Friday, September 29, 2006

The myth of out of control health costs revisited

The Tyee has an excellent article about BCs Liberal government's highly deceptive claim that health costs are out of control and will soon devour the majority of the provincial budget. The same applies to similar deceptive alarmist rhetoric coming from Alberta's government prevaricators.

With a straight face, (BC Finance Minister) Carole Taylor warned that exploding health expenditures will soon threaten the viability of other government outlays.

In a decade, she claimed, health spending could consume nearly three-quarters of Victoria's annual budget. With education taking up the remaining quarter, nothing would be left to fund children's services, welfare, transportation, the police, the courts, environmental protection, debt servicing or other valued programs.

"You can see what I'm trying to impress upon everyone," Taylor told the assembled scribes, referring to a chart that showed health costs rising from 41.6 per cent of last year's budget, to 71.3 percent in 2017-18. "This is an issue that we all have to get our heads around."

On top of that, so as to bring a sense of urgency to the looming catastrophe, B.C.'s finance minister also disclosed that the province's six health authorities recently requested an additional $1 billion-plus over the next three years to deal with unidentified cost "pressures."

Why, money is just flying out of the provincial treasury to pay for out-of-control health care. Action is needed, now!

But there is just one, tiny problem with Taylor's bleak forecast, and the underlying premise of Campbell's desire to introduce dramatic reforms to B.C.'s public health system.

There is no fiscal crisis.

Reports published by the finance ministry -- readily available to the public, and the news media, too -- show that provincial expenditures on health have not exploded, nor are they expected to do so in the foreseeable future. Taylor's warning of a looming fiscal crisis caused by skyrocketing health spending is contradicted and refuted by her own department.

1 comment:

Devon Rowcliffe said...

Great post, thanks for the heads up.

Gordo seems to have been quietly plotting towards a private-public health care system for quite a while now. Hopefully this Tyee article will help expoose such plans.

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