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“Ontario says healthcare could eat up 70 percent of its budget in 12 years, if all these costs are left unchecked. “Why are we paying more or the same for cataract surgery when it costs substantially less today than it did 10 years ago? There’s going to be a finer look at what we’re paying for and, more importantly, what we’re getting for it,” Brian Golden, Business Professor said.”
Canada, fretting over budget strains, wants to prune its system, while the United States, worrying about an army of uninsured, aims to create a state-backed safety net.
Healthcare in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded system, which covers all “medically necessary” hospital and physician care and curbs the role of private medicine. It ate up about 40 percent of provincial budgets, or some C$183 billion ($174 billion) last year.
Spending has been rising 6 percent a year under a deal that added C$41.3 billion of federal funding over 10 years.
But that deal ends in 2013, and the federal government is unlikely to be as generous in future, especially for one-off projects.
“As Ottawa looks to repair its budget balance … one could see these one-time allocations to specific health projects might be curtailed,” said Mary Webb, senior economist at Scotia Capital.
Brian Golden, a professor at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, said provinces are weighing new sources of funding, including “means-testing” and moving toward evidence-based and pay-for-performance models.
“Why are we paying more or the same for cataract surgery when it costs substantially less today than it did 10 years ago? There’s going to be a finer look at what we’re paying for and, more importantly, what we’re getting for it,” he said. Source
Nothing is free; not even healthcare
While it is true that we know this topic will generate a strong divergence of opinion, it should be stressed that public health care as we know it is not sustainable, yet the “Friends of Medicare” and self proclaimed “socialists” uphold the notion that it is the defining characteristic of a “humanitarian society.” Maybe so, but you can not legitimately defend a system that is clearly broken, failing people in genuine need, and draining the treasury.
With or without premiums, the system needs to be paid for. The endemic sense of entitlement that pervades our society, and that health care is somehow “free” is in a word absurd! What’s worse, the so called liberal minds of the ilk of Ruby Dhalla want to further open up of health care and pension to immigrants who have never, nor will never pay taxes in Canada.
In Alberta, the health care premiums should never have been dropped. Doing so created a $1 billion drop in provincial revenues that have to be made up from somewhere, ultimately taxes. It is too bad there is a growing segment of our society that is quite content to have others pay the bills. One day we tax payers will just stop coming to the party.
On the other side of the coin, when the Alberta government got rid of health care premiums, they didn’t build health care costs into taxes, which is how premiums are paid in other provinces. Of course it’s not working! Somebody has to pay for it, and taxpayers either need to do it through their taxes or people need to do it through premiums. There’s no such thing as free health care.
Presently, the government of Alberta is doing everything it can to break the health care system because what it really wants is privatized health care. When it was first suggested, everyone was against it. Now, more and more people are “coming around” and looking at the “bright side” of privatized health care because they feel that the long wait times, the inability to find a GP taking on new patients, and the lack of hospital beds are problems that are inherent to a public health care system.
There are those who beleive these are problems which are being manufactured by the government to make people believe that the public health system is unsustainable so that they will support privatized health care. “If the government got rid of premiums and passed the cost onto the public via tax increases, we wouldn’t have this problem,” they say. If the government had been collecting the oil royalties it should have, it wouldn’t have to keep cutting back on vital services like health care and education. If the government had been telling us the truth about how economically stable our oil industry is, we wouldn’t be in the biggest deficit the province has ever seen right now and cutting back on health care.
The problem with this line of thinking is that it has a tone of hypocricy within when it mentions “healthcare isn’t free,” and that “someone has to pay for it.” Indeed, nothing is free and someone does have to pay for it, but research, history, and emperical evidence overwhelmingly show that anything the government runs almost always turns to dust because of inefficiency and corruption just because it has a monopoly of whatever industry it touches (in this case, healthcare).
It is a fact that many people in Canada have died because of their poorly run state healthcare system. Some of them mind you, have been able to receive the care they needed by going to the US. We should be asking ourselves why this is the case.
Barbara Wagner from Oregon was denied a life-saving drug by their state-run healthcare system but was offered a drug for assisted suicide. In 2006, Rose Lundy of Calgary miscarried in a crowded ER room as they didn’t have the room or the staff to help her. In 2002, unidentified woman dies in waiting room in a Victoria hospital. Extremely important links: first, second, and third.
Healthcare is not a right
If the taxes universally collected were not wasted, and efficiently went to the cost of healthcare for everyone, that would boost productivity. If not, the tax will disappear into a Vast Black Hole, which yes, American governments are damn good at doing. Also, if Americans stop sending their military out everywhere to kill people for nothing but the wishes of the elite (oil, economic control through debt-slavery with the IMF, and so on) then they can have money for survival (healthcare, infrastructure & emergency responses like Hurricane Katrina, California wildfires, that kind of thing).
The problem here is that socialism is ‘communism lite’ in that it adheres to the same ideology. It says the state is better at deciding for the individual than the individual him/her self. Look, every single communist country had to create the governing system from the one in existence at the time. Every single one. And, every single one started with the same program of state control over this facet and that area. One by one the various areas of control fall to the governing body until such time that they amass enough control over the citizens lives that they no longer require permission to perform any thing they desire.
The responsible ideology is to contend that people themselves are more than capable of performing tasks like medical care and treatment themselves without the control of the government. Of course the truly indigent are another matter, but like all other forms of social assistance, government handouts, and “social safety nets” in most Western countries, we know that that far more people are included as those who ‘cannot’ take of themselves when the truth is they ‘will not’ take care of themselves. Indeed, in Canada it is conservative estimate that as much as 20 per cent of the population is on some form of disability payment system.
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