Monday, June 11, 2007

Medicare Part 4: We can afford a better system

For the last part in my medicare series, I want to focus on how we need to make our current system work. The reason that we are having so many problems with wait-lists, hospitals closing down and doctors moving to more urban centres is because we are not properly funding the system. Essentially, we are starving our hero and wondering why he doesn't make as much of a difference as he should. Without an adequately funded health system, it is obvious that it won't work to the degree that we'd like it to.

1. We can spend more on health
Many anti-medicare groups say that Canada can't afford to spend more on our medicare system, or else we'll have serious financial troubles. What they don't see, however, is that a private system would in fact cost more; the only difference is that it will cost Canadians more and the government a lot less. No matter if we have a public, private or a two-tiered system, it will still cost people money, if not by taxes, then it will cost more by hospital bills.

A private system would only serve to add profits to healthcare. We would be paying more (for those who could afford it) and only getting slightly better service. However, if we instead put some more money into our public system, we would have less wait times, more hospitals and better care for all Canadians. Obviously the latter is much more in the interest of the public.

2. Isn't health worth the cost?
Canada spends so much money on the military and corporate tax breaks, yet the anti-medicare advocates (often the same people who support big spending on the military and corporate tax breaks) say that we don't have the money to sustain a good public health system, therefore we should dismantle it and institute a private, for-profit system.

Health is one of the most basic components of life; it can't be put behind corporate tax cuts and the military. We are talking about providing healthcare to all Canadians, we can't just limit that to those who can pay.

As I have shown in the past four posts on medicare, we cannot continue on the track that we are on now. We desperately need to expand our public health system so that people can get care faster and be able to receive the necessary drugs in order to get healthy (pharmacare). Too many Canadian provincial governments—and the federal government—are simply ignoring the issue of health, and trying to give the responsibility to the private sector. We need to show these governments that health needs to be a much bigger priority for their governments. Without it, all too many Canadians will simply be 'turned down' for health.


zogg54 said...

Who can spend more on health care? I won't. The Nanny state takes too much of my money away from me as it is. One of these days, those of us that provide the jobs and pay the high taxes will eventually just say no more. There won't be any more money for anything. Then YOU socialists will have to come up with it! Cut off your pony tails, put the joint down, and stop trying undermine "the man". He's the one payin for it.

Alex said...

So instead of paying it through taxes, it would be better to pay for for-profit health yourself? If an accident happens to you, you could end up, like too many Americans, paying thousands of dollars a day in hospital bills.

Health should not have a profit on top of it, and everyone needs to have access to health. Sure, it means higher taxes, but no matter what, you will be paying for your health, and private health will just have a profit on it.