizens cold, hostile, and closed-minded,” though “sometimes it is a misunderstanding.”

More here.

NOTE: Finland’s highly vaunted healthcare system patterned on the rest of the Nordic region’s system, is full of holes, so much so that the private healthcare system rivals and surpasses it. The downside is that the taxpayer ends up being double dipped.

To show the difference between the American system (before Obama care, but taking note that it wasn’t close to being perfect) and the Finnish one, some years ago, both my mother living stateside, and my Finnish mother-in-law (both now deceased) were diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes.

My mother (medicaid) was in the surgery room 2 weeks after being diagnosed, then 3 weeks later having the other eye operated on and on the path to full recovery. My Finnish mother-in-law (who at the time, was handing out medicine to her husband) had to wait over 9 mos. before being taken in after receiving a plethora of cancellation notices.

Something tells me this would never make the pages of Anu Partanen’s book.


Socialized medicine…..

If not for big government/statism, just think of all the innovations, advancements in medicine and reduced costs due to free market principles that could have been achieved. I look at what could have been when I see how much statism is involved on all levels of society. Our modern societies are a result of what we have been able to achieve in spite of socialism, not because of it.

“We might have to start thinking about what we can afford, and maybe even soon prioritize some cases for treatment above others. We have to enter into a dialogue with the regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical companies about how we can best offer treatment to patients who will benefit from it.”

Rising cost of cancer medication threatens treatment

As Finland’s population grows older, more and more of its residents are falling ill with rare forms of cancer. Cancer treatment and drugs may be developing at an unprecedented rate, but they are also growing more expensive – a drain on public health service resources. Helsinki’s lead cancer doctor fears that Finland may soon be forced to start prioritising certain kinds of cancer patients as a result.

Potilas saa täsmäsädehoitoa
The Docrates Cancer Center in Helsinki is the first private hospital in the Nordics to specialise in cancer treatment. Image: Docrates Syöpäsairaala

Kimmo Porkka, head of clinical haematology at the Helsinki University Central Hospital, is concerned that the rising cost of specialized cancer treatments will eventually lead public health services to rank cancer patients in need of treatment.

Finland’s Cancer Register estimates that 250,000 people in Finland have been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. The clear majority, 78 percent, are struck with common forms of the disease, like breast, prostate, lung or intestinal cancer.

The remaining 22 percent, some 21,000 Finnish residents, have a cancer that is classified as rare. Among these, cancers of the blood are most common. There are 140 different known blood cancers, whose onset have not been linked to lifestyle choices like smoking or excess weight, and therefore are apparently random.

Easy to research, but increasingly piecemeal

Haematology specialist Porkka says blood cancers like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma are easy to research, as samples of a patient’s blood and bone marrow are relatively easy to examine.

“It is very difficult to obtain samples of stomach cancer, for example, and so cancers of the blood have been the subject of more research even though they are rare. Many new cancer drugs can actually trace their origin back to haematological research,” he says.

Most cancers work in the same way and can be attributed to the same abnormal genes. Antibodies used in immunotherapies to increase the strength of immune responses were developed to cure cancers of the blood, for example, but have also proved effective against solid tumours.

A more case-by-case approach in future

Porkka says the entire field of cancer research is in for a monumental change now that renegade genes in cancer cells can be examined more easily.

“Common cancers, like breast or colon cancer, will also be distributed among very small groups in future, so people with cancer will become increasingly unique and will require a wider variety of treatments,” he says.

This increasing fragmentation will be a challenge for pharmaceutical development, as patient groups will become smaller and smaller. Despite new drugs appearing at a rapid pace, this could mean that it may take ten years before they can be released to the market.

Clinical tests must be held in three phases before new drugs can be authorised for use. In order for a medication to be eligible for reimbursement from Finland’s state benefits provider Kela, yet another study comparing the new drug to standard medication already in use must also be carried out.

Porkka says the entire process is too slow, and partly outdated.

“It is very difficult, almost impossible, to gather enough instances to meet these requirements for rare cancers, a road that even common cancers are set to go down as numbers fall. This is a challenge for the authorities because they have to weigh what should be considered sufficient evidence of a drug’s efficacy for a very small patient group.”

