Friday, July 15, 2005

Klein's "Third Way"

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!

1 comment:

nikitaa said...

Has anyone else noticed that he is trying to slide this one under the table? "Alberta is following through on the direction set in the Mazankowski report and we're determined to finish the job". How many Albertan's will take this statement at face value and assume that the Mazankowski report must be a good thing for all Albertans, and assume that Klein is acting in our best interests? How many people have even a vague CLUE what is in the report, and the long term implications for our access to medical services?

There is an inherent problem when you turn health care into a for-profit picture. Klein seems to be steering this province towards the HMOs of the states. Sure, there will be competition, but in the end all of these orgaizations are out there to make money.

The bottom line - the cost to Albertan's is their health. Pure and simple. The benefit - lower taxes?

Now THAT'S humourous!

I haven't seen my taxes drop one iota with the privitization and deregulation of gas and electrical utilities - but my costs have increased while the service I have received has decreased. And yes, I CAN shop around and choose a different provider if I am unhappy with the one I am with - but I cannot find the service and price point that I was paying previously.

I think that Klein is driving this province full speed down a blind unpaved alley with his headlights turned off and his blinders on... and it is just a matter of time until he finds out that there was a very good reason for the "no exit" sign... the brick wall at the end.