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Monday, April 26, 2010

The Game of Big Government Health Care

To our American readers, this is your health care system in a few years time:

McGuinty and his health minister, Deb Matthews, are doing to pharmacists exactly what Peterson, who is Matthews’ brother-in-law, and his health minister, Murray Elston, did to doctors when they banned extra-billing in 1986.

The Liberal strategy now, as then, is this:

First, declare what was perfectly acceptable up to the moment you changed your mind, to be utterly unacceptable.

Second, demonize your opponents as greedy and, when they react, demonize them even more.

Third, argue your opponents don’t have a right to strategize against you, while you have every right to strategize against them.

McGuinty will win as Peterson won, because this isn’t a real fight. The government controls the money, has inexhaustible resources and can make up the rules as it goes along.

McGuinty’s decided to trade cheaper generic drugs (maybe) for fewer pharmacies with fewer services. Why not just say so?

Because politicians are cowards, and the Canadian electorate never questions the essential madness of the Medicare Cult. I use the term precisely. Medicare long ago transcended the realm of mere public policy staple and national icon. Perfectly reasonable people will turn into howling fanatics whenever you criticize socialized health care. To question it is to invite upon the people of Canada the Dickensian horrors of the American system - there being no other in the world it seems - which is portrayed in crude caricature by the national media and school system. 

Posted by Richard Anderson on April 26, 2010 | Permalink


The kickbacks to retailers coming from generic drug makers and the horrors of socialized medicine being touted here are loosely related at best. The services that come from the pharmacies are few and far between and yet the kickbacks they get for the sale of these drugs are quite substantial.

Regardless of whether socialized medicine was in place or not, the kickbacks paid by the generic drug companies are artificially inflating the drug costs. Rather than this being a case of something once acceptable, now being unacceptable, realize that policies change over time to make corrections.

Posted by: Wellescent Health Forums | 2010-04-26 10:05:47 AM


I completely understand what you mean. I can't count the number of times I've been accused of wanting to impose a "US-style" healthcare system simply because I don't like the Canadian one. As if there were only two choices. The really strange thing is that most Canadians seem to be under the impression that the U.S. has "free market" healthcare.

Posted by: Charles | 2010-04-26 10:27:43 AM


Stranger still is the plea from US Republicans and conservatives to "save our free market health care" by just preventing future cuts to Medicare and banning health insurance companies from price discrimination against the already sick. What a muddled discourse.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2010-04-29 12:52:09 AM

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