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View Poll Results: What to do with Healthcare. Pls read my comments before voting!!
Increase Taxes 4 23.53%
Reform System 12 70.59%
Return to Core Services 4 23.53%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 11th, 2005, 08:04 PM   #1
partybits
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Health Care...What to do?

With the new Supreme court descision regarding private healthcare, I thought that this would be a good time for a poll on our healthcare.
Obviously something needs to be done. The question is what. Personally, I thnk we should have a national referendum to once and for all to decided where to go in the future.
The three major options available:
1. Broad based tax increases to support the public only healthcare system so that it is at a level prior to the 1995 onward cuts.
2. Massive reformation of the healthcare system. This could include, but is not limited to:
a) User fees (ie: on the first X dollars, like car insurance)
b) Healthcare accounts (ie: maximum coverage per year/lifetime.
c) Core services only (ie Only truly life threatening/dehablititating diseases or injuries
3. Allow for a two-tier healhcare

You can if you choose vote for multiple options. Now I may not have covered every point or option available but I hope this will suffice.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 08:48 AM   #2
Nouvellecosse
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I'm a bit torn on this issue. On one hand, healthcare is far too important to leave to private institutions who answer not just to the patients and the public, but also to shareholders and investors, because this opens the door to conflcts of interest. Also, I'm not sure people should be forced to pay extra to provide a private company with a profit in order to obtain an essential service.

On the other hand, I believe in freedom. If a person has money and wants to spend it, they should be able to purchase whatever legal product or service they'd like - regardless of what is or isn't being provided by the government. Some people say that if public healthcare was working properly, there wouldn't be any need to seek services elsewhere, but it is up to the consumer to decide whether [the service] is up to their standards or not, and even if it is, if they want to use it or not.

Let me be clear. I suppourt public healthcare, and I don't think people should be paying for private healthcare in Canada regardless of the public system's state. But It simply isn't my - or anyone else's - place to make that decision for them. However, I feel the government is within its rights to create fair policies to influence peoples' decisions.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 10:02 AM   #3
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I believe that if we are a truly moderate and liberal (read: not Liberal) country, then healthcare is just another service that needs to be split between public and private. Going either fully public or fully private WILL NOT WORK.

The system needs reform. Healthcare needs to be a partnership where the government sets policies and decides who delivers what, and private companies fill in the gaps. In other words, Healthcare should (IMO) become the most heavily regulated and most important P3 to the Canadian people.

However that's not enough to fix the system. There needs to be a shift in focus to preventative medicare, which would require some cultural changes. However, this would relieve some stress on hospitals and clinics. I would also like to see more federal revenue released back to the provinces for healthcare spending, and let the provinces have more control over policy.

Oh, and all cosmetic things should be left entirely to the private companies...
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 03:10 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'd pretty much agree.

So what exactly do you mean by "preventative medicare"? Do you mean that the government should do things like subsidize healthy food and put a tax on junkfood? Create some type of program that encourages people to get enough exercise?

Maybe people should be made partially financially responsible for making risky lifestyle choices - for example, if you do something like smoking and it increases the risk that you'll be afflicted by a particular illness by 55%, if you get that illness, that's how much you'd have to pay. Theoretically, that would mean that taxpayers that chose not to participate in that activity wouldn't have to bear any of its financial consequences. Of course there would be problems with that such as determining which people were actually doing the risk behavior and which people weren't. (Although if a person has smoked for any amount of time it's usually pretty obvious by looking at an X-Ray of the person's lungs)

In the US, if a person is responsible for injuring another person, either maliciously or unintentionally, the injured party can sue the other person for medical costs. Is there any way Health Canada could regain some revenue by doing this? Any injury that was caused by negligence or malice wouldn't be totally covered. There would be strict guidelines to determine what percentage would not be covered under what circumstances. If the injured person could have been "reasonably" expected to have avoided his own injuries, he would be partially responsible himself (such as if the person was proven to have been doing something illegal). Likely if this were to happen, many people would want to carry a small health insurance policy in case they encountered a situation in which they were forced to pay.

