Guise of budget balancing

Dear Editor,

If Mr. Kenny has his way, not only will universal health care be cut but we may see him cutting financial support to public education and social services as well.

To see what’s coming, look at what Premier Doug Ford in Ontario has done or look at what President Trump has done in America since he became president.

All these cuts will be under the guise of balancing the budget.

Many have forgotten that thousands of people in the civil service lost their jobs under Premier Ralph Klein’s budget cuts.

Consequently, many people were forced to use food banks or were forced to find work elsewhere.

Private health care supporters, like the Fraser Institute, claim that private health care is cheaper and more cost effective than universal health care, (not true), but they never mention the negative aspects of private health.

Private health care in America is a $3.5 trillion cottage industry that benefits the doctors, the hospitals, the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies and the lawyers who defend them.

It’s the goose that lays the golden eggs for those business interests, not for the patients.

That total amount comes to $10,735 per person in America, twice as much as in Canada or any other western democratic country that has universal health care. (Sources: Centre for Medicad and Medicare; Kaiser Foundation; GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon).

Universal health care is a “right” while private health care is a “privilege”.

If you have the money or the insurance, you get the service.

I would suggest reading T.R. Reid’s book, The Healing of America, to obtain a better understanding for the poor condition of healthcare in America.

Plus, read articles by the Commonwealth Fund, US News and World Report, Harvard School of Medicine, WHO, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Association of Retired People (AARP) on this issue.

Sixty per cent of all bankruptcies in America are attributed to health care costs, and last year Americans owed more than $88 billion associated with private health care costs (CBS News).

Once we lose our system to private health care, we may never get it back.

Look to America.

A week does not go by that there isn’t a scandal or story involving negative aspects of private health care including opioid crisis; medical billing fraud; high mortality rates for patients; private health care insurance companies not paying for medical costs; doctors and hospitals caught extra billing; hospitals and clinics charged with poor safety standards or with poor sanitary conditions; to name a few.

Is that what we want for our province?

For our country?

 

George Thatcher

Trochu, Alta.

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