'When you've said something, you've said it' - Macleans.ca
 

‘When you’ve said something, you’ve said it’


 

Further to this, Tim Naumetz finds a blurb from Stephen Harper’s past.

“Gratzer proposes a workable solution for the biggest public policy problem of the coming generation—our government-controlled health care monopoly,” Mr. Harper said in comments that are quoted on the back cover of the book. “Our health care isn’t just sick, it’s killing people. Canada needs Gratzer’s new prescription.”


 

‘When you’ve said something, you’ve said it’

  1. Now, if only our politicians (who aren't seeking re-election) would admit those statements are true.

    The only MP who ever made similar proposals was Liberal MP Keith Martin.

    It doesn't matter who gets paid for the service, what matters is the service is available and paid for publicly. And it means timely service, and quality care. That should be the focus.

  2. Now, if only our politicians (who aren't seeking re-election) would admit those statements are true.

    The only MP who ever made similar proposals was Liberal MP Keith Martin.

    It doesn't matter who gets paid for the service, what matters is the service is available and paid for publicly. And it means timely service, and quality care. That should be the focus.

    • Gratzer's solution was not limited to delivery models, so Harper's back cover quotation
      ( assuming it is accurate? ) is clearly a call for privatization.

      • Dude, only Macleans and the Globe said it! :)

      • I had the impression he was calling for enhanced employer-provided insurance and incentives for private savings. Does the book say something different?

    • Sounds reasonable, but then slippery slopes always do.

      • Are Morgentaler Clinics still in operation?
        Are they private or providers?

        • Correction
          Are they private or public providers?

          • Public

  3. Gratzer's solution was not limited to delivery models, so Harper's back cover quotation
    ( assuming it is accurate? ) is clearly a call for privatization.

  4. Health care reform must be approached pragmatically. The near religious fervor with which people regard the Canada Health Act is blocking any serious debate on how to improve the system. If well functioning socialist European countries can incorporate private delivery of services into their health care systems, why can't Canada. The Canada Health Act is not sacrosanct. It is a tool, and as such can be adjusted to make it better.

  5. Health care reform must be approached pragmatically. The near religious fervor with which people regard the Canada Health Act is blocking any serious debate on how to improve the system. If well functioning socialist European countries can incorporate private delivery of services into their health care systems, why can't Canada. The Canada Health Act is not sacrosanct. It is a tool, and as such can be adjusted to make it better.

    • Couldn't have said it better. It feels great to wake up to a comment which makes sense. Thank you!

    • We already have private delivery of services. I agree–not sure why this is controversial. I'm okay with it being used as a political weapon, though. The Tories aren't above fighting dirty, and the Libs are fighting fire with fire.

    • Agree, Daphne.

      In fact, I'd go further. We have never really had single tier healthcare in Canada. There are all sorts of "medically necessary" services that are not covered and have never been – dental, life saving drugs, eyewear, for example.

      Slogans will not save people's lives or make us healthier.

      Comparing us to the equally dysfunctional US healthcare system does us no good.

      And yet "leader" after "leader", from Mulroney to and very very much including Harper have done nothing but throw more money at the problem. Right now, Harper's cowardice and lack of leadership is resulting in emergency rooms being set up in Tim Hortons.

    • "If well functioning socialist European countries can incorporate private delivery of services into their health care systems, why can't Canada."

      And herein lies the BS in the debate.

      Canada ALREADY incorporates private healthcare delivery. My family doctor is part of a for-profit group. My blood and medical diagnostic labs are, too. They all bill OHIP (the provincial single payor) for medically necessary procedures. If something is not covered by the provincial insurer, they bill my supplemental insurance, which in my case is supplied via my employer.

      Those who suggest Canada is some socialist backwater with state-only healthcare are willfully deceptive. We have always had mixed delivery in Canada. What we are seeking to defend is the single payor (insurance) system that mandates universal coverage of medically necessary care for all citizens.

    • I don't like the way The Harper Government tm screws around with' tools' e.g. the census. More scope for them i The Canada Health Act to screwit all up. Harper is not a handyman; he's more stealth fighter.

  6. Sounds reasonable, but then slippery slopes always do.

  7. Dude, only Macleans and the Globe said it! :)

  8. "Mr. Gratzer also quotes Mr. Harper inside the book regarding problems with the health-care system and medicare: “We are seeing now only the tip of the iceberg.”

    Mr. Gratzer writes that Mr. Harper was referring to the problems the health system faced with an aging population.

  9. Couldn't have said it better. It feels great to wake up to a comment which makes sense. Thank you!

  10. We already have private delivery of services. I agree–not sure why this is controversial. I'm okay with it being used as a political weapon, though. The Tories aren't above fighting dirty, and the Libs are fighting fire with fire.

