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The Health Debate We Never Have
The Toronto Sun ^ | 4-15-05 | Toronto Sun Editorial

Posted on 04/15/2005 5:46:15 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy

To hear our ever-more-hysterical (read: desperate) prime minister tell it, Stephen Harper's Conservatives have a radical new plan to replace the Canada Health Act and allow more private sector involvement in health care.

If only it were true.

But like so many other products of the Martin Liberals' fevered imaginations -- in particular, the notion that only their corrupt party can safeguard Canadian values -- it's nonsense. As is Paul Martin's loony claim that this plan is the Conservatives' latest "hidden agenda."

The actual authors of this oh-so-scary plan -- ex-Ontario premier Mike Harris and former Reform and Alliance leader Preston Manning -- visited the Sun's editorial board yesterday. And guess what?

There was no hidden agenda. It was right out in the open, in nicely printed red-and-white booklets. No Conservative logo in sight, either -- just that of the Fraser Institute, the think tank for which both retired politicians now work.

True, Harris and Manning are indeed advocating radical surgery on the Canada Health Act and medicare as we know it. Their report -- A Canada Strong and Free, based on two years of research and widespread polling -- essentially calls on the feds to (a) give the provinces full responsibility for health care, and (b) allow them to experiment with private-sector options, including fully private, user-pay services.

Far from advocating the death of medicare, they sensibly point out that private-sector choices are available in every other country that offers universal health care -- including socialistic ones like Sweden and France.

What's more, while Canada spends more per capita than nearly every other comparable country on health, it lags far behind in every major ranking of quality of care -- from availability of doctors and MRIs to mortality rates.

All this under the system Paul Martin says he'll "fight tooth and nail" to defend. Yet, as Manning pointed out yesterday, Martin has said nothing while the Liberal government in his home province of Quebec has pushed health privatization further than anywhere else in this country.

(Martin's own doctor runs a private clinic, for heaven's sake. Who's really hiding the agenda here, anyway?)

But as Manning and Harris know only too well from their own experience on the hustings, what they're suggesting is political kryptonite for today's politicians, no matter how sensible -- and needed -- it is. (Although, as much as we agree with Harris, he needs to find a better analogy than suggesting his plan is the Hwy. 407 of health care.)

Manning insisted all they want is to finally spark an "intelligent debate" on this all-important issue. If only.

Instead, Conservatives like Harper and Ontario's John Tory shrank from their report while Martin's health minister Ujjal Dosanjh hysterically trashed it as "the face of extremism."

Waiting for intelligent debate? Get in line.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: canada; healthcare; socializedmedicine

1 posted on 04/15/2005 5:46:17 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

'Tis so true....they talk and talk and talk and TALK about "improving the system" (healthcare) up here in Canada, but when someon comes up with a SOUND solution they (the Media and the Liberals in unison) ballyhoo it.... :-(

2 posted on 04/15/2005 5:48:04 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
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To: ConservativeStLouisGuy

I watched the debates for PM, once, and all they could talk about was their health plan. Made me glad we do not have one. Politicians don't keep up and don't have the expertise to run a science-based business.

3 posted on 04/15/2005 7:39:11 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: ClaireSolt

The thing is about Canada and Canadians specifically they would be even more socialist and Marxist than they are now if the NDP got its act together. Canadian people don't just want universal health care, they also want to deny better care (private) for "the rich" because it "isn't fair."
The health care system in Canada is set up as a Marxist class envy based system. Plain and Simple. Welcome to Trudeaupia.

4 posted on 04/15/2005 7:46:28 PM PDT by rasblue (What would Barry Goldwater do?)
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To: rasblue

I saw a lot when I was in Canada for a month. I saw things we would not put up with.

5 posted on 04/16/2005 2:49:35 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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