Thursday, January 19, 2012

Romanow's one-note chorus sings the same old tune

Further to my previous Romanow-related post...

Two interesting letters appeared in the National Post, Jan.14, 2012:

"Why Romanow is wrong on health care

Re: Roy Romanow’s One-Note Tune, editorial, Jan. 10.
Your editorial fails to appreciate Roy Romanow’s personal reasons for promoting federal control over provincial health care. While you correctly state that federal interference in the provincial domain of health-care delivery is unconstitutional, there is a valid explanation for Mr. Romanow’s position.
When he was NDP premier of Saskatchewan, he presided over the worst-performing provincial health system in Canadian history. Many hospitals were closed, waiting lists grew massively and patients suffered. It is reasonable therefore for him to believe that the federal government could do better.
In a CBC interview, I asked Mr. Romanow a direct question: “In a free and democratic society, in which citizens can legally spend their money on tobacco, alcohol, gambling and even pornography, what is wrong with the freedom to spend ones own after tax dollars on the health care of our self or our loved ones?” He fudged, obfuscated and mumbled, then changed the subject and refused to answer.
It is often stated that Canada shares with North Korea and Cuba the existence and enforcement of laws that restrict our right to choice in health care. This statement is false — we are the only country on Earth that has such laws. Our health system is therefore, as supporters of the status quo point out, a truly distinct and defining feature of our Canadian identity. We are indebted to Mr. Romanow, and indeed to politicians and governments across the country, for this unique status.
Dr. Brian Day, Vancouver.

… or is he?

The Supreme Court of Canada has clearly affirmed the constitutionality of the Canada Health Act. The suggestion that the Canadian constitution gives the federal government no role in health policy is wrong as a matter of law. The vast majority of Canadians strongly support the national, publicly funded, health-care system Roy Romanow has worked hard to defend. It is Prime Minister Harper, not Roy Romanow, who is out of touch on the issue of health-care reform.
Prof. Martha Jackman, University of Ottawa; Prof. Timothy Caulfield, University of Alberta; Prof. Colleen Flood, University of Toronto; Prof. Constance MacIntosh, Dalhousie University; Prof. Emeritus Sanda Rodgers, University of Ottawa".

That's the usual one-note monopolist line from Jackman.

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