  11. "Mr. Gratzer also quotes Mr. Harper inside the book regarding problems with the health-care system and medicare: “We are seeing now only the tip of the iceberg.”

    Mr. Gratzer writes that Mr. Harper was referring to the problems the health system faced with an aging population.

  12. Agree, Daphne.

    In fact, I'd go further. We have never really had single tier healthcare in Canada. There are all sorts of "medically necessary" services that are not covered and have never been – dental, life saving drugs, eyewear, for example.

    Slogans will not save people's lives or make us healthier.

    Comparing us to the equally dysfunctional US healthcare system does us no good.

    And yet "leader" after "leader", from Mulroney to and very very much including Harper have done nothing but throw more money at the problem. Right now, Harper's cowardice and lack of leadership is resulting in emergency rooms being set up in Tim Hortons.

  13. OK, so we're having our fourth $300 million election in seven so that the Liberals and their media enablers can rehash quotes that have been on the record for over a decade. Fascinating.

  14. OK, so we're having our fourth $300 million election in seven so that the Liberals and their media enablers can rehash quotes that have been on the record for over a decade. Fascinating.

    • No, we're having an election because the Government party was found to be in contempt of Parliament.

      You're welcome!

      • So then why, instead of talking about that trumped-up charge, are we talking about these rehashed quotes from over a decade ago? We're having an election over this nonsense, are we?

        • A quick read through the last few days of posted articles on Macleans will answer this question.

          You're welcome!

          • Really. I've read all the articles. In an election some of you keep saying was absolutely necessary, all you have are these knee-jerk accusations. Why? This is why we're having our fourth $300 million election in seven years, is it? Wow.

    • We are having our 4th election in 9 (?) years, not 7 (because there is no reason not to count the time before the first one you have your shorts in a knot over) because:

      Mr Harper defeated a minority government.
      Mr Harper pulled the plug on his own government for fear of losing power.
      Approximately 60% of Canadians disagree with the direction he is taking the country.

    • The gang that pissed away 56 billion shouldn't be complaining about a 300 mio election

    • Perhaps if we had some kind of fixed election date legislation, this election would have been avoided.

      • genius idea!

    • That line is both false and very tired.

      I'd rather spend 300 million for democracy (Harper provoked the election by his contempt and it was either now or next year) than 30 billion on a contract without tenders for a deeply flawed warplane, when 2 Lockheed Martin ex-lobbyists are part of Harper's "team".

      And all the other wasteful Harper expenses.

      It seems like a very good investment, on the contrary.

  15. Throwing money at a dysfunctional system doesn't fix it. Remember Paul martin's pledge that his funding would "fix health care for a generation?"

    That would have been true….if the average lifespan was 8 years.

    We need to fix this problem, and look at ALL OPTIONS……..including more privatization. As long as the service is paid for publicly, who cares who provides it.

  16. Throwing money at a dysfunctional system doesn't fix it. Remember Paul martin's pledge that his funding would "fix health care for a generation?"

    That would have been true….if the average lifespan was 8 years.

    We need to fix this problem, and look at ALL OPTIONS……..including more privatization. As long as the service is paid for publicly, who cares who provides it.

    • But James, we already have lots of private delivery in Canada. The reason that there isn't more is that some areas of healthcare are not profitable enough for private providers if they are mandated to deliver it to everyone.

      Example: MDS labs makes a healthy profit billing OHIP for bloodwork. It's the kind of service that can be delivered efficiently, fairly and profitably by a private provider paid by a government insurer. MCI Medical runs the clinics at which my local walk-in, dentist, sports medicine and family practice are located. They, too, bill OHIP for medically necessary care — and bill private insurance for non-listed and elective services.

      We have a mixed system, one that matches or surpasses healthcare outcomes in other OECD countries. What we need to focus on is evening out access (as we depopulate rural areas) and address shifting needs (and aging population and more long-term pharma use).

  17. What assurance do we have that the Liberals won't slash health care spending again once they're in power? They did it last time they faced a deficit and now they've brought Paul Martin out to brag about that accomplishment…Shouldn't we be asking him and Mr. Ignatieff if they now believe that was a mistake?

  18. What assurance do we have that the Liberals won't slash health care spending again once they're in power? They did it last time they faced a deficit and now they've brought Paul Martin out to brag about that accomplishment…Shouldn't we be asking him and Mr. Ignatieff if they now believe that was a mistake?

    • Definitely a fair question but it has to be understood of the fact that at the end the deficit was much more under control and Canada, thanks to the Liberal party, had a surplus for the only time in the last 40 years.

      • Thanks to cutting social programs. The privatizations I can understand – but the deep cuts to social programs accompanied by tax cuts just doesn't seem like the right way to balance a budget. It got worse when they artificially held program spending down by deliberately under-estimating the annual surpluses.

