Thursday, June 09, 2005

The end of Medicare? Dare I hope?

The Supreme Court strikes down Quebec private health care ban.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that the Quebec government cannot prevent people from paying for private insurance for health-care procedures covered under medicare.

In a 4-3 decision, the panel of seven justices said banning private insurance for a list of services ranging from MRI tests to cataract surgery was unconstitutional under the Quebec Charter of Rights, given that the public system has failed to guarantee patients access to those services in a timely way.

As a result of delays in receiving tests and surgeries, patients have suffered and even died in some cases, justices Beverley McLachlin, Jack Major, Michel Bastarache and Marie Deschamps found for the majority.

Now, I'm frequently unenthused by the rulings of the Supreme Court, but this one they got right. Though I find the headline at CBC interesting, "Strike down private health care ban", it wasn't a private health-care ban, just a private insurance ban, after all, the fat cats like Paul Martin need to keep their access to private clinics, but you wouldn't want the ordinary Canadian to be able to afford access to these clinics, because that would be unCanadian.

Martin vows that Canada won't have a two-tier health-care system

Prime Minister Paul Martin vowed Thursday that Canada's public health-care system would remain intact, despite a Supreme Court of Canada ruling opening the door for private care in Quebec.

"We're not going to have a two-tier health-care system in this country," he told reporters following Thursday's ruling.

"Nobody wants that."

In its decision, the country's top court found that a prohibition on Quebec residents getting private insurance for services covered by medicare ran afoul of that province's own Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

The case was launched by a Quebec man who spent a year on a waiting list for a hip replacement because he was prevented from paying for faster service

That highlighted sentence is what disgusts me about the government healthcare nuts, they seem to prefer that people suffer with their maladies rather then actually allow people to actually get the care that they need, however it is that they choose to receive it.

Most people would continue to use the public system if private was available, just as most people continue to enroll their children in public schools rather then putting them in private schools or home-schooling them though the other options are available if one is willing. As long as we have a government full of people babbling stupidly about the greatness of Medicare and refusing to consider any changes to how it is delivered, it will be increasingly undermined until it collapses and we are left with exactly what its defenders are so terrified of, a completely private system.