Monday, December 6, 2010

Time to finally bury Tommy Douglas

Andrew Hanon wrote in "Canada told to go Dutch in health" (QMI, Dec.7, 2010):

"The Fraser Institute wants Canada to lift a page from the Swiss and Dutch health-care playbooks.

According to the institute's Mark Rovere, both Switzerland and the Netherlands have a public health-care system, but all health insurance is private.

"Of course, the devil's in the details," Rovere said. "You have to regulate the insurance industry, but those are two countries that have zero wait lists and a universal health care system."

Rovere added that it makes better financial sense than our system, where everyone - no matter how wealthy - gets government-subsidized health care.

"We believe that is a better model and use of taxpayers' money. If you can afford to buy private insurance, there's no reason why you should have the state buy it for you."

But the head of Alberta's Friends of Medicare said there's no need to radically overhaul our current system. David Eggen said the government simply has to commit to fixing it.

"You can't fix wait times with empty rhetoric," he said. "You have to actually do something. Right now there's political paralysis. The events in the last weeks and months in Alberta have only reinforced that."

He said the government "clearly needs to increase capacity" in the health-care system. The biggest problem, he explained, is a shortage of people willing to work in health care.

"We already have a fairly intact single-payer system," Eggen said. "You just need to buttress that we should be able to realize real reductions in wait times."

But maverick former Tory MLA Raj Sherman, said fixing the system isn't a matter of money. Sherman, an emergency-room doctor, was booted out of the Tory caucus last month for his withering criticism of the government's handling of health-care.

"There's enough money in the system," Sherman said. "It's just that every inefficiency affects everywhere else in the system.

"The devil's in the details. You have to regulate the insurance industry, but those are two countries that have zero wait lists in a universal health care system." "
Tommy Douglas' friend Eggen talks of 'empty rhetoric' - that's ironic. Yes - we do 'have to do something': we have to phase in a planned de-monopolization of state-controlled health care throughout Canada.
The 'political paralysis' is with Tommy's health-monopoly-pushing friends of all political stripes.

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