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Will Canada Phase Out Public Health Care?  
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1943 times:

This is a straightforward question that doesn't seem to have straightforward answer. I've read the Conservatives' website, and I do see a reference to national health care in its platform (it's the last objective listed). The reference seems to imply that the Conservatives will strengthen, not abolish, the publicly funded national health care system.

However, various news and commentary articles seem to imply that the Conservatives' Reform-Party heritage and Alberta Premier Ralph Klein's perennial proposals concerning his own Province's health plans -- together with his complaints about federal restrictions -- cast some doubt on whether Harper's intentions are to fulfill his pledge to minimize medical wait times by establishing a private tier of medical clinics and hospitals, and eventually to phase out the current system altogether.

Up to now, no one seems to believe that he's capable of doing it. And now that he has a minority, not a majority government, it seems that he would face a rebellion in Parliament if he even tried.

But -- to the Canadians here -- how do you think Canadians across the country would react if the Conservatives did propose (1) a private medical tier, or even (2) to abolish the current taxpayer-paid system?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

[Edited 2006-01-24 20:48:58]

[Edited 2006-01-24 21:01:00]

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4130 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1943 times:

Though I'm not a Canadian, I can guess there would be hell to pay if Harper tried to get rid of naitonal health care. I don't think he'd be stupid enough to even try.


"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1933 times:

Quoting Mdsh00 (Reply 1):
Though I'm not a Canadian, I can guess there would be hell to pay if Harper tried to get rid of naitonal health care. I don't think he'd be stupid enough to even try.

I dunno. I've never been a big fan of Harper. Someone who could suddenly be so "centrist" after a couple of years doesn't strike me as rigidly stuck to his personal moorings, so it's open to question whether he'll try to curry favor with the Reform wing of his party by thinking up sly ways to undermine the current system.


User currently offlineNordair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1931 times:

Stephen Harper is a politician. Like all politicians, he will say what he needs to to get elected. And when they are elected, they do what most people should have known they would do all along.

Bye bye national health care. It was nice knowing yah.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

Quoting Nordair (Reply 3):
Bye bye national health care. It was nice knowing yah.

Whoa! That would be quite a jolt to the system!


User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3086 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

Ummm He cannot....As Healthcare is a Provincial jurisdiction.....they just send money back to the provinces....

GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineNordair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1915 times:

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 5):
Ummm He cannot....As Healthcare is a Provincial jurisdiction.....they just send money back to the provinces....

Yup and watch him turn off the tap.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1912 times:

Quoting Nordair (Reply 6):
Yup and watch him turn off the tap.

Wouldn't that be committing political suicide, though?


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40070 posts, RR: 74
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1909 times:

Wouldn't Harper need a majority to pull such a stunt?
What powers does Harper have as a minority leader?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineNordair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 7):

Wouldn't that be committing political suicide, though?

He'll play the game for a bit until he is sure he can win a majority in an election. And once he does, he'll revert back to his original ways. The "vision" and "standards" that got him chosen as the head of the Conservative party. A leopard does not change his spots. And Stephen Harper is a walking plethora of dots.


User currently offlineDvk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1058 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

The national health care system in Canada may need some updating and improvements, but to get rid of it would be a regressive and horrible social step backward for the country.


I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
User currently offlineCFCUQ From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 712 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 8):
Wouldn't Harper need a majority to pull such a stunt?
What powers does Harper have as a minority leader?

As a minority, Harper will have to appease the NDP to retain power, as such, Medicare is safe as it was an NDP invention in the first place.


User currently offlineLH477 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 584 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 8):
What powers does Harper have as a minority leader?

In a minority situation, he can't! The bill would be defeated easily. A non confidence vote would pass very easily. I could see the old PC who merged
with the reform have serious doubts about the merger if he ever tried do this.



Come on you gunners......!!!!!
User currently offlineMattRB From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

Quoting CFCUQ (Reply 11):
As a minority, Harper will have to appease the NDP to retain power, as such, Medicare is safe as it was an NDP invention in the first place.

Not to mention the fact that any legislation that did make it past 3rd Reading would have to pass through the Liberal dominated Senate..