Rigid reimbursement scheme needs an update

Porkka is convinced that cancer treatment will become increasingly personalised in the near future, as health care professionals work to come up with more precise solutions. He is concerned that the rules regarding Kela reimbursements will become even stricter.

“Almost all cancer treatment medication is so expensive that it is unimaginable that patients could pay from it themselves. Drugs to fight cancer should be free, but for many medications this isn’t the case.”

Helsinki’s Department of Oncology has seen yearly expense increases of five percent, a development Porkka feels is unsustainable. Every patient is still receiving treatment, but Porkka is concerned about the future.

“We might have to start thinking about what we can afford, and maybe even soon prioritize some cases for treatment above others. We have to enter into a dialogue with the regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical companies about how we can best offer treatment to patients who will benefit from it.”



The reason for the lack of family doctors, is socialized medicine. Full stop.

But they’re not going to admit that, no, not in any way, shape or form, because to do so is seen as attacking Finnish identity itself. Finns, like in all other countries that practice socialized medicine have internalized it as some kind of sign of societal progress that other developing (and already developed) nations should be willing embrace. You know, ”be like us”, we’ll show you how!

But it all comes at an amazing destructive cost, in pay for medical staff (they receive far below that of the US) which means lack of financial incentives for people to study medicine which translates to lack of doctors (who either do not exist or have headed elsewhere to obtain better pay for their services. All of this coincides with the long wait for patients needing operations, procedures etc.

NOTE: No system is perfect, it’s just that some or more imperfect than others when government gets involved.

Keskisuomalainen: Family doctor system dying out

Initially developed in the late 1980s, the scheme whereby patients have their own personal doctor is disappearing. Though it still exists in some small municipalities in Finland, it has largely been the victim of rapid urbanisation and a shortage of doctors.

Lääkäri stetoskoopin kanssa.
Image: Yle

According to the Finnish Medical Association, the family doctor scheme is only used by one-sixth of public health care centre doctors these days.

Developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the programme was based on the idea that one doctor had a defined area and group of patients as his or her responsibility.

The advantage was that the doctor and patient knew each other, which is thought to have increased the quality of care and its efficiency. The programme’s so-called golden age was during the early 2000s when it was in practice throughout much of the country.

Only a few small municipalities in Finland retain the scheme today, as during the last ten years many larger cities have gradually moved out of the practice because of the challenge of adapting it to large populations and a shortage of doctors.

Yle, Keskisuomalainen


Socialism, no matter where it’s tried, is a failure.

I don’t want to hear about how the US health system failed, hence the need for Obamacare, the US government has long since before Obama meddled in healthcare, causing sharp prices in care and keeping citizens from shopping around the US for a better healthcare insurer. Heavy handed quotas for doctors license have kept the price of a doctor sky high, and subsidized universities and colleges have driven up the cost of educating them. One will have to ask, why is it that doctors used to be able to make house calls, and the patients able to afford it?

Norway hospital saves cash with dirty windows

Norway hospital saves cash with dirty windows

Stavanger University Hospital viewed from the air. Photo: Stavanger health authority

Published: 22 Apr 2015 23:29 GMT+02:00

Stavanger University Hospital estimates that by ceasing to wash windows that cannot be reached easily from the ground level, it will save some 200,000 kroner per year ($25,000) by not needing to hire a crane.

“It says something about the tough priorities when it comes to spending,”  Emma Husabø Manin, head of internal services at the hospital, told the local Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper. “Cleaning the windows our own staff cannot reach is not a priority this year.”

Despite its 4.7bn kroner annual budget, the hospital has  been facing severe financial problems recently, with patients placed in the corridors because of a shortage of hospital beds.

The hospital crisis in Stavanger is so serious that it was raised in a debate in Norway’s national parliament, the Storting, on Monday.

Earlier this month, the Norwegian Nurses Organisation warned that the hospital was in danger of failing to provide an acceptable standard of care.



A term for your healthcare predicament, you’ve been ”Grubered”.


