Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Stephen Harper and the Battle to Save Medicare
It was good to see Canadians out in the streets across the country today, sending a loud message to Stephen Harper:
Take your grubby paws off our medicare system.
On the day the Canada Health Accord died.
Because not only will his plans to cut transfer payments to to the provinces by $36 billion over the next ten years, cripple their plans to deal with an influx of aging baby boomers.
And cause unimaginable misery, to them and their loved ones...
"We really have to ask ourselves as Canadians what kind of society we want to be? When it comes to those of us who are oldest and most frail, it's a really big question that we're not even discussing."
It will fracture our medicare system, and eventually kill it.
The funding variability across the country undermines the provinces' ability to adhere to the Canada Health Act, said Michael McBane, executive director of the Canadian Health Coalition, an advocacy group aimed at preserving medicare.
"You can't have a universal social program unless you have the financial means to have poorer regions subsidized or financially supported." "The sole gainer in this is Alberta," he added. "Almost everybody else loses."
And it will also fracture the very idea of Canada itself.
Monday was a sad day for health care in Canada, says Roy Romanow, former NDP premier of Saskatchewan and one-time chair of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care.
“It’s a blow to nation-building because it’s a blow to one of our revered, if not most revered, social programs, which is medicare.”
Because for me and so many others it's not just a system, it's a set of values that helps makes this country Canada. The kind of Canada Stephen Harper hates so much.
So I really liked what Shirley Douglas had to say when asked what her father Tommy would have said about the state of medicare in this hideous Harperland...
“Before my father died, he warned that we were watching the slow strangulation of health care. He said, ‘If you don’t get up and fight for it, you are going to lose it. Don’t pretend you didn’t know.’ ”
Because I bet he would have given Great Leader hell eh?
So it's really great to see Tommy's grandson sending his own message to Harper...
Because he's right, now is the time.
Nobody should be allowed to live in ignorance, or pretend that they don't know what's happening.
And it really is this simple:
Or we will defend medicare and our country's most precious values.
Or he will destroy them...
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