Got to give U.S. President Obama some credit for recognizing that our Canadian single-payer, state-run monopoly health-care monstrosity is NOT an acceptable template for the States to follow. Has Michael Moore heard what his president is saying? Moore ejaculated that Canada's state-run health-scare system was the best ever, painting it as a veritable health care Utopia... like Cuba's and North Korea's... so when is Moore going to deride Democrat Obama for his views? Canada's abysmal system ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH for the States! The American system is in many respects far superior to Canada's; socializing it would only make it worse.
We see in Ontario that the ombudsman is about to investigate the way in which the local Niagara LHIN (the puppet organ of the Ontario government's health-care monopoly - appointed, funded, directed, and created by the Liberals) instituted its health care cuts recently, with little public consultation, in regards to the NHS HIP cuts and the closure of health services in south Niagara. Is this the kind of system Americans want - a sicko, unaccountable government-run monopoly with sole discretion of their health care, cutting health coverage and services, while at the same time increasing their taxes and denying citizen-patients the choice to opt out and pay for their own care privately? Hope not.
Grant LaFleche reported in "Watchdog to probe health network", (St. Catharines Standard, Mar.25, 2009) that:
"Linda Williamson, a spokeswoman for Ombudsman Ontario, said the investigations are focused on how the LHIN handled its mandate of “community engagement” when dealing with health-care services.
"The LHIN has a legal mandate to do that, so (Marin) is asking, ‘Was the process fair?’ ” she said.
While the investigation will focus on the LHINs public consultation process, Williamson said Marin will not assess the restructuring plans of either hospital system.
“That is a policy issue, and he is not looking into the merits of the policies of a hospital. He is not going to say, ‘That hospital should not be closed, but that one should be.’ That is not his mandate,” she said.
The NHS restructuring effort, called the hospital improvement plan, is introducing sweeping changes to local hospitals including the centralization of services at “centres of excellence” in certain locations."
Strange, isn't it, how McGuinty's Liberals are still hiding their state-run hospital monopoly from complete ombudsman scrutiny, allowing the ombudsman's office only tangential access to certain pre-selected aspects of their health-monopoly, but not enough to actually perform a full-scale review.
Let's hope the ombudsman subpoenas records from Dalton McGuinty, George Smitherman, Kim Craitor, David Caplan, Jim Bradley, the LHIN board and the NHS. Let's see whether we can also find out what the LHIN, Jim Bradley, George Smitherman, or the NHS's Debbie Sevenpifer knew about the NHS's still-unexplained-to-this-day high patient death-rate, and what actions they took. (see: McGuinty Liberals cut health-care to the bone; see: Niagara Health System: second-highest deficit in Ontario; third-highest death-rate in Canada: but why should Liberal MPP Jim Bradley care?; see: Hospital death-rate in Liberal Jim Bradley's St. Catharines: third-worst in Canada)
Did the Liberals - the sole payers within their health-care monopoly -cover up any correlation between their health-care budget cuts and the NHS's death rate? Did Jim Bradley repeatedly ignore answering questions from his own constituents about his Liberal's failing health policies, because he feared to implicate himself in his own Liberal health-care mess?
Any independent scrutiny of this Liberal mess is welcome, but this piece-meal approach simply allows our drowning monopoly (along with its useless Liberals) to tread water a little longer. And the ombudsman's powers are, ultimately, limited when it comes to actually enforcing any changes that may be recommended: they are pre-ordained to be only 'recommendations' with certain moral suasion - a majority Liberal government can simply ignore them. The Suzanne Aucoin case - again, from Niagara - scrutinized by the ombudsman two years ago is an example - what was really changed? The answer - not much! Liberal-run healthcare's "cruel game", as the ombudsman described it then, still continues, as bad as it ever was... and remember, secretive Jim Bradley was one of the Liberal's staunchest health-monopoly proponents.
The Liberal's state-run health-care monopoly is interested in its own institutional survival and perpetuation, not in transparency, accountability, or servicing patients. Cost-and-service-cuts, while also raising taxes, are the government's priorities - something the Michael Moorists can't fathom could happen with their naive benevolent-state-run-health-care fantasies; they pretend this is only the nature of supposedly-evil insurance companies: but, a government-run monopoly is worse.
Now that Niagara's LHIN is under ombudsman investigation, the LHIN and the NHS conveniently don't want to talk about their high-handed manoeuvres! The St. Catharines Standard actually reported for once (in "Keeping an eye on the LHIN", Mar.26, 2009) that local Liberal health care monopolist, MPP Jim Bradley didn't return the newspaper's request for an interview - join the club, what else is new?
Talk about Bradley's own lack of "community engagement" - which is the very subject of the ombudsman's investigation into the LHIN!! The LHIN has a great role model - their local Liberal political puppet-master MPP, Bradley, who couldn't be bothered to answer questions, and has hidden from answering questions in the past. (see: Anyone else cheesed off with McGuinty's Iron-Curtain-era Liberals?)
Liberal Jim Bradley's agenda is to smugly drone on about only what he wants to reveal, on his own selective terms; he could care less about responding to requests from constituents, let alone reporters - unless maybe it's some nudge-nudge-wink-wink Liberal friendly reporter. The Standard first mentioned that they contacted Conservative MPP Tim Hudak, who also didn't respond, THEN they mentioned Bradley. But Hudak isn't in the majority government, is he? Jim Bradley is a senior cabinet minister in the majority Liberal government - it is Bradley, first and foremost, who should be interviewed and critiqued on a daily basis, and held to local account for everything his Liberal government does. That kind of accountability has sadly been lacking in Niagara for years - Good Ole Jim usually gets a pretty soft ride.
The LHIN is an artificial Liberal creation, an obvious political-buffer built to shield the Liberals from actual responsibility regarding health care - the LHIN appointees march wherever Liberal Premier McGuinty and his current health minister David Caplan, direct them. An investigation into the LHIN should be seen as an indirect investigation into the practices of the McGuinty Liberal government.
It's plain that the NHS has been underfunded for years, as Liberals cut health coverage and increased health taxes. Smitherman as much as admitted that the NHS was spending like a drunken sailor (or perhaps like a typical unaccountable state monopoly??) without actually detailing where this so-called profligacy was occurring; nevertheless, through his intimation and intimidation, hospitals were ordered to rein in spending (leading to the NHS's Kitts HIP report - to which, by the way, did Bradley ever officially respond?) The blow-back of these decisions was ignored by the Liberal government - and by Good Ole Jim - who have a burdensome obligation of providing health care to all Ontarians - SEEING AS THEY ARE THE SOLE MONOPOLIST PAYER.
This Liberal dichotomy of political purpose is almost schizophrenic in nature - trumpeting the manufactured virtues of an expensive, failing health-care monopoly, while cutting services in the same monopoly they claim to uphold.
We have just seen the latest Ontario Liberal budget, unveiled Mar.26, 2009, where the Liberals have placed Ontario into a huge multi-year deficit ($14.1 billion just for 2009-10), as well as piling on tens of billions of dollars of long-term debt. (update: in the Apr.20, 2009 St. Catharines Standard, Jim Bradley stated the budget deficit will be $18 billion over the next two years.)
What hypocrisy for McGuinty's monopolist Liberals to run deficits themselves, while ordering Ontario's hospitals to balance their budgets - budgets, let's not forget, which were mandated, pre-determined and artificially under-funded by the very same Liberals.
What grand Liberal Healthcare Duplicity.