Every time you run into a major speed bump in your healthcare policy, just think of MIT professor Jonathon Gruber. This is the sign of a nation in decay, outright lying is deemed virtuous, disingenuously crafted legislation and marketing it to the people as something that its not, humanitarian.

NOTE: It’s being reported that the Penn State University removed the 51 minute video where Gruber makes the statement on transparency (starts at the 21:30 mark), but they’ve reinstated it once again, most likely due to backlash.

Obamacare Architect: Lack of Transparency Was Key Because ‘Stupidity Of The American Voter’ Would Have Killed Obamacare


Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that lack of transparency was a major part of getting Obamacare passed because “the stupidity of the American voter” would have killed the law if more people knew what was in it.

Gruber, the MIT professor who served as a technical consultant to the Obama administration during Obamacare’s design, also made clear during a panel quietly captured on video that the individual mandate, which was only upheld by the Supreme Court because it was a tax, was not actually a tax.

More here.

Listen to the arrogance of the man. These are the kinds of ‘masterminds and geniuses’ that Mark Levin often talks about who really do think that they know more about you, your individual lives, than you yourself.



Think about it my fellow Americans, think about it very hard. 

There is actually a legal requirement stipulating that patients should not be forced to wait ”longer than 6 mos”. Really. Socialized medicine in the raw. Health insurance (heh…free) does not mean actual health care.

Dentists in capital report huge differences in waiting lists


Increased pressure on dental services at the start of the year has put further pressure on the capital’s dental services, health cheifs say. Helsinki health authority reports that over 13,000 patients are queuing for an appointment, with some waiting times exceeding the six-month legal requirement. Meanwhile residents of neighbouring Espoo can find and book an available slot straightaway over the phone.

Image: YLE Etelä-Karjala

Health authorities in the capital region are reporting large differences in waiting times for dental care.

In Helsinki, health chiefs report that demand for dental care increased noticeably at the start of the year, with long queues also reported in Vantaa.

Patients needing to see a dentist are continuing to face long waits in Helsinki. The city reports that the backlog of non-urgent appointments currently runs to over 13,000 people. Some of those have been queuing for over six months for an appointment, exceeding the maximum waiting time set down by law.

The waiting list grew at the start of the year, according to chief dentist for the Helsinki health authority, Merja Auero.

“In Helsinki demand for dental services at health centres has grown massively. Earlier this year we were seeing around 1,000 new requests to see a dentist every week, compared to around 700 the year before,” she said.

More here.



End the EU.

collapsing EU

Finland’s health care situation is already big government (socialist) based, long lines forces many to opt for private care, in effect, paying twice (almost) for the same service. This EU legislation, concocted by some faceless bureaucrat hack somewhere in Europe, now stands to burden the system even more.

Catheter Ashton

Could new EU rules trigger a Finnish healthcare crisis?

Turku’s Turun Sanomat carries a warning of how changes to the EU’s working time directive could bring on-call healthcare to a standstill in Finland, by making current employment arrangements with doctors illegal.

So-called ‘free-form’ on-call systems currently rely on doctors being on standby, meaning they are not paid a full salary, but only receive money for the time spent on care duties.

However, the paper reports that in a precedent-setting case, judges in the EU Court of Justice – which interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way across the Union – ruled that even when an employee is on standby this must be counted as full-time work.

“It is very likely that current arrangements cannot continue as they are,” Risto Ihalainen from the Finnish Medical Association tells the paper.

If every health authority offering an on-call service was forced to begin paying staff full time rates, salary costs would increase dramatically and overtime limits would soon be breached. Changes in the directive would also apply to other professions as well as doctors, Turun Sanomat adds.

More here.



Game on, support these patriots!

April 05, 2014, 05:30 pm

Tea Party challenger threatens to ‘kill’ O-Care

By Tim Devaney

The Tea Party candidate who is challenging Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) promised to “kill” ObamaCare, if he gets elected in November.

“We are not going to stand with an eye toward trying to place a Band-Aid on ObamaCare,” Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel said at FreePAC Kentucky, a conservative gathering in Louisville on Saturday. “We’re not going to fix it. We’re going to kill it.”

