Trudeau government and health care funding

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mark_alfred
Trudeau government and health care funding

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mark_alfred

NDP report that the Trudeau government is going to make massive cuts to health care transfers.

http://www.ndp.ca/news/trudeau-moving-ahead-harpers-massive-health-care-...

Quote:

Trudeau moving ahead with Harper’s massive health care cuts

OTTAWA — Today New Democrats criticized the Liberal government for moving ahead with Stephen Harper’s planned cuts to provincial health transfers. Recently, Quebec’s Health Minister sounded the alarm that the Liberals are planning to slash annual health transfer increases by half next year – taking $1.1 billion out of the health care system in the first year alone.

“After promising Canadians that they would invest billions more in health care, the Liberals are instead going ahead with Conservative cuts to health transfers,” said NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver – Kingsway). “And Minister Philpott is using the same talking points as the Conservatives, claiming a “historic investment” when in fact it’s a historic cut.”

The PBO recently warned that provinces are already stretched beyond their means and will be unable to meet growing health care costs without increased support from the federal government. There has also been no sign of the Liberals’ promise of $3 billion for home care and no word on their promise to increase prescription drug coverage.

“This is a missed opportunity for action, and Canadian families will pay the price when healthcare services are not available,” added NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver – Kingsway).

mark_alfred

Another health care issue:  RU-486 restrictions

Quote:
The Canadian importer of the abortion pill Mifegymiso plans to ask the Liberal government to expand the gestational age limit for pregnancy terminations, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

The health minister’s office told HuffPost, however, it has no plans to change the rules for now.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/07/22/abortion-pill-canada_n_11146338....

NDP calls on Minister of Health to ensure access to medical abortion drug.

http://www.ndp.ca/news/ndp-calls-minister-health-to-ensure-access-to-med...

Quote:

The NDP is calling on the Liberal government to make the medical abortion drug RU-486 available and accessible in Canada. After decades of waiting, the drug may remain unavailable due to new restrictive regulations.

"This is a drug that would help give women access to safe abortions especially in remote areas," said Sheila Malcolmson, the NDP's critic for Status of Women, "Yet current Health Canada regulations are overly restrictive and make it very hard for women to access this important drug."

mark_alfred

Interesting article on Rabble that outlines many interesting facts about the Trudeau government.  This is one on health care (emphasis mine):

Quote:
The Canadian Press reports, "Quebec's health minister says the federal government has indicated it plans to let the annual increase in provincial health transfers fall to half its current level by the end of the year. ...Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott would only say that the transfer provides a stable funding base and that any additional cash would be focused on priority areas like home care and mental health." Trudeau's first budget, delivered in March 2016, stated that health transfers would increase by 2.8 per cent in 2017-18, which is below the 3 per cent minimum promised by the Conservatives.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/brent-patterson/2016/07/trudeau-popular-...

quizzical

huh mom said this would happen. she said the Liberals did it in the early 90's and is why our health care system still sucks today and they wouldn't role back Harper's move to do the same in the road to privatizing it all.

mark_alfred

Your mom sounds very cool.  Yeah, I had similar thoughts when I was looking at the Liberal promises during the election.  Money here there and everywhere with no increases in taxes for social programming (the tax on the uber rich was to fund a tax cut to the rich, rather than for social programming), it just seemed that their vague references to health care funding meant that they planned to cut there.  And now we see it.  It's a real shame.  People were fooled again.  Sad.  The NDP promised a 6% minimum in transfers.  This is so needed.  Yet idiots voted Liberal.  Gotta wonder.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Your mom sounds very cool.

You and she joined babble the same year.

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

Interesting article on Rabble that outlines many interesting facts about the Trudeau government.  This is one on health care (emphasis mine):

Quote:
The Canadian Press reports, "Quebec's health minister says the federal government has indicated it plans to let the annual increase in provincial health transfers fall to half its current level by the end of the year. ...Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott would only say that the transfer provides a stable funding base and that any additional cash would be focused on priority areas like home care and mental health." Trudeau's first budget, delivered in March 2016, stated that health transfers would increase by 2.8 per cent in 2017-18, which is below the 3 per cent minimum promised by the Conservatives.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/brent-patterson/2016/07/trudeau-popular-...

Because the Liberals are planning to negotiate an agreement that will have strings attached.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeaus-smooth-provincial-...

Annie Donolo, a spokesperson for Mr. Morneau, said in an e-mail that Ottawa’s focus is on “transformative actions” that will make the health-care system more efficient and produce better health outcomes.

“Once agreement is established on how the priorities will be achieved, decisions on targeted federal funding in support of these priorities will be made,” she said.

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins, who chairs the federal-provincial health talks, said he remains hopeful Ottawa will announce a transfer increase at some point soon.

“This is an important issue and we’re hoping to see an expression of commitment – including financial commitment – by the feds in the near future,” he said.

