This week, King Ralph (er - Premier Klein) unveiled the first part of his so-called "third way" solution to Health Care reform.
At first glance, it's little more than "if you can pay for it, we'll upgrade your treatment". Ralph tried to carefully side-step the issues of queue jumping, defining anything of the mechanics involved, or for that matter the criteria which would be used to decide what was an "add on" and what was "medically necessary".
Unsatisfied with what I found in the media, I went up to the Alberta Health and Wellness website, and found this page. Although vague overall, there was one statement that I think underscores the intentions of the Klein government: "Alberta is following through on the direction set in the Mazankowski report and we’re determined to finish the job."
For those who haven't read the Mazankowski report, it boils down to this - privatize everything in sight, then privatize more. I found this page which compares Alberta health policy direction with the Romanow report. I think what is interesting about it is this - the tone of the words is typical of what I have found this government doing with anyone that doesn't agree with their "privatize the universe" strategy - it is sneering, ignorant and condescending.
At first blush, I had wondered if Klein's announcement was a "lightweight" version of what he had been threatening for years, or just the "thin edge of the wedge". It appears to be the whole damned wedge!