Some in Canada consider a Parallel Private Health Care System to reduce Wait Times

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 29th, 2014

Week in Review

People don’t want Obamacare.  And they are getting angry.  Making the Democrats very nervous.  Especially those up for election this fall.  Which is why there is yet another delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act.  To make voters less angry this fall.

This law was never popular.  The American people never wanted it.  The only reason why we have it is because the Democrats pushed it through when they had control of the House, Senate and White House.  And bought off a few recalcitrant Democrat senators (the Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback, Gator Aid, etc.) to garner the 60 votes necessary to force this unpopular law onto the American people.  So the Democrats could put us on a path towards single-payer.  Which President Obama is on the record preferring.  Single-payer.  But accepted the Affordable Care Act as a means to that end.  So we can one day have a health care system like they have in Canada.  Because things are so much better in Canada (see Waiting times cost B.C. patients $155.5 million last year: Fraser Institute study by Bethany Lindsay posted 3/25/2014 on The Vancouver Sun).

Waiting for medically necessary surgeries cost British Columbian patients about $155.5 million in lost time last year, a Fraser Institute economist claims in a new study.

It estimates that the total cost to Canadian patients of waiting for treatment after seeing a specialist was $1.1 billion in 2013, up from $982 million in 2012. Quebec had the highest cost at $267.7 million.

Author Nadeem Esmail said the report explores a consequence of waiting for care that Canadians don’t often consider…

Esmail said that in order to address the problem of long waiting times, he’d like to see Canada allow more private sector participation in the provision of health care, including the development of a parallel private system…

Overall, British Columbians waited a median 10.4 weeks for treatment after their first appointment with a specialist last year, compared to 9.6 weeks across Canada, according to the study.

Imagine that.  The Republicans were right.  A single-payer health care system leads to rationing of health care resources.  And sick people waiting for their turn for fewer, rationed health care resources leads to, of course, longer wait times.  This is what the Democrats want to force on the American people.  Even when some in Canada are suggesting a parallel private health care system to reduce wait times down from 10 weeks or so.  Which is why the Democrats had to be as devious as possible to pass Obamacare into law.  With shady backroom deals like the Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback and Gator Aid.  And then lying through their teeth about being able to keep the health insurance and doctors you liked and wanted to keep.  A lie so bold it earned President Obama the Lie of the Year from PolitiFact.

Will this anger boil over this November at the 2014 midterm elections?  Will voters remember how the Democrats lied and made backroom deals to change a health care system we liked and wanted to keep?  Apparently President Obama thinks so.  Which is why he violated the law once again and extended the enrollment period for Obamacare.  Without having Congress rewrite the law.  To make this latest change in the Affordable Care Act (and the 30 or so that preceded it) legal.  But then again, when the media keeps giving the president a pass on his law-breaking activities what incentive does the administration have to act lawful?  It’s kind of like Vladimir Putin taking Crimea.  The way Putin sees it no one is going to do anything when he breaks the law so what incentive does he have to abide by international law?  If anything he’s probably puzzled why President Obama is saying anything at all.  For what’s a little law-breaking between two law breakers?


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Canadian Hospitals suffer from Overcrowding in British Columbia

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

The left likes to say we’re idiots here in the United States.  Because every other advanced economy has national health care.  Of course, every other advanced economy doesn’t have the best health care system in the world.  No.  That honor goes to the United States.  And perhaps NOT having national health care is the reason why we have the best health care system in the world.  For those national health care systems have their problems.  Even the system north of the border the American left yearns to have.  The Canadian single-payer system (see New B.C. seniors advocate to focus on needs of growing elderly population by ROB SHAW posted 3/19/2014 on The Vancouver Sun).

Isobel Mackenzie, a longtime Victoria seniors care administrator, was named Wednesday as the province’s first seniors advocate, more than 16 months after the office was first announced…

There are more than 700,000 seniors in B.C. and that’s expected to double to 1.4 million over the next 20 years…

Mackenzie said she’s not sure if her office will get involved in how hospital overcrowding is affecting seniors care, and sidestepped a reporter’s question at her press conference Wednesday about the case of an elderly man who had spent eight hours waiting in a hospital emergency room…

“Obviously, health care is a priority and home care – giving support to people so they can stay at their home and healthy,” she said.

Logan said the government tried an “experiment” of providing funding to United Way but they’ve been “overloaded with requests.”

