Looks like we may be heading in the direction of the adult conversation on health care.I was very encouraged to see both Liberals and NDP speaking in their platform releases to federal role as not just money but leadership to maintain quality and access across the country.
More on the 'adult conversation'--check Michael Rachlis this morning on CBC radio--the current.
Here is the link to The Current: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/#
Good to see that the Liberals and NDP are both supporting versions of pharmacare. But the Liberals are promoting catastrophic insurance while the NDP are endorsing a full program. In Ontario, Trillium (our catastrophic plan) seems to leave many people lost in the premium gap although I know of no systematic evaluation. Does anyone? Thoughts?
I think one thing became clear after the leaders' debates - Stephen Harper has NO problem with privatized delivery. This means he is dodging the privatization question by saying he doesnt want private pay, but openly allowing provinces to 'experiment' with private (for-profit) delivery which is already running rampant. The problem is that for-profit delivery has been found to INHERENTLY contravene the Canada Health Act as they often charge patients for medically necessary services: eg. colonoscopy clinics which charge you for the 'dietitian consult'... not to mention 'Executive Health Clinics' which are not only leaching docs, nurses etc from the public system, but doing unnecessary testing (Eg. stress tests on young people) that could lead to further more harmful invasive testing that will fall upon the shoulders of the public system. So beware - Harper may say he doesn't support private financing, but he's given the green light for private delivery which is inherently linked to private financing.
Also check out this election show discussion on White Coat Black Art featuring Jeff Turnbull, Megan Leslie (NDP), Carolyn Bennett (Lib), Colin Carrie (Cons): http://www.cbc.ca/whitecoat/2011/04/15/election-show/Note: In leaders' debate, Layton did say he support expansion of CHA to include pharmacare, LTC and home care. This is positive.
I think both the Liberals and New Democrats are making the right moves on pharmacare and federal leadership. But what concerns me more than the promises is the messaging being used. If they rely too much on emotional appeal and do a poor job emphasizing the evidence of how pharmacare reduces costs, then suspension (and not expansion) of the CHA will be portrayed as a cost-saving alternative.