Anyways, just an idea.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 08:44 PM   #5
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Well, I guess preventative medicare is such a broad term. Let's just throw a few ideas out there. I'm not a big fan of the junk-food tax, but any effort to eliminate transfats would be good. Smoking in public should be banned in every major city across Canada. All new communities should be mixed-use and anti-sprawl policies strictly enforced (raise the density of suburbs, ban leapfrogging development, design the community around public transportation leaving cars the secondary choice). I'll bet you that a lot of social and medical problems could be solved with proper urban design (hmmmm... I'm thinking of taking a Masters in Urban Design after finishing my degree in Law and Society... ). There are other medicare choices like those Chinese herbal shops in Chinatown that could be explored. Basically, preventative = progressive. There are opportunities for both the public and private realms here.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 12:23 AM   #6
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Oh crap, I just realized I forgot to add one thing to the poll. Two tier Healthcare! That was the whole point. I'll set up a new poll. If a moderator would be so kind to merge the two together afterwards, would be much appreciated.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #7
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As what both Nouvellecosse & Boris550 have said in your first posts, I agree completely. I see no reason not to have a private system coinciding with a public. We already have that in so many instances and it has always worked well. We have public & private school. FedEx & Canada Post. Public & private daycare. The list goes on.

The strongest arguments against two tier healthcare I have heard are:
1. The fear of becoming like the US with the problems plaguing it's daycare.
However, this is based on the presumption we will follow there model, which is actually very unique in the world. It is based on a means tested system in which only those with low incomes are eligible for public healthcare. However, go to any other developed country in the world, public healthcare is available for the homeless man to a CEO.
2. Private healthcare will suck away much needed doctors & nurses from public healtchare.
This is making an assumption that private healthcare will be huge & will simply overshadow the public system. But let's put things in perspective here. Public healthcare is free! Only the richest or most urgent caseswill go to private. So only so many doctors will be able to go to private.
As well, there is a good chance that private health will be more open to foreign doctors. You know that cab driver in your city. This is a major issue the public system has failed to grasp.
3. Longer Line ups in public healthcare.
A continuation of point 2, it is based on eccagerations. For every doctor going to private, there will be say 100 people going to him. Meaning 100 less waiting in line.
So the result should be the same.
4. Public healthcare will be gutted.
I must admit, the best & most plausible argument. However, this in a way already has happened in the deficit fighting years of the 90's. This has nothing to do with private healtchare but more to do with Politics. If one gov't sucks money out of healtchare, people will revolt and vote for the party that will put money back into it, irregardless of whether there is privatization or not.


However, if healtchare were to be privatized, it is absolutely essential that those who do go to private health facilities do actually pay for it, not get it rebated by OHIP. Otherwise, this would be a way to skip the line because you have up front money.
Tax credit though (Medical tax credit) would be perfectly okay in my books though.

Well that's my opinion. I know many will disagree. But, let's try to keep this civilized here!
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Old August 24th, 2005, 01:54 AM   #8
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Why not just find a country, who's healthcare system works great, and adopt it (healthcare system)? Seems simple to me.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse
…Maybe people should be made partially financially responsible for making risky lifestyle choices - for example, if you do something like smoking and it increases the risk that you'll be afflicted by a particular illness by 55%, if you get that illness, that's how much you'd have to pay. Theoretically, that would mean that taxpayers that chose not to participate in that activity wouldn't have to bear any of its financial consequences…
I have an much more elegant solution: user pays. Nouvellecosse's way is just a roundabout communist way of a totally free (free as in freedom) system, where you control your own costs (more or less). It was revealed recently that Canada actually has one of the least public systems in the OECD. And as for salvation through urban planning, well, I would say it's a crazy thought, but I don't think thinking had anything to do with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by partybits
3. Longer Line ups in public healthcare.
A continuation of point 2, it is based on eccagerations.[sic] For every doctor going to [the] private [health care system], there will be say[,] 100 people going to [the private system].[sic] Meaning 100 less waiting in line.
So the result should be the same.[sic]
This concern has far more merit than you realize. Regardless of whether or not it would raise the quality of medical care, having a private option will take funds out of the government health care system, be it through user fees or less political will to pay high taxes for the government system.

There is a popular notion that health care is somehow more important than other services; school, housing, car insurance – and that it is a human right. But to decide health care is a human right rather than a commercially viable product, you have to first draw an arbitrary line in the sand through the scope of health care – to decide what will be covered and what won't be: Nose job for someone who thinks their nose is too big? Someone who had a growth removed from their nose? New skin for burn victim? A burn victim that set themselves on fire through sheer stupidity? A new heart for a dying 12yr old? An 89 yr old?
Health care is a product like any other, and as soon as we treat it as such, quality will go up for all of us.
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