Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Shameful liars, Part 4

Charles Adler's Winnipeg Sun column today is entitled "Health care debate or lobotomy?" Great characterization. Watching Global News last night, it certainly appears to me that the "debate" is now flat-out farce, played straight-faced by the actors.

First the premier of Canada's largest province steps up and says that the solution to our health care problems is a federal pharmacare program. I must have missed all those times before this past "Council of the Federation" meeting where a premier said, "If only the feds paid for medicines, we wouldn't be in this mess."

Then the federal health minister steps up to say, no, we don't want to do that, we want to reduce waiting times, even though there is no existing or planned legislation allowing the feds to manage provincial health systems towards this goal.

For their part (this was at their conference), the Canadian Medical Association released a basically useless poll, then interpreted the results to their wrong questions in exactly the wrong way.

Patel said citizens are fed up with political wrangling between Ottawa and the provinces over how much money each should contribute to health care and who should control spending. "Canadians have indicated that all levels of government must not only fund the health-care system appropriately, but must work together," said Patel, a family physician from Gimli, Man.

I have said this before: there is zero hope for government accountability on health care until the two levels of government each define their own responsibilities, and the line between them. That kind of "working together", I could get behind.

I had a hockey coach in 2nd-year bantam who taught that the key principle of teamwork was taking care of your own responsibilities. If you're killing a penalty, and it's your job to cover the left point man, don't bail when your defenceman gets caught out of position, because then the whole thing falls apart. The defenceman knows he's out of position (so does the coach), and he has to be accountable - and bust ass to recover. Listen to any coach's interview after a big team win (any sport): "All our guys really did their jobs well tonight."

It's infuriating that our politicians engage in this type of buck-passing, misrepresentation, and outright bullshit, and then bemoan that others are "cynics". Listen up boys - everyone knows you're full of it on health care. Some haven't put their finger on why yet, but everyone knows it. And there is a golden political opportunity for the first one who comes clean.

And now back to the Olympics.


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