The event featured a number of other Tea Party speakers, including two who are running against fellow Republicans in the November elections. Many in the Tea Party are upset that mainstream Republicans aren’t doing more to fight the Obama administration.

McDaniel hopes to unseat six-term Cochran, who has been in office since 1978. While Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin, who was also speaking at the event, is vying to defeat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a five-term senator.

“They say this race I’m in right now is a test of the old guard,” McDaniel said in a deep Irish accent. “I’m not sure what that means. I know my opponent has been there 42 years, been there as long as I’ve been alive. Richard Nixon was president when he arrived.”

Cochran has actually been in office for 36 years, but he did run Richard Nixon’s campaign in Mississippi in 1968.

McDaniel promised to fight ObamaCare, but said he was disappointed that many Republicans have given up in the battle.

“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) have given us an outstanding example of what courage can do, of what real leadership can do,” he said. “They stood there doing their best to defund ObamaCare. That was a fight they should have fought, it was a fight we should have won. But the same old (Republicans) told us that was not a winnable solution.”

McDaniel said the GOP should learn to stand up for itself and shouldn’t be afraid to go against the Obama administration.

Read more:



The planners plan, and the schemers scheme, and yet utopia will always fail to materialize.

Increased bureaucracy?

The opposition Finns Party is concerned about the additional red tape that might come in with the new regions.

“This proposal increases administration and bureaucracy from current levels,” said Hanna Mäntylä, a Finns Party MP on the parliamentary committee responsible for health and social care.

Centre Party politicians, meanwhile, suggested the proposal was unworkable.

“On the basis of this model a financing reform cannot be implemented,” said the Centre’s parliamentary group chair Kimmo Tiilikainen. “Administration is mixed up and scattered.”

Minister: If healthcare reform was easy, it would’ve already happened

Minister of Health and Social Services Susanna Huovinen on Thursday received a long-awaited paper proposing reforms to the Finnish social and health care system.

 Kirsi Varhila luovuttaa Sote-järjestämislain valmisteluryhmän ehdotuksen Susanna Huoviselle Säätytalolla.

Basic services minister Susanna Huovinen receives a report on reform of health and social care in Finland. Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

Minister of Health and Social Services Susanna Huovinen on Thursday received a long awaited paper proposing reforms to the Finnish social and health care system.

The ministerial working group proposes that services should be based around key regional centres rather than municipalities, as is currently the case. The government hopes merged service regions will create economies of scale, as the new regions would be based on towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

The Helsinki metropolitan area would form a single so-called health and social service area, while regional municipalities would have the option of clubbing together to provide services if they so desire.

Huovinen emphasised the difficulty of persuading more than 300 municipalities to accept a model of reform.

Reform isn’t easy

“If this was easy, it would’ve happened already,” said the minister, who declined to take a stand on how the government might change the working group’s recommendations. Even some of the experts on the working group disagreed with parts of the report, which should become law in 2015 with the new regional authorities coming into being in 2017.

More here.



Socialism always fails to live up to its utopian promises.

As Obamabots and the Democrat party (helped along by RINOs from the formerly conservative Republican party) plow full steam ahead into socialist socialized medicine.


Markus Henriksson from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, Valvira, denies that Finland’s standard of cancer care has deteriorated. He claims Finland is still a world leader in the treatment of the disease, although he admits that patients must sometimes queue for treatment and that it would be good if the wait was shorter.

NOTE: Get used to that word my fellow Americans, QUEUE. I you don’t repeal Obamacare in full, it’s there to stay.

Finnish cancer care “mediocre” says health tourism firm

Chairman of the Board and co-founder Mika Heinonen believes that health tourism is a rapidly growing business. His company, Medifi, flies patients to India for cancer treatment. However, Valvira and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is not as enthusiastic about the benefits of care abroad.

Espoolainen Eija Heinonen valmistautumassa sädehoitoon täsmäsädehoitolaitteessa intialaisessa sairaalassa.

Health tourism sees some Finnish patients seeking cancer care in India. Image: Yle

Some patients in Finland are not content with the public health system and are choosing the fast tracked, cheaper option of going overseas, rather than going private at home. Medifi began operations last summer, with its key remit being to fly patients out for health care in different countries. According to CEO Mika Heinonen, there are no similar companies in Finland – at least not yet.

