Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ralph's Way Still Underway

Did you enjoy Ralph's informercial? It took me about 2 minutes to figure out that was all it was - an informercial ... and not a particularly accurate one at that (did he actually say clean burning coal?? - yup, apparently so).

So what surprised you the most? For me, it wasn't what he said - it was what he didn't say. Like private insurance as Ralph's third way.

In fact, not only wasn't it mentioned in the informercial, it wasn't even mentioned in the legislature yesterday when Ralph tabled his spring programs and initiatives. Yet, pamphlets praising the merits of private insurance, and your ability to purchase such products, are being delivered to Albertan's door.

If you recall, the College of Physicians recently gave a stern warning to two Calgary doctors who were charging patients $4500 to get 24 hour service from them, which included house calls if warranted. The College stated that not only does it breach their conduct codes, but charging for these services are against the Canada Health Act -- at least for the present time.

The same goes for private insurance to cover health products covered under the Canada Health Act. Not allowed - at least for the present time.

While I am for the right for doctors to set up private clinics and charge patients for their services, I firmly believe that these fees can be paid for publically, if done the right way.

For example, the health regions are given a certain amount of dollars to work with every year. Yet, if you ask some of these very same regions how much it costs to run a bed in a hospital per annum, they couldn't tell you. Why? The don't pay attention because they get funding either way.

But what if they didn't get paid until the actually treated you? Do you think they would track their funds better? Of course. Do you think they would know almost to the penny how much it costs to run a bed in a hospital? You bet they would!

Another example is Albertan's who have special needs. These agencies are taxpayer funded yet they pick and choose who they will help and who they won't. Why? Because they get the funding anyway. So they really don't care if your loved one gets help.

But what if the special needs person got the money and then was able to pick and choose who they used for agencies? Think they would get better services? Of course!

So changing the way funding is done is just one way Albertan's can start to control spiralling health care costs, and it is just one of the many ideas the Alberta Alliance has to improve health care, yet keeping it publically funded and accessible to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.

Keep this in mind when you compare Ralph's way to an Alberta Alliance way. Who has the better plan? I think you know.


At Thu. Feb. 23, 12:21:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Canadian Sentinel said...

I'll definitely be interested in the particulars of the AA's own plan.

In NB, apparently the Lord has deemed we'll have to continue to settle for communism in health care. Sigh... no one in Herringchokerland seems to have the fortitude or the gonads to do what needs to be done...

As I've mentioned before, I'm not too impressed with the HC Sys in NB... sure, it's free... if you can be lucky enough to get it. Ok, I admit that rarely is one ever completely without HC, but the problem with waiting too long is that it isn't a value of mine. The demand outstrips the supply. The waiting lines grow and grow since the demand grows faster than the supply.

That's the problem. And when there's more public cash avaiable, what happens? Strike! Then the cash ends up beefing up existing workers' paychecks, rather than going to facilities, equipment, supplies and adding doctors, specialists, etc.

Yes, HC pros are important, but their values are out of line with mine. They're so far better off than I, yet they would withhold lifesaving services just 'cause they need to be paid more to make the payments on the stuff they keep buying that they don't need, like bigger houses, bigger SUVs, 100-inch plasma HDTVs, luxury cruises, swimming pools, fake boobies, hair transplants, etc. No one forced them to accumulate so many financial commitments! Who do they think they are, Libranos?!

Didn't mean to offend HC pros, though. This simply had to be said.

At Thu. Feb. 23, 12:23:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Canadian Sentinel said...

Oh, btw, it's not free; we pay for it via taxes. Let's not forget that.

And it gives us the right to demand reforms which will provide more satisfactory service.

At Thu. Feb. 23, 12:49:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Richard said...

heheh The AA's going to have to put on the payroll luv...

At Thu. Feb. 23, 02:54:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Justthinkin said...

Well. I, like CS, despise our government-monopolized,communistic HC system. But I must admit that those are some damn good ideas the AA has!! Is Ralphie playing coy with his 3rd way right now until he can rip-off the AA's ideas? Would be something a closet liberal like him would do.

At Thu. Feb. 23, 05:25:00 p.m. MST, Blogger ABFreedom said...

I think JT is right, you'll probably see that in the next PC election platform..... or a similar version ...

At Thu. Feb. 23, 07:06:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Aizlynne said...

I wonder if they are just going to shove private insurance down our throats.

I mean, after all, there is a reason why the pamphlet came. A mail slip up. Perhaps. Or perhaps not.

Would be nice if Ralph was a little more direct on what his plans with health care are.

At Fri. Feb. 24, 03:37:00 a.m. MST, Blogger Canadian Sentinel said...

Perhaps someone inside King Ralph's admin. is on your side, Aiz.

It's ok to go ahead, bask smilingly for a moment in the knowledge that you may very well be making a difference with what you're doing with "Exposed".

Power to the people who care!


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