It sounds like a spy thriller. It is much more and it is no thriller. Canada, the United States and Mexico are in secret talks to "harmonize" our nations. They have named the project, "The Task Force on the Future of North America."
The task force is to work on economic, security and foreign policy integration. These moves will severely affect our independence as a nation and threaten our social programs, especially health care.
Maude Barlow's new book Too Close for Comfort: Canada's Future within Fortress North America points out....
In its submission to the Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) stated that Canada's health care system should be taken out of the hands of politicians and bureaucrats and turned over to provincial Crown corporations that would be run by "experienced business people" and would provide performance bonuses, incentives, corporate discipline and private sector innovation.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce echoed the position of the CCCE at the
Romanow Commission, calling for greater use of voluntary, private sector
delivery of health cares services and private sector investment. The CCCE was
delighted, of course, with the June 2005 Supreme Court ruling on the unconstitutionality of Quebec's ban on private health insurance.
The goal of big business in Canada and the United States and supported by the leaders of the Christian Right is the removal of Universal government delivered programs, programs like health care, social services and education.
The recent Supreme Court ruling on health care in Canada was not an endorsement of for profit health care. It was a warning to our leaders that if they did not start re-investing in health care the courts would allow a two tier program in Canada. The man responsible for the loss of health care funding over the last 12 years and thus the the Supreme Court ruling is Paul Martin. As Finance Minister he took billions of dollars out of health care.
These actions along with the talks underway now with Bush and Mexico's Fox will allow large American Health conglomerates to set up shop in Canada. Even now we see provincial governments in BC, Alberta and Ontario enter into Public Private Partnerships. Under NAFTA we have to let American companies compete for these contracts. Costs will rise as they have in the United States and we as taxpayers will foot the bill. Those costs as in the US will make health Care unaffordable to many Canadians.
Look at the US system and Canadian systems. A large health care company in California has recently directed people to get health care in Mexico where it is significantly cheaper. Americans are buying billions of dollars of medical drugs from Canadian pharmacies saving incredible amounts of money in the process. Many US employers are demanding drugs be purchased in Canadareimbursementement purposes to cut costs.
Health care is one of the biggest costs of employers in the US. I recently spoke to an American who said his employer was paying $550US per month for his health care insurance. Every service he accessed had a deductible payable. An operation would cost him thousands of dollars.
Recent studies released in the US stated that 50% of Americans would delay or fail to get medical attention or fill a prescription due to the costs.
The picture is very clear. Canadians need to act to protect and reinvest in our public health care system and end the privatization that is under way. Jack Layton attempted to extract this from the Liberal government recently. Paul Martin and the Liberals have refused to implement legislation to stop further privatization.
The next election is about how closely we want to be intergrated with the United States and George W. Bush. Do we want to continue along the road that will lead us to American style health care and be forced to support Amerforeignriegn policy? My answer is no and I suspect many Canadians feel the same.
Will that be on your Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard or Exxon card?
P3 Hospitals in Canada Click here for PDF
Public-Private Partnerships the UK Experience Click here for PDF
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