      • So when Iggy says he's going to balance the budget, you think he's going to do so by cutting funding for healthcare? And you're cool with that? While he's promising to build some billion dollar high-speed train? Is a high-speed train for southern Ontario really a greater priority than the healthcare of the entire nation?

  19. I had the impression he was calling for enhanced employer-provided insurance and incentives for private savings. Does the book say something different?

  20. No, we're having an election because the Government party was found to be in contempt of Parliament.

    You're welcome!

  21. So then why, instead of talking about that trumped-up charge, are we talking about these rehashed quotes from over a decade ago? We're having an election over this nonsense, are we?

  22. "If well functioning socialist European countries can incorporate private delivery of services into their health care systems, why can't Canada."

    And herein lies the BS in the debate.

    Canada ALREADY incorporates private healthcare delivery. My family doctor is part of a for-profit group. My blood and medical diagnostic labs are, too. They all bill OHIP (the provincial single payor) for medically necessary procedures. If something is not covered by the provincial insurer, they bill my supplemental insurance, which in my case is supplied via my employer.

    Those who suggest Canada is some socialist backwater with state-only healthcare are willfully deceptive. We have always had mixed delivery in Canada. What we are seeking to defend is the single payor (insurance) system that mandates universal coverage of medically necessary care for all citizens.

  23. What is really absurd is now that Canadians are ready to have this debate, Harper/Cons are treating health care act as sacrosanct and are not going to touch it. Just promise to increase spending 6% annually and who cares how it will paid for – Cons are a joke, should be ashamed of themselves that they are afraid to have debates.

  24. What is really absurd is now that Canadians are ready to have this debate, Harper/Cons are treating health care act as sacrosanct and are not going to touch it. Just promise to increase spending 6% annually and who cares how it will paid for – Cons are a joke, should be ashamed of themselves that they are afraid to have debates.

    • What is really abdurd is Jumpin Jack was unaware his hernia operation was performed by a private provider.

    • I find it funnier that the Liberals are pretending they weren't the last party in power to gut healthcare funding. They cut billions of dollars in healthcare funding while they were in power. This is how they balanced the budget. And I think Iggy probably would do that again. Iggy's word can't be trusted on anything now that he's waffled on the coalition question.

  25. But James, we already have lots of private delivery in Canada. The reason that there isn't more is that some areas of healthcare are not profitable enough for private providers if they are mandated to deliver it to everyone.

    Example: MDS labs makes a healthy profit billing OHIP for bloodwork. It's the kind of service that can be delivered efficiently, fairly and profitably by a private provider paid by a government insurer. MCI Medical runs the clinics at which my local walk-in, dentist, sports medicine and family practice are located. They, too, bill OHIP for medically necessary care — and bill private insurance for non-listed and elective services.

    We have a mixed system, one that matches or surpasses healthcare outcomes in other OECD countries. What we need to focus on is evening out access (as we depopulate rural areas) and address shifting needs (and aging population and more long-term pharma use).

  26. A quick read through the last few days of posted articles on Macleans will answer this question.

    You're welcome!

  27. Definitely a fair question but it has to be understood of the fact that at the end the deficit was much more under control and Canada, thanks to the Liberal party, had a surplus for the only time in the last 40 years.

  28. Really. I've read all the articles. In an election some of you keep saying was absolutely necessary, all you have are these knee-jerk accusations. Why? This is why we're having our fourth $300 million election in seven years, is it? Wow.

  29. I don't like the way The Harper Government tm screws around with' tools' e.g. the census. More scope for them i The Canada Health Act to screwit all up. Harper is not a handyman; he's more stealth fighter.

  30. Thanks to cutting social programs. The privatizations I can understand – but the deep cuts to social programs accompanied by tax cuts just doesn't seem like the right way to balance a budget. It got worse when they artificially held program spending down by deliberately under-estimating the annual surpluses.

  31. We are having our 4th election in 9 (?) years, not 7 (because there is no reason not to count the time before the first one you have your shorts in a knot over) because:

    Mr Harper defeated a minority government.
    Mr Harper pulled the plug on his own government for fear of losing power.
    Approximately 60% of Canadians disagree with the direction he is taking the country.

  32. Are Morgentaler Clinics still in operation?
    Are they private or providers?

  33. Correction
    Are they private or public providers?

  34. The gang that pissed away 56 billion shouldn't be complaining about a 300 mio election

  35. What is really abdurd is Jumpin Jack was unaware his hernia operation was performed by a private provider.

  36. Public

  37. Perhaps if we had some kind of fixed election date legislation, this election would have been avoided.

  38. genius idea!