IOW, won't happen and Nordair is just blowing more Liberal scare tactic smoke.



Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1887 times:

Quoting Nordair (Reply 9):
He'll play the game for a bit until he is sure he can win a majority in an election

There's a practical issue involved. He would have to implement the change step-by-step, and there would have to be a number of years during which graduated change would have to be made. However, he could do it.

E.g., one possible scenario:

Year 1 -- Basically a primer so Canadians can get used to the idea of paying for their own medical care; Canadians can "opt in" to a private system. Liberals and NDP reluctantly assent on the promise that wait times for medical procedures will be shortened. Harper also cites recent Supreme Court of Canada decision requiring recourse to private health care.

Year 2 -- Reduction in benefits to "equalize" net expenditures between public and private tiers. E.g., if it's 30% "more efficient" to utilize privately provided procedures, then in order to use the public health system, there is a 30% co-payment for the same general service. Harper cites "equity" and the need to maintain adequate funding for the public health tier.

Year 3 -- Tax benefits for publicly financed institutions to convert to private facilities and tax rebate for those who permanently opt out of the public plan. Once a decision is made to opt out, there is no going back except for cases of emergency.

Year 4 -- A deadline is set for mandatory conversion of public health system to a full private system. The tax rebates are made permanent. Conservatives point to the "improvements in wait times" and a "social safety net" for those who cannot afford basic services. A maximum amount of income is determined as a criterion for eligibility for public services, which are now deemed "welfare".

Liberal and NDP criticism is deemed irrelevant, since by the end of Year 3, most public health organizations have been effectively privatized.

[Edited 2006-01-24 21:54:17]

User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4917 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1870 times:

There is no way on earth that Harper will be able to get rid of it, simple as that. If he tries this kind of nonsense all opposition parties will get together and crush him. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc will work together if that what it takes. If Harper is stupid enough to try something like this he will need to go into hiding once he gets the boot from office as there will be a lot of people after him. An action like this would surely see the left regain power and keep it for a very very very long time.

As for 2-tier healthcare in this country, well it's already here. I had a private MRI done for a rugby injury just a few months ago.

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13200 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1870 times:

I do see the possibility of a 2-teir system. The private teir would be for those making better than average incomes, and could afford private insurance or their employer using it to attract and keep better employees. The public tier would be for those young, old, or with considerable medical problems and of the working classes. Perhaps a income test would have to be done and one would pay a progresive sliding scale of contributions to the public system based on their income levels.

User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3086 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1858 times:

......Healthcare is a right in Canada and not a privilage....It may not be the fastest but I sure will take that over not getting healthcare or leaving a segment of society out....Yes there needs to be some changes but it will say universal....


Healthcare is something that I will fight for....


GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1854 times:

Quoting YOWza (Reply 15):
There is no way on earth that Harper will be able to get rid of it, simple as that.

Absolutely true. First, he's not that stupid; Second, I doubt that he wants to regardless of what his opponents would have you believe. Hopefully, he just wants to fix it.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 15):
I do see the possibility of a 2-teir system.

Two-tier already exists. There are private clinics operating in all provinces and they have been for years --- in some cases they were approved by NDP provincial governments. The question is, who funds procedures conducted at these clinics; right now you pay your own way. Both Martin and Layton have used them, and in B.C. the Workers Compensation Board makes extensive use of them to get injured workers back on the job quickly.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1849 times:

Quoting YOWza (Reply 15):
There is no way on earth that Harper will be able to get rid of it, simple as that. If he tries this kind of nonsense all opposition parties will get together and crush him. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc will work together if that what it takes

See, that's what I hear is the majority opinion. Which is what made the following,

Quoting Nordair (Reply 3):
Bye bye national health care. It was nice knowing yah.

... so odd when I read it.

I thought that Canadians would be more protective of their national health program than suggested by Nordair's comment.


User currently offlineA346Dude From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1833 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Will Canada Phase Out Public Health Care?

No, no, and no.

It boggles the mind that so many have bought right into Liberal scare tactics.



