Fox Noise on Canadian private insurance boom
By: Divorced one like Bush
This is a heads up. Fox news has a report out that there is a rise in private insurance activity in Canada. The article suggests that it is because of all the wait time that people are tired of do to a shortage of doctors and possibly the low fees. And, that may be true, especially being there was a Quebec Supreme Court ruling on it.
If you google the headline, you will find many a posting touting this article as a sort of proof that the Canadian system really is bad stuff.
But, and with Fox there is always a butt, what they do not tell you is that their article is based on a report in the CMAJ – JAMC article from 2008: Canada Health Act breaches are being ignored, pro-medicare groups charge
Private for-profit medical clinics are proliferating across the country, according to a detailed report by pro-medicare groups.
The number of such clinics has increased significantly over the past 5 years and there’s evidence “to suspect that 89 for-profit clinics in 5 provinces appear to be in breach of the Canada Health Act,” states the 169-page Eroding Public Medicare: Lessons and Consequences of For-Profit Health Care Across Canada report.
But federal and provincial officials “have fallen down in their responsibility to protect patients against extra billing and 2-tier care,” says report author Natalie Mehra, director of the Ontario Health Coalition.
The Fox article quotes the same Natalie, but not those quotes.
The CMAJ article continues:
Researchers also found evidence of physicians practising in hospitals but referring patients to their private for-profit businesses, where medically necessary services would be provided more quickly, for an out-of-pocket fee…
So, some illegal stuff is going on (boom in private activity), the government was suppose to do something about it, but it didn’t. Can you say “conservative, Milton Freedmon governance”?
In 1995, then-federal health minister Diane Marleau issued a policy interpretation letter calling on provinces to introduce “regulatory frameworks” to govern the operation of private clinics, and make illegal the “facility fees” charged by private clinics which provide publicly-insured services.
Basically as I read the real article, the boom is actually starting to create what we have here in the USA. A two class society regarding health care access with rising expenditures as doc’s have the market opportunity to charge more via cash deals. Kind of a black market situation? Is the solution to be more like us, or is the solution to solve the bottle neck of not enough doctors? Or maybe the problem is that once you let people who can pay for them self do so (choice?), you begin the destruction of what was a system that treated everyone equally. That is, for a basic human need such as health care, everyone is of the same stature.
We have a great opportunity here with Canada. What happened in our banking system is what has happened to Canada’s health care funding system. Same ideology implimented, same distruction for the benefit of the few.
We are seeing the effects of what happens when the ideology of individual freedom is made predominat in an economic system that assured equality regarding basic needs. That is the key: Basic Needs. Not wants, not money beyond autonomous consumption, but money at autonomous consumption. It is libertarian economics vs Jefferson democracy economics. Personal economic freedom for needs funnels down the benefits of human progress to fewer people instead of expanding the benefits to every more people.
There was one letter responding to the CMAJ article. An open letter to the minister of healthPaul C. Hébert, MD MHSc, Editor-in-Chief
After more than a decade, the health system has not fully recovered from the last round of federal cuts in the mid-1990s. The large reduction of about 10% in federal funding for health forced provincial governments to axe many health care programs, close some hospitals and reduce the number of beds in the remaining institutions, as well as slash training positions for physicians and other health care providers… Provincial governments have become much more autonomous and, in many instances, unwilling to adopt new programs and standards in the interest of all Canadians. The ongoing jurisdictional battle between federal and provincial governments, whether over First Nations health, public health, access to care and expensive medications or the setting of national standards, suggests that the federal government has little influence on Canada’s health systems. The ability of the provinces to offer private services1 and mount administrative barriers to portability of services without consequences is a constant reminder of this weakened federal authority…Canada’s health care systems seem to be moving further and further away from fulfilling the promise of the Canada Health Act.
The reason for limited progress is an erosion of national leadership in health. Successive federal governments have either decreased investments or, through inaction, allowed health to be a purely provincial matter. Despite the importance of health in the minds of the voting public, we remain very concerned that health has slipped entirely off the federal agenda.
Get it? What is actually happening in Canada is the results of the Grover Norquist training manual for conservative governance, the goal of which is the drowning of anything that suggests a social conscience.