Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why are McGuinty's Liberals afraid to de-monopolize Ontario health care?

Eric Duhaime wrote in "Time to dump our system of health care" (Sun Media, Nov.4, 2010):

"This week marks the 40th anniversary of the “assurance-maladie” regime in Quebec, the last province in Canada where a public monopoly on health care was established.

The impact of the implementation of this piece of legislation is and will be the most important by far of all state interventions.

Health-care expenses today represent 45% of the total budget of the Quebec government and will increase to 65% by 2030.

Last week, the Fraser Institute released a report entitled “Value for Money from Health Insurance Systems in Canada and the OECD.” The findings are shocking.

Our Canadian system is the sixth most expensive among the 28 OECD countries, but the medical services we get back in return are below average.

In other words, we spend more to get less.

What’s wrong?

The Federation des medecins specialistes du Quebec might have the answer. Last month it released figures showing there are 208,000 employees in the Quebec Health Ministry. Some 100,000 of these employees have administrative jobs while the other half (108,000) provide direct services to sick people. And the trend is even more troubling. Over the last 10 years, there has been a 30% increase in administrative staff compared to only 6% in health-care providers.

The Fraser Institute study proposes solutions to stop this over-bureaucratization of our health system. It points out the countries that surpass Canada in terms of health services and resources usually have at least one, but often three specific attributes:

1) The patient pays a user fee, a contribution to partly cover medical costs.

2) Medical care is financed through some form of social insurance where everyone makes a direct and significant contribution to premiums.

3) Private hospitals run for profit are permitted to bill public insurers for services.

The only logical recommendation that could come out of such observations is we need to get rid of the Canada Health Act as soon as possible. We need to allow provinces to implement policies similar to those that work way better elsewhere in the developed world and are now currently illegal in Canada.

We are paying a lot for a system that is not delivering what we should expect. We’re not getting any bang for our buck.

We often like to think Canada is different, if not superior, to our American neighbour. In the old days, we loved to say we were more compassionate because of our generous health care system.

Well, if it is true the Americans spend way more money than we do on health care, we have to admit they get Cadillac services in return, the creme-de-la-creme and now, thanks to U.S. President Barack Obama’s reform, we won’t be able to say it is not accessible to the poorest.

Obamacare is, however, one of the main reasons why the Democrats got schooled by voters earlier this week. Their reform was perceived by a majority to be way too socialist.

If Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not want to also get rebuked by patients and taxpayers for the mediocre Canadian Health care system, it’s time for him to move from the left of Obama and start allowing provinces to offer cost-sharing, competition and consumer choice in health care."


We need to clarify which system we need to dump, because many people just don't get it - it is specifically the despotic single-payer, government-run health care monopoly that must be eliminated.
This does not mean getting rid of the entire government tax-subsidized health sector, as many squawking leftists immediately fear-monger.
It means that Ontarians should have options of choosing private care or despotic Jim Bradley-ist Liberal health care monopolism.
It means that McGuinty's Ontario Liberals would have to compete to offer affordable patient services, which of course is an abhorrent concept to leftists.
It means Ontarians should also have an option of opting out entirely from a government-run monopoly such as OHIP: no more being forced to pay for unaccountable Liberal health care duplicity. Why should McGuinty's Liberal political agents be the monopolist middlemen between patients and doctors?
We should have a political debate on the CHA and on Smitherman's asinine Commitment to the Future of Medicare act, but of course, like with his climate-change fear-mongering, our local health-care-monopoly-status-quo-pushing despot, Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, won't talk about it.
It's "all settled" to Liberals such as him.

No comments: