Bury universal public health care!
Date: Friday, November 25 2005
Canadians in fight of their lives to save medicare
Wednesday, Nov 23, 2005
On the eve of a federal election, Canadians have been given notice that they are in the fight of their lives to save their most treasured national social program from the privatizers. Alberta and Quebec have announced they are exploring ways to bring the private sector into the delivery of health care. Premier Ralph Klein got a thumbs-up this week from Conservative leader Stephen Harper. "His response is that's fine," Klein told reporters in Ottawa Monday. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberals, fearful of ruffling provincial feathers, especially in Quebec, have fallen silent on the medicare file.
If the shifting political winds aren't worrying enough, a high-powered anti-medicare conference, euphemistically named Saving Medicare -- Strategies and Solutions, was held in Vancouver earlier this month. Sponsored by the Canadian Independent Medical Clinics Association, it featured the who's who of medicare foes from Canada, the U.S., Europe, Britain and New Zealand.
Guests included former Reform party leader Preston Manning, Liberal Senator Michael Kirby, scions of the right-wing Fraser Institute like Gordon Gibson and Sally Pipes, and privatization gurus from England, Europe (including Sweden), and New Zealand.
The conference's tone indicated the privatizers now feel so confident that the tide is turning in their favour that they no longer bother to hide their agenda. They intend to bury universal public health care; not just impose American-style medicine, but use American insurance and health multinationals to do it.
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 27, 2005]