Saturday, July 9, 2005

It's not about universal access to health, it's about Party access to your money, full freakin stop

Paul McKeever sends along the following. Emphasis mine:

Quebec is asking the Supreme Court of Canada for an 18 month stay of its decision to end the province's prohibition of private health insurance. The National Post infers that the delay is designed to give the province time to improve service, thereby making prohibition constitutionally sound. Regrettably, I must draw a different, darker inference.

More money cannot change the court's finding that “universal” health care is, by design, rationed health care. As baby boomers increase demand for health care services and government revenues decline, it is extremely doubtful that Canada's governments can hold delays at current levels, much less decrease them. A re-hearing of the case based upon more recent system performance would only make the case against prohibition stronger. And, I suspect, Quebec shares that opinion.

I infer that Quebec wants 18 months not to improve government health care, but to create a poison pill of regulations that will discourage private insurers from setting up shop in Quebec. Expect schedules setting out the services that must be covered by private insurance, and controls on the premiums that can be charged. Expect regulations to prevent doctors and nurses from being paid more by private insurers than by the government. Expect a requirement that no insurance applicant be denied coverage. In short: expect regulations that ram private insurance into a universal health care mould.

The Court may have ensured that there will be two queues in Quebec - one public, one private – but the government appears determined to ensure that they will move at the same deathly, injurious, painful and dehumanizing pace.

Paul McKeever, B.Sc.(Hons), M.A., LL.B.

Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario