Accuracy in Media

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has made government-run health care an integral part of his 2020 presidential campaign platform, called Medicare for All.

Other 2020 candidates have seized the same platform and ideas, but Sanders continues to highlight the benefits of having a government-run health care system.

One of the oft-used examples cited by Sanders is the country of Finland and its government-run health care system. Sanders tweeted how it costs $60 in Finland to have a baby, while it costs $12,000 in the U.S. to have a baby.

But CNN put a dent in Sanders’s arguments to adopt a Finland-style system. First, the network mentioned that “drawing comparisons between a country like Finland (which has the population of Minnesota) and the entire United States is difficult. No health care system — rooted as each country’s is in both its history and geography — could ever provide a perfect model for the other.”

CNN also pointed out how health care reform failed to pass in Finland, which led to the Finnish government resigning and it was the “second government in a row to fail to do so.” Health care reform is needed in Finland because the system is decentralized, meaning local cities manage the system for their residents. Because of that, it makes health care expensive to maintain but also creates “vast disparities in the quality of care.” Rural areas suffer the most because of lack of access to health care services. Finland is also facing a population crisis, where the taxpayer base is shrinking, aging, and living longer, which strains the health care system further.

Despite Sanders’s claims, Finland is not the example of success that he wants it to be, as CNN’s article illustrated.

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