Cornwall ON – Geez I’m po’d this morning! I’m supposed to be playing hooky today and heading off for a day trip to get away from everything. It’s not easy running a newspaper with our shoestring budgets 🙂
I haven’t had a real day off in over two years and this morning as I’m getting ready to head out the door what do I read, but some utter nonsense from David Dodge no less about the state of Medicare in Canada for the C.D. Howe Institute. ( A report we ran as well)
Mr. Dodge, former Bank Prez for our fine country may be a fine and learned gentleman, but his assertions about Medicare I believe come from other sources with very big vested interests.
I do agree with him. Medicare is in trouble, but it’s been purposely put in trouble and his solutions are those put forth by the those interests.
Basic background on Medicare. Tommy Douglas, the man behind the founding of our system, created in a minority government situation had a simple theory. Economy of scale and no Canadian should be denied health care based on cost. Take the monetary considerations away from the medical stand point. Any of us with pets who’ve had the unfortunate situation of finding out that our vet cares more about their car payment than our health can completely understand that.
And it makes a lot of sense. Buying services and supplies for a country or province should be cheaper than doing it the American style.
But something went terribly wrong about 30 years ago and has continued. How the system charges for things; the accounting doesn’t add up. Fees are drastically overcharged and we the public have been on the hook while being told we need privatized medicine.
Does it make sense to any of you that read this that some how taking the cost of the service and adding in a layer of profit would somehow make it more affordable?
In politics politicians motivations are usually how to reach power or retain power. In today’s world any politician that would truly try and fix the system sees their job security go out the window. In the US Hilary Clinton has championed a form of medicare and look what she and the current US president Barrack Obama have gone through.
So how do you effect change? Well that’s up to all of us, but in the meanwhile we have people like Mr. Dodge dropping land mines during elections.
Canadians need to have “an adult discussion” about how to manage the problem.
Well I agree with Mr. Dodge on that one. I’m going to use an example I use all the time about to explain a bit about what I’m talking about.
I have Sleep Apnea. I use a CPAP machine. Here in Ontario prices are essentially set by the Province and all the providers basically charge the same fee. In my case the last time I went to purchase a machine it was about $1000 of which the Province demands that I or my insurance company pay 25%.
However the exact same machine in the US with no sale or favor sells for about $600.00
Does that make any sense to anyone that reads this? My CPAP mask here runs for about $400.00. In the US, same mask, same brand, $90. Again, can you see how our budgets can get whacked?
Former Drug Company Sales Rep Speaks Out
Generic drugs in Ontario last year were chopped 25%. How many trillions have been lost to drug companies in the last decades before those changes have been made.
Orphan drugs. A patent runs out and there’s not much money to make on a drug. So a drug company comes out with a very similar drug with maybe a subtle change and bingo! they can now charge full price again. No generic company fills the breach and a perfectly good medical option at a fraction of the price is eliminated from the market.
I could go on, but the point today is what will it take for Canadians to stand up an demand that our politicians at all levels of government take a stand and demand that our healthcare system be overhauled?
The Big Lie is that Medicare is in trouble and can’t work. It should work and would work if we held it accountable to its core principles. We need to de-politicize healthcare. We need to get a grip on how our healthcare dollars are spent and why.
And if you’ve read this far I bet you remember this article next time you’re sitting for 11 hours in an emergency ward.
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – Canada Free News