“We intend to expand our operations in Sweden and Russia. Easy surgery patients are exported to Estonia and difficult surgeries to India,” says Heinonen.

The easy surgical procedures he refers to are simple day surgeries, the more difficult, for example, cancer surgery. Estonia is already a popular choice for so-called health tourists from Finland. The company also plans to extend operations to Sweden and Russia.

Is Finland’s level of care slipping?

Medifi’s marketing claims that the Finland’s supposed top quality health care is not all it’s cracked up to be. For example, cancer treatment is not as good as commonly believed. Heinonen goes so far as to describe it as “mediocre” all the time.

He claims to be well acquainted with the Finnish public health system due to 14 years experience as a nurse. He originally trained as a practical nurse and later acquired qualifications as a registered nurse, as well as becoming a certified tour guide.

India’s private hospitals have modern equipment and its doctors are trained at first rate universities. Private care is less expensive than in the west — a single treatment trip to India costs a patient around five thousand euros, according to Heinonen.

Health tourism is a fast growing sector in India and Medifi claims it has airlifted between one and four patients there each month since summer this year.

More here.



Pure doofus.

It shows what kind of age we live in (unparalleled mediocrity), that a buffoon like Paul Krugman, now to be known here as ‘Paul Kludgeman’, is a celebrated guru of how anything should be run, let alone of a state with over 300 million people.

“Still, the fact remains that Obamacare is an immense kludge–a clumsy, ugly structure that more or less deals with a problem, but in an inefficient way,” writes Krugman.


by WYNTON HALL 28 Oct 2013 

After months of boldly promising that Obamacare would be a smashing success, New York Times progressive columnist Paul Krugman nowconcedes that President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhual is a “mess” and that “Obamacare ended up being a big kludge.”

Krugman spent months blasting “the sheer meanspiritedness of Obamacare opponents” and issuing proud proclamations that “the real Obamacare shock will be one of unexpected success.” On the grand opening of the Obamacare exchanges, Krugman explained to readers that the cascade of website failures were actually “good news, not bad, for the program.”

Now, however, Krugman says “the good news about, the portal to Obamacare’s health exchange, is that the administration is no longer minimizing its problems. That’s the first step toward fixing the mess.”

Krugman contends that limited government ideology is to blame for Obamacare’s failures because it is “fundamentally hostile to the notion of the government helping people.” Furthermore, he posits that the government’s inability to run Obamacare only proves that the government should run all of healthcare in a so-called “single payer” government takeover.




I think he’s hit the nail on the head.

obama crazy faced forward

Top down, centralized, authoritative government demanding that you purchase a product, a badly designed product at that, realigns the constitutionally founded relationship between the citizen and the state. This is what the Founders and the Framers of the US constitution fought a 8 year war over with a tyrant king, and something that they hoped to avoid with the division of power between the three separate branches of government.

H/T: Stefan Metzeler via Adrian Cojocaru


Oct. 11, 2013 3:43pm Fred Lucas

Dr. Benjamin Carson declared Friday that “Obamacare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Carson, a former professor of neurosurgery, oncology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, spoke Friday at the Values Voters Summit in Washington.

Ben Carson Compares Obamacare with Slavery and Community

“I have to tell you, you know, “Obamacare” is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson said. “In a way, it is slavery, in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”

The statement prompted a strong standing ovation.

“It was never about health care,” Carson continued. “It was about control and that’s why – that’s why when this administration took office it didn’t matter that the country was going off the cliff economically. All forces were directed toward getting this legislation passed.”

Carson rose to prominence earlier this year for his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, and has fielded some calls to run for president in 2016. Carson didn’t address that in his remarks, but is in company at the summit with numerous other presumed Republican contenders including Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

More here.



His fellow Republicans refusing to back him are by default supporting the funding of Obamacare, that thought should be branded on every American’s thinking come election time, resulting in their being primaried out of the election process with true conservative representatives filling their slot.

cruz against all odds

More here.

Cruz Sets Confrontational Tone as Senate Debate Begins

ted cruz confronts 24.9.2013

More here.