  39. What is really absurd is that anyone would believe the Harper-Cons would leave healthcare alone. My Harper has said, since he was a 'baby neocon reformist' that the Healthcare act had to go.
    "The establishment came down with a constitutional package which they put to a national referendum. The package included distinct society status for Quebec and some other changes, including some that would just horrify you, putting universal Medicare in our constitution, and feminist rights, and a whole bunch of other things."
    – Conservative leader Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

    Stephen Harper is past president of the National Citizens Coalition. A right wing, corporate funded organization some of who's stated policies are:
    # privatization and/or elimination of public sector services;
    # discredit any activity carried out through the public sector such as education or health care;

    "It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."
    – Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997.

    "What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care]."
    – Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.

    Also, Mr Harper is an Evangelical Christian who belongs to a church that believes abortion is a sin. He has already cut funding to clinics and groups offering counseling for abortion, like Family Planning and SWAC offices already. His church believes Stem cell Research is against Gods' Will' so, he cut funding to the Human Genome Project and other scientific research groups.
    Given teh chance, he'll do "more of the same."

  40. What is really absurd is that anyone would believe the Harper-Cons would leave healthcare alone. My Harper has said, since he was a 'baby neocon reformist' that the Healthcare act had to go.
    "The establishment came down with a constitutional package which they put to a national referendum. The package included distinct society status for Quebec and some other changes, including some that would just horrify you, putting universal Medicare in our constitution, and feminist rights, and a whole bunch of other things."
    – Conservative leader Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

    Stephen Harper is past president of the National Citizens Coalition. A right wing, corporate funded organization some of who%E2%80%99s stated policies are:
    # privatization and/or elimination of public sector services;
    # discredit any activity carried out through the public sector such as education or health care;

    "It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."
    – Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997.

    "What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care]."
    – Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.

    Also, Mr Harper is an Evangelical Christian who belongs to a church that believes abortion is a sin. He has already cut funding to clinics and groups offering counseling for abortion, like Family Planning and SWAC offices already. His church believes Stem cell Research is against Gods' Will' so, he cut funding to the Human Genome Project and other scientific research groups.
    Given teh chance, he'll do "more of the same."

  41. What is really absurd is that anyone would believe the Harper-Cons would leave healthcare alone. My Harper has said, since he was a 'baby neocon reformist' that the Healthcare act had to go.
    "The establishment came down with a constitutional package which they put to a national referendum. The package included distinct society status for Quebec and some other changes, including some that would just horrify you, putting universal Medicare in our constitution, and feminist rights, and a whole bunch of other things."
    – Conservative leader Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

    Stephen Harper is past president of the National Citizens Coalition. A right wing, corporate funded organization some of who's stated policies are:
    # privatization and/or elimination of public sector services;
    # discredit any activity carried out through the public sector such as education or health care;

    "It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."
    – Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens Coalition, 1997.

    "What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care]."
    – Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.

    Also, Mr Harper is an Evangelical Christian who belongs to a church that believes abortion is a sin. He has already cut funding to clinics and groups offering counseling for abortion, like Family Planning and SWAC offices already. His church believes Stem cell Research is against Gods' Will' so, he cut funding to the Human Genome Project and other scientific research groups.
    Given teh chance, he'll do "more of the same."

    • He's increased funding for healthcare every year he's been in power. He's said he will continue to do so.

      The Liberal's gutted healthcare funding the last time they were in power to balance the budget. Iggy says he has a plan to balance the budget.

      Actions speak louder than words. And I believe Harper's words more than I believe Iggy. Iggy's already waffled on the biggest question of the election: COALITION. Why wouldn't he waffle on funding healthcare? He's an American, and he's quite used to paying for private healthcare insurance, I'm sure he'd see no problem with other Canadians doing the same.

  42. So when Iggy says he's going to balance the budget, you think he's going to do so by cutting funding for healthcare? And you're cool with that? While he's promising to build some billion dollar high-speed train? Is a high-speed train for southern Ontario really a greater priority than the healthcare of the entire nation?

  43. I find it funnier that the Liberals are pretending they weren't the last party in power to gut healthcare funding. They cut billions of dollars in healthcare funding while they were in power. This is how they balanced the budget. And I think Iggy probably would do that again. Iggy's word can't be trusted on anything now that he's waffled on the coalition question.

  44. He's increased funding for healthcare every year he's been in power. He's said he will continue to do so.

    The Liberal's gutted healthcare funding the last time they were in power to balance the budget. Iggy says he has a plan to balance the budget.

    Actions speak louder than words. And I believe Harper's words more than I believe Iggy. Iggy's already waffled on the biggest question of the election: COALITION. Why wouldn't he waffle on funding healthcare? He's an American, and he's quite used to paying for private healthcare insurance, I'm sure he'd see no problem with other Canadians doing the same.

  45. That line is both false and very tired.

    I'd rather spend 300 million for democracy (Harper provoked the election by his contempt and it was either now or next year) than 30 billion on a contract without tenders for a deeply flawed warplane, when 2 Lockheed Martin ex-lobbyists are part of Harper's "team".

    And all the other wasteful Harper expenses.

    It seems like a very good investment, on the contrary.