Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Fraser Institute's Fighting Retreat on Healthcare

The Fraser Institute seems to have given up convincing Canadians that they'd be better off with cash and carry healthcare for now, and is now concentrating on trying to keep Americans from also escaping the clutches of the Insurance companies and HMO's.
TORONTO, May 29 /CNW/ - As California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger begins a three-day visit to Canada, The Fraser Institute, Canada's leading think tank, has issued a report warning the governor of the consequences of implementing a Canadian-style health insurance system in his home state.
A bill currently before the California legislature, the Universal Health Insurance bill (SB-840), calls for California to implement a statewide universal health insurance system similar to Canada's. Under the proposal, private health insurance would effectively be banned and replaced with a health-insurance monopoly owned and run by government. Schwarzenegger vetoed an earlier version of the bill in 2006 but the legislation has since been reintroduced.
"Canada is currently witnessing the failure of its own single-payer health insurance system. Faced with this example, why would Americans want to
adopt such a system for themselves? The fact is that the Canadian model is an example of what not to do in health care," said Brett Skinner, The Fraser Institute's Director of Health, Pharmaceutical and Insurance Policy Research and author of the study, California Dreaming: The Fantasy of a Canadian-style Health Insurance Monopoly in the United States. "If Governor Schwarzenegger wants to avoid saddling California with a less efficient, less effective health care system and unsustainable costs, he must again use his veto and kill bill SB-840."
Presumably industry's favorite PR firm with pretenses to grandeur is trying to convince Americans of this nonsense now because they know Canadians simply aren't buying. The usual Fraser Institute funny numbers, logical contortions, deceptive rhetoric and blatant falsehoods are on display as they fight a rear guard action for their paying clients in the Insurance and Pharmaceutical industries.

Remember in PR, facts are just challenges, not obstacles. Simply stating the opposite of reality in a loud enough voice while forcefully promoting yourself as an 'independent think tank' can be enough to introduce doubt based on a wilful flight from reality.

Expect today's release of the Fraser Institute's latest whacko pronouncement on healthcare to get heavy coverage in California's right wing press, uncritically repeating the Fraser Institute's humble and helpful self description as Canada's 'leading think tank'.

Canada's leading PR whores pretending to be an independent think tank to promote their client's interests doesn't have quite the same zing.

UPDATE: As expected the right wing press in the US has leaped upon the latest Fraser Institute hackery with glad cries. This is 'Der Institute's' role now: To provide bogus but official sounding reinforcement for the forces in America who think fighting to leave millions of children without health coverage is a sacred mission.

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