5.06.2005

hostage crisis

Who holds affordable health care hostage in the US? Read Paul Krugman to find out.

Hint: it's about profit! Shocking, I know.

7 comments:

G said...

Well, the days of a fully-public health system may be over soon in Canada.

Long has the notion of privatized health care been on the Conservative radar ... likely they'd opt for a two-tier system that lets people choose which route they go, public or private.

You've got to wonder though ... the big bucks will be in the private sector ... pay the $, get the best docs, most beds and newest equipment; whereas if you decide to go public, you get whatever's left over.

To the Conservatives that means simply "you get what you pay for." I say that means goodbye to a level of equality we could once be proud of, should the 2-tier CPC dream come to fruition.

G said...

PS

Changed the pic - my head was hurting too - though likely it has more to do with coffee and ciggies than the old graphic.

Probably I'll just rotate a bunch in to keep it interesting.

:-)

RobfromAlberta said...

That's overly pessimistic. Adding limited private health care options will simply relieve some of the pressure on the public system. We in Alberta keep getting the abuse for undermining the Canada Health Act, yet Ontario and Quebec have both introduced private clinics for certain procedures and nobody criticizes them for it.

L-girl said...

"You've got to wonder though ... the big bucks will be in the private sector ... pay the $, get the best docs, most beds and newest equipment; whereas if you decide to go public, you get whatever's left over."

But when you say "the big bucks", would public money be used for private services? If so, that's no good.

But if it's private money, then it's fine to use it privately - and all the public funds are then divided between fewer people, alleviating the doctor shortages in Ontario that I keep reading about. No?

G said...

Clinics for non-essential procedures are one thing. But what about essential care (ie actual illness or bodily damage)?

The worry is what happens to such essential health services - those currently covered by Health Care at the moment. It is conceivable that privately-funded firms could easily have more money available to put into their facilities that a future government - which has stressed public healthcare cutbacks - might be willing to put into the budget for public health care.

Are doctors going to become like free agents, fleeing for the $ of the big H sponsored by Bell? Maybe, maybe not. But certainly, within 5 years care standards will not be on a level playing field in terms of the quality of equipment, level of technology, and number of beds available ... the money won't be there for the public sector to compete. So the rich get favored ... they get the better care because the government would rather have them around than the rest of us.

Gee thanks.

L-girl said...

OK. Two questions.

One, is this really imminent? Everything I read says the public health care system is sacrosanct.

Two, how have things fared where there are both public and private options?

RobfromAlberta said...

The suggestion that private clinics would poach doctors from the public system is a red herring. Doctors that want more money already have the option of making a LOT more money in the US. Besides, most of the plans I've heard of would indicate that private clinics would not be providing basic health services. They would be specialized facilities that would allow people to get MRIs and other special services on their own dime in exchange for shorter waits. Getting those people out of the queue would also help everyone else get their services faster too.