You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1818 times:

I for one absolutely love the publicly funded healthcare system. Is it perfect? No. Does it need improvements? Yes. Privatized healthcare cannot be instituted easily. It would be political suicide for him, and the conservatives. Alberta is trying to do it, so I'm willing to bet Harper will to. In the long run, it will be the very people that voted for him, that put the nail in his political coffin.

User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 20):
It boggles the mind that so many have bought right into Liberal scare tactics.

I'm curious why you would be so confident that the idea of phasing out taxpayer-paid health care is simply a "scare tactic".


User currently offlineA346Dude From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1796 times:

It's a scare tactic because it would never happen, nor have the Conservatives said that they ever intend to pursue it. Any and every MP that voted for a bill to end public health care would be literally shut out in the next election.


You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
User currently offlineLnglive1011yyz From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 1608 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1786 times:

Quoting Nordair (Reply 3):
Bye bye national health care. It was nice knowing yah.

Wah wah wah.

You know what? You're a victim of the liberal attack ads, and the false-information about the Conservatives.

First of all, I will always be a user of the public health-care system. I enjoy it, I think that it's a very good system, and yes, I do think it needs to be fixed, and more funding needs to be provided.

Secondly, do you even realize what the public back-lash would be from this? I highly think you'd have massive public demonstrations, and it would be public-suicide if they were to do this.

Now.. where I stand on Private/Public healthcare.

The thing that gets me, is the people in this country who want to 'punish' the people who make money, and can afford to pay for their healthcare, SHOULD they want to opt-out of the public system. I personally believe that as long as we continue to fund the healthcare system, improve it, and provide it to *every* citizen, there's nothing wrong with private clinics opening.

Keep in mind.. the more people who pay for their own healthcare, the more spaces that will open up in the public system.

You can't keep punishing people who make money and can afford to do things, just simply because you're not as well off.

That being said, I also believe that public healthcare should ALWAYS be offered.

1011yyz.



Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
25 Jutes85 : Agree 100% There is no reason why I should wait in line if I have the money to pay for it and get it quicker. I'd rather pay a fee and get the care I
26 Post contains images WrenchBender : See above Does anyone actually realize that the best thing we can have is a minority government. It means they all have to work at it, and any change
27 WhiteHatter : Public healthcare in any country, when it is established, is a Third Rail issue. Touch it and you die. Simple as that. Even Margaret Thatcher (may she
28 Lnglive1011yyz : Agreed, under one condition -- as long as there is STATE FUNDED HEALTHCARE FOR ALL CITIZENS. The MRI I went for two months ago was a private clinic.
29 Post contains images LH477 : I thought the Cons were all evil. I didn't have issues with the old PC's, alot of their political thought reflects my thinking. The New Con's I am no
30 AerospaceFan : The Conservatives are not the Progressive Conservatives of old. I consider the Conservative Party of today to be more Reform than the PC, despite the
31 AC_A340 : Not necessarily true. First of all, there is a shortage of doctors as is. The private sector will easily pay more than the public sector; compare wha
32 Post contains links AerospaceFan : I think you make some very good points, and I agree that there is a legitimate concern that a two-tier system (or, rather, a system that permits grea
33 YOWza : I should have been cleaer the MRI I had doen was paid for by private insurance and it was a private clinic. OHIP had nothing to do with it. What I me
34 A380 : I don't talk politics a lot; but I forecast we will see the gradual erosion of public health care in Canada. No political party can risk political hel
35 AerospaceFan : Earlier I wrote, I may be missing the forest for the trees. It appears that the restrictions on transfer under EMTALA apply only before the patient is
36 AC_A340 : I believe a similar law exists in Canada, additionally, a phsyician cannot refuse his services to someone in dire need. The problems arise after the
37 AerospaceFan : In Canada, I'm given to understand that it doesn't matter if the patient, post-stabilization, cannot pay, since it's paid by the government. In the U
38 Greasespot : Correct Sort of... For a small fee you can buy prescrip. coverage if your employer does not cover it. Plus seniors and Disabled do not pay. This is t
39 AerospaceFan : Thank you for your kind observations and insights. Relative to the Canadian Supreme Court, wouldn't the Conservatives feel free to exercise the "notw
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