Sunday, August 14, 2005

Alberta healthcare... liberal style

In retaliation to Alberta beginning its foray into private healthcare for the first time on the proud prairies, Kevin Taft, liberal savant came out with his “five spoke healthcare strategy”. The plan (link to Taft’s plan coming soon) seeks to infuse the public system with more innovation and accountability. Two virtues consistently associated with public endeavors from Air Canada to Ontario Hydro.
1) Increase capacity.

This means more funding, more boards, more studies, more strategic plans, and more hospital building. This strategy ignores the key problem associated with long lines and wait lists, which is of course a doctor shortage. A very fixable problem in an open market approach (it’s not like there is a shortage of lawyers or engineers). Alberta has plenty of new hospitals and all with staffing problems (High level, Peace River and Rainbow Lake… also see all of Saskatchewan) Strike one.
2) Innovate.

He says “develop mechanisms to encourage and test innovation within the public system. When the right people are in the right place good ideas will follow.” The left is always vague, but seriously. Better bureaucrats? Of course why didn’t I think of this? This sounds like the Communist claim that the only reason Russia failed was because it was a dictatorship (Interesting). But what about Taft’s ideas to “develop mechanism to encourage innovation”? Isn’t this one of the age old dilemmas for all pinkos. What’s the mechanism that keeps people motivated in an autocratic public system where there’s no chance of reward, recognition or advancement? Oh yeah the whip! Amazing the first public mandate that solves the problem innovation. Strike two.
3)Manage.

More bureaucrats, starting with a regional health authority board. I think we’ve tried this approach before. I hate to be cynical but I no longer believe in the hands off approach of all knowing boards.
4) Budget.

“Overhaul the provincial so that the numbers are realistic”. More money! Haven’t we learned by now through countless historical examples that social planning is always a disastrous failure? That social planning leads to shortages and misery. There has never been a famine in free market system throughout history. Wasn’t this debate decided for the final time between Russia and America?
5) Build a healthier population.

This essentially means regulating what we eat, implying the reason healthcare dollars are so far stretched is because we are out of shape slobs. Oh sorry benevolent Taft. Sorry benevolent master Taft.
This plan is a regurgitation of all socialist paradigms and we as citizens should have the ability to see through it by now so please don’t send me letters labeling me as “un-Canadian”. Un-socialist is OK but un-Canadian is not! Can I say strike three now?

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