Is The Harper Government “Sabotaging” Health Care?
by Terry Wilson
Canadian Awareness Network
Apr 24, 2014
In recent weeks I have seen articles and memes floating around on social media stating that the Harper government is attempting to sabotage or destroy the publicly funded Canadian health care system.
Leadnow.ca has a petition with nearly 50,000 signatures titled: Tell Prime Minister Harper: Don’t Sabotage Our Public Health Care. The petition states:
“Today, the Harper Conservatives had their first chance to make major changes to Canada’s health care since getting a majority government, and they launched a brutal sneak attack. They just sabotaged the Health Accord that protects equal care for all Canadians, and they’re cutting your public health funding by $36 billion over the next 10 years.1 2 It’s the start of Harper’s long-term plan to destroy our public health care system, and we have to stop it. The Canada Health Accord is the deal between the federal government and the provinces that ensures proper funding, equal access, and high standards for the health care we all rely on.3 Prime Minister Harper has always wanted to replace public care with an American-style for-profit system. He made his career by leading the National Citizen’s Coalition, an organization founded by a wealthy insurance broker determined to destroy Canada’s medicare.4 But here’s the thing – he knows that 94% of Canadians, including most conservatives, support national public health care.5 That’s why he’s trying to sabotage the system quietly by cutting $36 billion over 10 years and breaking the pact that all Canadians should get equal care, no matter what province you live in.”
Beyond the idea that the people at leadnow.ca seem to some how have a “inside scoop” on what Harper’s long term plans are. I decided to do a little fact checking on this.
Lets average out the $36 billion cut in funding over 10 years to a reduction of $3.6 billion each year and lets put that into perspective.
A national report estimates that $211 billion was spent on health care in Canada for the year of 2013. The $3.6 billion reduction represents around a 1% cut each year. Sounds pretty devastating doesn’t it?
Note: Leadnow.ca is strongly connected to organizations such as Tides Canada and Openmedia.ca
Stating that a budget cut of 1% a year for the next decade is “sabotage” or the beginning of a long term plan (with no background information) is quite a stretch.
I also came across this graphic that was posted on the boycott sun news Facebook page.
Now I do not think that I have ever agreed with Stephen Harper on anything until now. Opening up a government monopoly to other groups or companies is not a bad thing. It creates competition, drives down prices, and raises quality.
If people are given a choice between private and public health care, would we see the outrageous wait times? The poor quality of service? etc. No, because they would loose customers.
It is really amazing to watch Canadian people fight so hard to keep a medical system that is forced onto them under threat of violence (watch what happens when you decide you no longer want to take part in it or pay for it), has disgusting service, and limits you on making your own treatment decisions.