Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chronic Healthcare Spending Disease

Buried in today's National Post is an article by Terence Corcoran about the "fiscally unsustainable" Canadian healthcare system - a conclusion reached by David Dodge, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, in a report called Chronic Healthcare Spending Disease.  "Mr. Dodge reports that health-care spending in Canada could rise to take up almost 19% of the national economy within 20 years, up from about 12% today ...Universal care as Canadians now experience it cannot be maintained at current levels without major increases in taxes or cuts in service - or dramatic cuts in other government services...Mr. Dodge also mentioned...imposing some form of co-payment by individuals for the healthcare services that are currently paid by the provinces.  Another would de-list services that would then have to be paid by consumers or private insurance suppliers.  A final option would be “development of a privately funded system to provide better quality care for those willing to pay for it.”  Here are my suggestions: 1) cut the government healthcare bureaucracy instead of those who actually deliver care, 2) de-insure all quackery (anyone without an MD), 3) de-insure cosmetic surgery and the treatment of minor ailments completely for those over 18, 4) regain control over out-of-control healthcare unions, 5) institute co-pays to deter hypochondriasis and outright abuse, 6) bring in a healthcare premium based on last year's tax return, whether you smoke or not, and your body fat index, and 7) adopt the extremely efficient Pincher Creek healthcare delivery model.  The problem here is government inefficiency, but let's not exchange it for the inefficiency and avarice of private health insurance.