Sunday, January 15, 2012

McGuinty tries to hide from his Liberal health-care obligations

Lee Greenberg wrote in "Ontario Liberals back health ‘innovation fund’",  Ottawa Citizen, Jan.15, 2012)

" An idea designed to supplement a 10-year, take-it-or-leave-it health funding deal tabled by the federal Conservatives last month will receive key backing by Premier Dalton McGuinty at this week’s meeting of premiers and territorial leaders.
McGuinty officials say the Ontario premier likes Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s idea to create a separate ‘innovation fund’ that would add more cash to the criticized deal while also targeting specific health reforms.
Ontario has said it would like to see additional funds available for seniors and home care. It is unclear whether McGuinty will be able to convince his colleagues to adopt similar goals.
Typically, the outcome of meetings between premiers is pre-ordained. The two-day meeting in Victoria, B.C. is a rare example to the contrary. “I think there’s a little more movement at this one,” said a senior Ontario official.
Ontario officials would like to see unified support behind Wall’s idea, leading to a stronger bargaining position with the federal government.
“The hope would be that we would put some meat on the bones,” the official said. “We need to define what it will cover and how much it will be worth. I think that’s one of the most interesting things that will come out of this (session).”
Ontario officials wanted a new federal health accord with six-per-cent annual hikes in each year of a 10-year deal. Instead, they got six per cent in the first three years and a promise to tie the increase to grwoth in the GDP thereafter.
McGuinty has said that proposal, presented by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as both a preliminary and final offer, is “less than ideal.”
The country’s largest province is seeking both more cash (the federal government funds less than one-quarter of all health spending in Ontario) and more unified goals, similar to the emphasis placed on wait times in the current health accord, which expires in 2014.
“There may an opportunity for us now to develop a consensus in terms of creating a transformation fund or an innovation fund the way we did with (former) prime minister (Paul) Martin,” McGuinty said on Friday. “Where the feds supply some additional funding and in return for that, we agree to pursue innovation in some distinctive areas. I’m hoping we can develop a consensus around that.”
McGuinty’s health minister, Deb Matthews, says Flaherty’s “bombshell” ultimatum will undo considerable national momentum on health reforms.
“They’re cutting back transfers to the provinces just as the demographic shift will be moving into full gear. It’s a very poorly thought-out proposal,” she said.
“I learn, and my officials learn, from practices in other provinces. When I go to a (meeting) with other health ministers I come back with a lot of good ideas from successes they’ve had in other provinces.”
Ironically, many provinces have in the past bucked at receiving funding with strings attached, says health reform expert Dr. Michael Rachlis. Now that the federal government has removed conditions on funding, some, like Ontario, are complaining.
Rachlis, who authored the book Prescription for Excellence: How Innovation is Saving Canada’s Health Care System, said much of the Victoria get-together is posturing on the part of the provinces. He says the reductions in federal health spending are considerably less than portrayed by the provinces.
“This is all about the spin, about who can we blame for health care problems in the future,” he said. “They’re setting up the feds to be the bogeyman for having problems with their budgets.”
Ontario received $10.2 billion in federal health funding in 2010-11. The total health and long-term care budget was $45 billion that year. (The province received $97 million that same year in targeted funding for wait time reductions.)
Any reductions in health funding would hit Ontario particularly hard. Health currently accounts for 46 per cent of total government spending and is growing at a disproportionate pace. Left unchecked, experts warn it will take up 80 per cent of the provincial budget by 2030.
The McGuinty government has telegraphed significant reforms beginning in the upcoming March budget.
At the same time, the government has come under severe criticism for some of its spending practices. It gave doctors raises of up to 40 per cent over three years, for example, in return for specific reforms, but has done “virtually no work” to learn whether the hundreds of millions in spending has resulted in better service, according to Auditor General Jim McCarter.
Rachlis credits the province for good work on reducing wait times, but says the areas of reform it now wants targeted could have been acted upon decades ago."

Rachlis here has cut to the chase: Liberal hypocrites, such as McGuinty's lying scumbags in Ontario, are looking anywhere else but at themselves for the problems in their health-care monopoly-fiefdoms.

Dalton McGuinty, Jim Bradley, Kim Craitor, Deb Matthews: these Ontario Liberals are all about posturing  and duplicity.

Vote-buying Liberals were all about smugly waving the Canadian flag alongside the myth of endless "free" medicare, spouting homilies to Tommy Douglas, while at the same time officially demonizing and denouncing ANY "innovations" whatsoever within their health monopoly status-quo.

One needs only to look, for example, at the track record - a thirty-plus year record - of Ontario Liberal MPP Jim Bradley's utterly smarmy adherence to failing health-care monopolism; to Bradley's kneejerk reactionary maintenance of the single-payer statist status-quo; to Bradley's disdain and dismissal of even the slightest innovations.

Bradley's Liberals had eight years of majority government during which to "innovate": now, all of a sudden, Bradley's Liberal hacks are spinning it that Harper has somehow failed them?!?!?! [pot: meet kettle...]

The "problem" with health care in Ontario isn't Harper or Conservatives; the problem is anti-choice, anti-innovation statists like Bradley and his lying hypocrite Liberals.


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