The former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley decided to Log On to the World Wide Web tonight to teach 2020 presidential candidate and Medicare for All proponent Sen. Bernie Sanders a little something about how things work around the world, something she should know about as you know, the former UN Ambassador.
Haley retweeted a post by Sanders comparing the insane cost of childbirth in the US—an average of $12,000—to that in Finland, where childbirth costs a reasonable average of $60.
This discrepancy, to Haley, is apparently good.
Haley, one would have assumed, understands that the amount paid by healthcare consumers does not equal the actual cost of the services provided. It’s not that Finland is only spending $60 on each woman who is giving birth. It’s that the women themselves are only paying an average of $60 at the point of service.
This is because, like most developed countries, the Finnish government has a system that actually takes care of people regardless of their income level, using taxes to pay for a government-run system. The Finnish system still costs less per person overall than the current American system, because it’s not nearly as wasteful, but it doesn’t literally cost the country $60 to help a woman give birth.
Beyond her apparently deep misunderstanding of how paying for healthcare works for normal people, Haley’s other bright idea was to allege that apparently Finnish healthcare is terrible in general, which is obviously false. According to the U.S. News and World Report 2019 Best Countries survey, Finland literally has the best public healthcare system on Earth. But this is just one magazine’s survey data. By other measures, like life expectancy, the U.S. ranks lower than Finland. And a Bloomberg index found that the U.S. had one of the least efficient healthcare systems in the world, while Finland ranked at number nine.
To bring it back the topic at hand, childbirth, the rate of infant mortality in the U.S. is three times that in Finland which had the lowest rate measured among European countries in a 2014 CDC study. Furthermore, we have the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world.
We could spend all day talking about how much U.S. healthcare sucks compared to that of practically every other country on Earth, and particularly compared to Finland, where healthcare is extremely good. But we’ve embarrassed Haley enough.
Time to call it a night, knowing, as always, that the United States the best country on Earth.