canadian health care

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When it comes to healthcare, Canada remains out of step with the rest of the industrialized world. Over the past 15 years or so, many countries with universal access health programs have been increasingly tapping into the competitive market for solutions to their health care woes. Others, like Japan and Switzerland, have always depended on competitive health care markets to deliver access to care regardless of ability to pay. Unfortunately in Canada, governments of all stripes remain steadfast in their dismissal of private sector solutions.


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On Monday, Finance Minister Goodale tabled legislation to implement the government’s 10-year plan for improving health care. Though the legislation itself is simply part of the process of implementing the plan that was agreed to last September, its tabling should spur Canadians to again consider the merits of the 10-year Plan to Strengthen Health Care.


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Over the last week, roughly 90 people served by the Saskatoon health authority have been told that they will have to wait one month longer in pain and discomfort because of a budgetary shortfall. Though patients served by the Regina Health Region have been spared the cancellations, the budgetary and capacity issues there are no less real. But are the budgetary shortfalls and the resulting cancellations caused by a lack of health spending or by an inefficient use of those funds?


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In Canada, it is difficult to have an honest debate about the problems facing the medicare system. After almost forty years of government monopoly health care, the special interests that gain from the current system do everything to stifle discussion. The latest tactic that the government used to hinder reform was to appoint a friendly thought-leader to conduct a national inquiry and churn out a report praising the benefits of government monopoly health care.


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In comparison, conspiracy theories about the assassination of President Kennedy are small beer. The only folks involved in JFK`s assassination were the FBI, the mob, the Teamsters Union, the CIA, Fidel Castro, Lyndon Johnson, global communism, the Freemasons, Elvis Presley (apparently jealous about JFK`s fling with Marylyn Monroe), Jack Ruby and a few other folks, possibly including Lee Harvey Oswald.