All of the advanced economies share something in common.  They all have an aging population.  Thanks to birth control and abortion people in the advanced economies stopped having babies after the Sixties like they used to have.  Which is why the seniors are now the largest growing sector of the population.  We have fewer people entering the workforce to pay the taxes that support a greater number of people leaving the workforce.  And thanks to modern medicine, these people are living long into retirement.  Which is why Canadian hospitals in British Columbia are overcrowded.  Which lead to longer wait times and the rationing of care.  Things common with national health care.  And these things are only going to get worse as their aging populations age further.

This is the future of Obamacare.  For the Affordable Care Act is already proving unaffordable to those who have to pay.  And people are losing the health insurance and the doctors they liked and wanted to keep.  A lot of doctors are opting out of Obamacare.  Leaving fewer in the system to treat a larger number of patients.  Which will, of course, lead to longer wait times and the rationing of care.  Just like in Canada.  And in every other advanced economy with a national health care system.  Which is why the United States is the only advanced economy without a national health care system.  Because Americans don’t want longer wait times and the rationing of care.  And they don’t want the Affordable Care Act.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama has a Lot in Common with the Social Democracy Ideology of the NDP

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 13th, 2013

Week in Review

The New Democratic Party (NDP) of British Columbia is a social-democratic political party.  Their political ideology is Social democracy.  And the Social democracy political ideology is to transform capitalism into socialism through progressive social reform.  And they do that with higher taxes and wealth redistribution.  In fact, the current NDP leader in British Columbia has pledged to raise taxes should they win the coming election (see NDP promises tax hikes if elected by Bryn Weese, QMI Agency, posted 4/11/2013 on Vancouver 24 hrs).

Corporations, banks, polluters and the wealthy will pay more if the BC NDP wins the provincial election.

The party’s fiscal plan, unveiled at Simon Fraser University Thursday, calls for: a one point rise in the corporate tax rate from 11% to 12%, reinstating a 3% bank tax, expanding the carbon tax to include vented oil and gas emissions, and raising the personal income tax rate to 19% on incomes over $150,000 a year.

The party, if elected, also plans to run the same $800 million deficits it alleges the ruling BC Liberals are hiding. In total, the NDP would run nearly $2 billion in deficits over the next three years until the party, it says, would balance the budget in year four of a NDP government.

“We’re looking at those who have a little more to give a little more,” NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston told reporters…

The fiscal plan is a broad look at how the NDP will pay for its election platform, which will be detailed during the campaign. On Thursday, the party promised a childcare and early-education plan and a poverty-reduction strategy.

Earlier this week, NDP Leader Adrian Dix proposed increasing the tax credits for TV and film productions in the province to 40% of labour costs.

Sound familiar?  It sounds a lot like what you hear coming out of Washington.  For the Obama administration wants to tax corporations, banks, polluters and the wealthy more.  In fact they’ve used the same language.  “We’re looking at those who have a little more to give a little more.”  The Obama administration is running deficits.  President Obama even talked about expanding funds for childcare so children as young as 4 years old can receive state indoctrination.  I mean, early developmental skills.  The Obama administration has a poverty-reduction strategy.  They call it food stamps.  Some have even called him the food stamp president because more people than ever use food stamps.  And the Obama administration as a special relationship with TV and film production.  He even changed his stance on same-sex marriage in exchange for more Hollywood campaign donations.

So what does this mean?  Does it mean that President Obama is a Social democrat, too?  Because he shares the same political ideology of the NDP?  Social democracy?  Does this mean President Obama wants to transform capitalism into socialism through progressive social reform?  Of course not.  Just because it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it doesn’t mean President Obama is a socialist-leaning anti-capitalist.  It’s just a coincidence that he looks like, walks like and quacks like a socialist-leaning anti-capitalist.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

British Columbia’s Carbon Trading System did not make the B.C. Liberal Government Carbon Neutral

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 30th, 2013

Week in Review

Something the American left really wants is a carbon trading system.  For this in conjunction with a national health care system would give the government great control over the private sector.  Because health care is one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  And everything takes energy.  So everything would be subject to the government’s carbon oversight.

A carbon trading system would basically turn carbon emissions (i.e., polluting greenhouse gases) into a commodity.  If you want to pollute you must pay to pollute.  By buying carbon permits to pollute.  Or paying carbon taxes.  Those who pollute heavily must buy more permits/pay more taxes.  Those who pollute less buy fewer permits/pay fewer taxes.  The idea is to take money from the polluters to give to others to reduce their carbon emissions.  Thus giving everyone an incentive not to pollute.  And a net zero carbon emission.  But in reality it’s just another way for government to pull more wealth out of the private economy so they can spend it how they want to spend it.  Rewarding their campaign contributors.  And providing businesses access to unneeded subsidies (see Auditor general delivers damning report on B.C.’s carbon trading system, Crown corporation that managed funds by Gordon Hoekstra posted 3/27/2013 on The Vancouver Sun).

