Look, even Sweden charges for healthcare
Even Sweden, spiritual home of the high-tax, social market economy, enthusiastically embraces both co-payment and private sector participation. You won’t pay less than 15 euros to see a doctor in Sweden. Admittedly, the amounts raised by this method are small relative to health spending as a whole, but it does help defray the costs a little. Perhaps more significantly, it brings about behavioural changes that limit demand, with no discernible impact on standards of health.
Last week, I attended a presentation by the Swedish finance minister, Anders Borg, to the Ifo Institute’s Munich Economic Summit. Though he was plainly putting Sweden’s best foot forward, it was hard not to be impressed. Many of the things Britain has been getting wrong, Sweden is getting right. The economy is growing strongly, labour market participation is at record levels, poverty rates are some of the lowest in Europe, and despite tax cutting, the public finances are comfortably in surplus.
Mr Borg attributed these successes to the enduring strengths of the Nordic model, yet the most striking thing about his presentation was quite how much of the best bits of the Anglo-Saxon way of doing things this model now incorporates – labour market reform, fiscal conservatism, tax cutting, and so on. Believe it or not, government spending in Sweden is now lower as a share of GDP than in the UK.
Difficile à croire, mais la Suède a décidé de faire exactement l’inverse du modèle québécois… De dangereux droitistes ces Suédois… Jean-François Lisée devrait leur envoyer une copie de son livre…