I'd like to know just how much AON Corp and its affiliates in the private health care gig have "donated" to your party in the last ten years or so. Is it just me, or does it strike anyone else as perhaps a trifle self-serving that the biggest health care insurance broker in North America is being hired to examine further "privatization" (politely called restructuring) in Alberta?
Then, yesterday, a set of so-called "working papers" comes out that shows us a cynical, ugly side to King Ralph's plans. Whether the leak was intentional or not - one of Ralph's infamous "trial balloons", it's consistent with this man's attitude, arrogance and gross overestimation of his own self-importance.
When the leaked documents (I'll link to them if I can ever find a set on the Web) indicate that Ralph is willing to have his government violate the Canada Health Act, I get very, very angry. Health Care, contrary to the neo-Conservative view, is not an expense, it is an investment. A healthy population is part of the Alberta Advantage. The fact that treatment is available, and it's not likely to bankrupt a family is also part of that advantage. If you take that away, the cost of doing business in Alberta will skyrocket. We only have to look to the United States for unequivocal proof of this. The economics of private health care in the US are crumbling - more and more small businesses cannot offer employees health insurance access. Why? Because the premiums are too high. HMOs make treatment decisions based not on what's best for the patient, but what's best for their god forsaken bottom line.
Seniors, low income earners, the self-employed. All of these people are living day by day as it is. Now Ralph comes along and wants to take one more peg out of the supports that society provides. News Flash Ralph! Society is about more than the people in their 20's and 30's. When we pass into our 40's and older, the body starts to change, and health care becomes more critical. In case you haven't heard, we don't have enough young people coming into the workforce these days. The more experienced workers are the best bet we've got! Keep them healthy, and you'll keep getting wealthy.
Myself, I may just move to Saskatchewan or B.C. if some of what is rumoured to be in those working papers is true. Fortunately for Albertans, there is a rising option - Kevin Taft and the Alberta Liberal Party. At least he is articulating a vision for Alberta that looks beyond just dollars on the government balance sheet.
- Oh yes - please do campaign for the Federal Conservatives this election. It'll give me a reason to call Stephen Harper out on his mushy platforms on health care and other social services that are little more than a thinly disguised plan to privatize everything in sight. You'll do wonders for their fortunes outside of Alberta.