B.C. auditor general John Doyle delivered a damning report Wednesday on the province’s controversial carbon trading system and the Crown corporation Pacific Carbon Trust.

The report concludes the government did not reach its goal of carbon neutrality in 2010, the year under examination, because the carbon offsets it purchased that year were not credible…

…NDP environment critic Rob Fleming said it’s time to look at changes to the PCT, including ending transfers of public money for emission-reduction projects.

He was referring to the fact that the carbon trading system involves transferring public money from institutions like hospitals and universities to the private sector so the government can declare the public sector is carbon-neutral…

Under the carbon system, public institutions such as hospitals and universities have so far paid more than $50 million for their carbon emissions. That money has been used to fund greenhouse gas reductions projects at private sector pulp mills, sawmills, gas drilling rigs, hotels and greenhouses.

The idea is the reduction projects in the private sector offset emissions in the public sector to zero, allowing the B.C. Liberal government to claim it is carbon neutral.

That’s a first.  Transfer money from sick people to give to businesses in the private sector.  So hospitals can pollute.  Kind of a strange thing for a government to do that puts profits before people.

Of course the big question is who measures the change in carbon emissions?  And how?  For you can’t put a carbon meter on your business.  It takes math.  And some assumptions.  You can tie it to one’s electrical consumption.  But if the user is attached to a section of grid powered by both a coal-fired power plant and a nuclear power plant that’s more math.  And more assumptions.  Did your power come from the polluting coal-fired power plant?  Or the emissions-free nuclear power plant?  And what about burning fossil fuels?  Did the fuel someone burn come from a refinery that processes a high-sulfur oil (sour crude)?  Or a low-sulfur oil (sweet crude)?  More math.  More assumptions.

When it comes to carbon emissions you can’t really measure emissions.  You have to measure inputs.  Such as electric power.  Consuming a lot of electric power could put a lot of carbon emissions into the air.  But not where the consumer uses that electric power.  But back at the power station that produced that electric power.  So who pays those carbon permits/taxes.  The user?  Such as a hospital?  Or the power plant?  Or both?

Anything so complicated makes it easier for people to game the system.  Which is what is happening in Canada.  And why despite spending C$50 million of public money the B.C. Liberal government is not carbon-neutral.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Energy Sector in the Canadian Economy masks the High Cost of their Public Sector

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 7th, 2012

Week in Review

The economic numbers in Canada are pretty good.  Even better than America.  And there is one reason for that.  Canada embraces the energy sector.  And they are bringing to market what all modern economies need.  Fuel.  And the economic growth in this one sector makes up for a lot of bad policy elsewhere (see Unions out of sync with economy by DANIEL FONTAINE posted 7/7/2012 on Vancouver 24 Hours).

If it were not for the extraction of natural resources such as oil, coal and natural gas, would Canada really be an economic powerhouse? Many leading economists remain skeptical.

Strip out raw material exports and Canada suddenly becomes just a middle-of-the-pack nation struggling with a serious productivity problem. That’s why this is not the time for any level of government to open up the wallet book and undertake a massive spending spree.

Unfortunately, the need to keep costs in check appears to be lost on a growing number of public sector unions in the Western world. That includes right here at home in British Columbia.

For example, unionized liquor store employees belonging to the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union are on strike this week demanding even higher wages and better benefits. This is despite the fact union officials openly admit unskilled employees in government liquor stores make starting wages and benefits well above similar jobs in the private sector.

The BCGEU argues that liquor stores are making Victoria lots of money; hence they deserve a bigger slice of the pie. But what they fail to acknowledge is that government makes profits off the taxes they charge on alcohol, not on who actually sells the product. Having public versus private sector employees sell liquor actually cuts into government’s bottom line.

FDR, liberal icon and America’s 32nd president, opposed government workers unionizing.  He was a fan of unions in the private sector.  But not the public sector.  Because there was a lot of political capital in attacking industrial fat-cats oppressing their workers to make a buck.  But the government pays their workers with taxes.  Meaning the greedy fat-cats oppressing these workers are the taxpayers.  And when you’re trying to grow the size of government it doesn’t help to attack the people paying those taxes.  Especially when you’re trying to raise their tax rates to pay those higher wages and better benefits.  For it just doesn’t sound right calling someone greedy when they refuse to enjoy their lives less so others can enjoy their lives more.

