Friday, August 29, 2008

We cannot ignore glaring failures in Liberal monopoly health-care

As someone who was reported in the Globe and Mail, Jan.5, 1991, as saying he hates doctors, (see: Can Jim Bradley explain why he "stood up and said 'I hate doctors'"? ), I wonder if Liberal MPP Jim Bradley will ever further elaborate on what he meant, and whether he still hates doctors today, and if so, which doctors does he hate?

I wonder what a single-payer health-scare monopolist like St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley thinks about the election of the Canadian Medical Association’s new president, Dr.Robert Ouellet, who said on CTV (Aug.24, 2008):

Canada needs to look to European countries that have restored their health-care systems by including private clinics and changing funding formulas.

Dr. Robert Ouellet told CTV's Question Period on Sunday that Canada's health-care system is not sustainable and will need the help of the private sector to get back on track.

Ouellet, who owns five private MRI clinics in Montreal, said Canadians are too "dogmatic" about the debate over public versus private health care and need to be more open to the best solutions for a broken system.

"We have to think about the patient and not be dogmatic about it," said Ouellet, who became CMA president on Wednesday. "And that's the problem in Canada. We're very dogmatic about public and private, and you know this public and private system exists everywhere in the world except three countries: Canada, Cuba and North Korea."

Ouellet said the goal is not to privatize Canada's health-care system or to have a U.S.-style system. Instead, he suggests that private clinics could ease the patient load on an over-burdened public system.”

But this kind of action is exactly what Good Ole Jim is against!

Jim Bradley spent years fear-mongering and fomenting his anti-patient-choice, anti-American- health-care-style, slippery-slope chauvinism, even though his own Liberals rely on the U.S. system as back up for his monopoly’s failings.

Jim Bradley and former health minister Smitherman were nothing BUT dogmatic and partisan and ideological when it came to denying patient-payer-choice in Ontario health care.

And, the system which is “broken” – is none other than JIM BRADLEY’S Liberal health care monopoly!

Wrote the National Post (Aug.22, 2008):

"It's not the best solution in the world, of course. If it was possible to have a public system that was running well, nobody would be talking about private," Dr. Ouellet said.

"I want to solve that ugly problem that we have in health care and tell Canadians that it is possible to do something; that it's not a sin to have a small part of a complementary system."

The Post continued: “Those who advocate an exclusively public system are ignoring glaring challenges that posed by current system, Dr. Ouellet said.”

Sounds like Jim Bradley will hate THAT kind of talk, doesn’t it?

Jim Bradley’s been the one advocating an exclusively public system - for some thirty years now, hasn’t he?

Good Ole Jim doesn’t talk about the glaring challenges and the glaring authoritarianism of his Liberal’s Commitment To The Future of Medicare Act, or about the McCreith/Holmes constitutional health care challenge against Bradley’s Liberal government, now before the Supreme court, that sprang from it.

Good Ole Jim waltzed through the last election in Oct. 2007 pretending there was NOTHING wrong with our health care system – all this while the NHS hospital in his own riding was found, barely a month after Bradley’s re-election, to have the third highest patient mortality rate in Canada! (see: Liberals ignore call for health-monopoly investigation )

And Good Ole Jim didn’t even bother to immediately call for an independent investigation into that revelation!

Now, his health monopoly is proposing closing facilities and restructuring the health care delivery within Niagara, and Jim Bradley, once the great bombastic protector of health care, has vanished from the scene as his own system rubblizes itself! (see: Jim Bradley keenly rubblizes health-care in Niagara )

Consumers in Niagara have no choice but to be pawns held hostage by this NHS/LHINS public-monopoly puppet show now being orchestrated by the Liberal majority government.

Even so, a dogmatic Bradley will still most certainly disregard what Oullet said in the National Post (Aug.21, 2008):

"A mixed public and private practice can be a positive if it contributes to improved access to health care," he said.

"Does it make sense, in the face of a shortage of operating rooms, to ban surgeons who provide 90% of their services in a hospital from performing five to 10% of their surgeries in a private clinic?

"I am talking about improving it by allowing the private sector to intervene in a complementary way, where possible, in areas where the public sector is unable to provide services.

"Instead of trying to ban the private sector, we need to provide a framework, with conditions, that will enable it to intervene in an orderly fashion."

Why doesn’t Jim Bradley publicly explain why his Liberals are not already implementing these kinds of proposals? Why are his Liberals ideologically opposed to such reforms, instead favouring tired, broken statist monopoly health-care?

The Post continued: "Dr. Ouellet contended that "shutting the door on private health care is the same as shutting the door on our patients."

He said that although Canada's public health care system has made "significant" improvements in the past 10 years, it still fares poorly when compared with many other countries. He noted Canada ranks last out of seven major industrialized nations in the use of electronic patient files.

"The overall assessment of the Canadian health care system is alarming," he said. "We have one of the most costly and least efficient health systems of any industrialized nation."

Dr. Ouellet also talked of the need to "rid ourselves of the burden of waiting lists."

"Other countries have done it. England, for example, managed in five years to do away with waiting lists. In Denmark, if the wait is more than one month, the patient is referred to the private sector."

Rather than partner with the private sector, Jim Bradley and his Liberals decided to implement a Health Tax in 2004, to supposedly solve all the problems inherent with their monopoly system.

But as Kevin Gaudet of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation pointed out (National Post, Aug.11, 2008):

“To date, the health tax has taken a total of $12.2-billion out of the pockets of families, businesses and individuals in Ontario -- enough to build 12 new Rogers Centres. The tax revenue has already grown from $1.7-billion in 2004-05 to a whopping $2.8-billion projected for 2008-09 -- a 65% revenue increase in only five years.

Even though the government has buried the health tax review in the dead of summer and said the review won't make a whiff of difference, individuals and groups, including the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, showed up at committee to argue for the tax's elimination.

The fact that the Ontario health tax represents a key broken promise by the McGuinty government should be justification enough for it to be eliminated. However, there are other good reasons.

First, the health tax provides a money crutch for government, merely enabling its runaway spending, which has operated at twice the combined rate of inflation and population growth.

Second, Ontario GDP is close to zero growth and 1.4% below what was predicted. Unemployment is up sharply to 6.7%. With the Ontario economy close to a recession, broad-based tax relief for individuals, families and businesses would help spur spending, savings and a return to healthy growth in the economy.

Third, in its press release announcing the health tax, the Mc-Guinty government touted two other provinces as examples to follow: British Columbia and Alberta. If Ontario wishes to continue following the example of other provinces, it should indeed follow the latter's lead. Alberta axed its health tax in its last budget. This leaves Ontario and B. C. as the only two Canadian provinces with a health tax.

Fourth, the so-called Health Care Premium is intentionally misnamed in an effort to fool Ontarians into believing they are paying for health care. There is no doubt this tax would have been eliminated had it been named the "bureaucrat salary enhancement levy." Health care premiums pay for health care no more and no less than does the new electronics tax, the new paint tax, the business tax, the insurance tax, the gas tax or the hotel tax.

By calling the tax "a premium" the government is trying to equate it with an insurance premium, like the ones Ontarians pay for their car or home insurance. If this were accurate, the level of the premium would fluctuate up and down depending on how much one used health care. It does not. The tax is not dedicated to or used for health care. It is a spend-happy government's way of lining the public treasury.

Finally, health care spending in Ontario has grown at a fairly constant rate, both before and after the imposition of the tax, just as it did in Alberta. If the tax were really for health care then health care spending should have jumped. It did not. What did go up were projects like corporate welfare to American based multi-nationals and slush funds.

The one project the government should really get behind instead is tax relief. It can do this by getting rid of the health tax crutch that props up its out-of-control spending.”

Out of control spending” – why, the Liberals just announced that they were doling out multi-millions of supposed “surplus” dollars to the cities – money ostensibly meant for the broad category of “infrastructure”, but which really has no strings attached (see: Liberals dole out 'no strings attached' cash, while hospitals remain underfunded ) - it can be used for anything.

As Gaudet writes: “If the tax were really for health care then health care spending should have jumped. It did not.” And not only that - now Bradley’s Liberals are simply giving away the surplus which was raised by charging Ontarians a false “health tax”.

The sickening Liberal Healthcare Duplicity just continues on.

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