And it just can’t continue.  Forever granting higher wage and benefit packages.  Paid for with ever higher tax rates.  Because to generate tax revenue you need two things.  You need a tax rate.  And economic activity.  Higher taxes, though, reduce economic activity.  Which reduces tax revenue.  Keep doing this and you end up like the social democracies in Europe in the throes of a sovereign debt crisis.  Unless you are blessed with vast energy resources for export.  And your government embraces the energy sector to bring those resources to market.  Like they have in Canada.  The one truly bright spot in their economic picture.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In British Columbia 18 People have died in Past 6 Months from Taking Ecstasy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 4th, 2012

Week in Review

The war on drugs has been an abject failure.  Drugs have never been more powerful or available.  And the drug economy has produced a criminal underworld that has spread unspeakable violence.  So is it worth it?  This war on drugs?  Decriminalizing drugs would go a long way to end the crime and violence.  But making drugs more readily available would no doubt increase the use of these drugs.  For they are spreading now while they are illegal.  And not just in back alleys.  But into the mainstream of society.   In bars.  In homes.  And on college campuses (see Calgary police link 7th death to tainted ecstasy posted 1/30/2012 on CBC News Calgary).

The toxicology report of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology student Cody Gorlick, 23, who died earlier this month, shows he had ingested ecstasy laced with paramethoxymethamphetamine, a methamphetamine known as PMMA…

“From what we’ve seen in these cases, and it’s very apparent, is that the drug [ecstasy] is not just used at raves anymore, it’s used by people in their homes, it’s used at bars, it’s used at all kinds of different locations,” said Bossley.

In B.C., 18 people have died after taking ecstasy in the last six months, and a 19th death is being investigated.

People say telling kids that they shouldn’t have sex until they are married is silly.  Because these kids are having sex.  After all, that’s a big part of college.  First time away from home.  You know they’re having sex.  You know they are drinking.  And you know they’re doing drugs.  Because they are.  And some are dying from those drugs.  So it’s reasonable to assume that if drugs were decriminalized that more kids would try them.  More would start using.  And more would die from overdoses.

So should we maintain the war on drugs?  Should we decriminalize drugs?  Tough to say.  Because you’re kind of damned if you do.  And damned if you don’t.  But one thing for sure is that the lesser of all evils here is for people to choose not to use drugs.  For if they did it wouldn’t matter if they were legal or not.  But getting them to choose this is easier said than done.  Religion may help.  Getting married and starting to raise a family may help.  For few things grow people up faster than becoming parents. 

And really that’s the key to the drug question.  Growing up.  Becoming mature responsible adults.  Because the sooner we become mature responsible adults the sooner we stop the foolish ways of our youth.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Changes in the Canadian National Health Care doesn’t Factor in Age, a Problem for British Columbia

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 14th, 2012

Week in Review

Many in the United States (population about 300 million) who favor national health care like to point to their neighbors to the north.  Canada (population around 30 million).  Where they believe there is a health care utopia.  But it’s not quite the utopia.  It’s pretty expensive.  And they’re always looking for ways to cut costs (see B.C. premier balks at federal health funding plan posted 1/13/2012 on CBC News British Columbia).

B.C. Premier Christy Clark says announced changes to federal government health-care transfers to the provinces won’t work for British Columbia, where a rapidly growing senior population is dramatically increasing medical costs to the province…

“You cannot allocate health-care dollars on a per capita basis until you adjust it for age,” Clark said in Vancouver during an interview with Rosemary Barton on the CBC Newsnet program Power & Politics. “You just can’t run a country or look after senior citizens [unless] that’s the way you do it.”

Clark said the fastest growing demographic in B.C. is people over 85, and the province would be especially hard hit unless the per-capita formula changes.

“It costs an average $22,000 a year for health care for someone who is over 85 versus $2,000 for someone who is 29 years old,” the premier said.

Canada has the same problem all nations have.  Including the U.S.  An aging population.  That consumes more and more health care services.  Which means the problem of trying to pay for health care is a problem that won’t go away.

Clark did praise the federal decision to give provinces more responsibility for health-care policies, saying it is a step in the right direction.

“They are going to vacate the policy field … which provincial premiers have been asking for for [sic] something like 30 years, [to] do the policy in health care. So I think that’s a great thing.”

For 30 years the provinces have been trying to decentralize their national health care system.  Some 30 years later they finally get their wish.  Which, incidentally, is the direction Britain (population about 60 million) is trying to take their NHS.  And yet the U.S. is moving in the opposite direction with Obamacare.  The country with five times the population of the UK.  And ten times the population of Canada.  Which means they’ll have 5 and 10 times the cost problems of the UK and Canada.  If they are lucky.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,