Some provinces, primarily those in the east with a higher proportion of older Canadians, also want the federal transfer formula to take demographics into account. That proposal could divide the provinces, given that it would be of less benefit to Western Canadian provinces with younger populations.

“The first criteria should be demographics,” said Dr. Barrette, Quebec’s Health Minister. “I don’t want to start an east-west war. That’s not the idea. The idea is that when it comes to health, above all else, we should be objective. And objectively, there’s no argument against the fact that the main factor in health costs is tied to age and demographics.”

Cindy Forbes, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said all provinces should receive a transfer increase to address the aging population but that provinces facing the most pressing challenges should receive more.

“Seniors’ care is the paramount health issue in our health-care system right now,” Dr. Forbes said.

What are you trying to prove? The NDP has some progressive policies and some not so progressive policies. Same goes for the Liberals. Now that the Liberals are in power the NDP has to offer an alternative different enough to prompt voters to change government sooner rather than later. Right now they are nipping at his heels like a newborn puppy. That won't work.

 

 

mark_alfred

Quote:

Quote:
Your mom sounds very cool.

You and she joined babble the same year.

Really?  This is some knowledge I'm unaware of.  Admittedly, my presence at Babble has been sporadic over the years.  I spent some time at enmasse.  Anyway, I'm now curious who this is. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I don't believe it's a secret, but just to be on the safe side I'll let quizzical or someone else tell you (or not).

But meanwhile, play detective!  Does quizzical remind you of any other babbler?

I can't recall from memory whether this babbler might also have participated at EM, and sadly EM has been borked for so long now that you can't even Google stuff from there.

mark_alfred

Quote:

I don't believe it's a secret, but just to be on the safe side I'll let quizzical or someone else tell you (or not).

But meanwhile, play detective!  Does quizzical remind you of any other babbler?

I can't recall from memory whether this babbler might also have participated at EM, and sadly EM has been borked for so long now that you can't even Google stuff from there.

Oh great.  Teasing me.  But yes, I do respect your not breaching any confidences.  So, as you suggested, I think I'll have to rely on my recollection of past posters political standing and style of posting... nudge my mind a bit .... jog the memory... give the cue.... prompt the mind .... put in remembrance.... bring to recollection...

I do have a guess, but it seems wrong to be publicly speculating on this.  So, if someone wishes to tell me, cool, and if not, that's fine too.  The person I'm thinking of was very cool and outspoken (as I recall) -- anyway, it's not important.  Just curious.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I think I'll have to rely on my recollection of past posters political standing and style of posting... nudge my mind a bit .... jog the memory... give the cue.... prompt the mind .... put in remembrance.... bring to recollection...

I read and re-read this and I suspect you may have a very good guess. :)

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I don't believe it's a secret, but just to be on the safe side I'll let quizzical or someone else tell you (or not).

But meanwhile, play detective!  Does quizzical remind you of any other babbler?

I can't recall from memory whether this babbler might also have participated at EM, and sadly EM has been borked for so long now that you can't even Google stuff from there.

I tried to guess before but gave up rather than going for what could be very wrong.

Sean in Ottawa

I think it is unclear where the Liberals will go with health spending. By keeping money out of the general basket (which goes to acute care) and putting it into homecare and long term care they might actually achieve more. On the other hand if the whole thing is underfunded there would be less. There is time to wait since we will see a direction before an election.

The problem we all are somewhat aware of, is that with parts of the system in the public sector and parts out of it you have decisions that cost the public and compromise the quality of care as acute care gets funding and loses it due to the inefficiency of underfunded sectors becoming less accessible to the public who do the only thing they can which is lean on the public system no matter how inappropriate and inefficient that may be. And this may come as an avoidable emergency.

Mental health, dentistry, eye care, community care, home care, pharma care and long term care all have been shortchanged in funding and focus. The result is that the spending on acute care is forced to be less efficient as individuals seek or are forced to use the public acute system to address shortfalls elsewhere. I would suggest that even holding back acute care spending but bringing in programs in these other areas, could leave the population with better coverage at reduced cost even if the health accord (as presently defined) is prevented from growing. The reality is that we have known since the days of TC Douglas that the present model was not an adequate solution. Health care spending is enough of the budget that it has to get more efficient and the present model with entire sectors solely in the private sector is a major untenable burden on the public sector.

It is not a stretch to say the Liberals know this, because everyone knows this. What exactly they plan to do to fix it is less clear. Their approach, more than rhetoric, will really define just how far left or right they are planning to go. Either you starve acute care and let the private sector eat more of it or you take some pieces from the private sector in order to allow an expanded public sector to provide better care and more efficient cost. All this has to be done by negotiation with the provinces.

Many of us have fought those who say that the healthcare system is unsustainable but the answer is that it is and isn’t. The ability of the public to cover health is sustainable but the present split with the private sector is not. It is that general fact that is the starting place for both those who want a strategic expansion to find efficiencies and deliver a better continuum of care and those who want to privatize what is presently public.

In this context we cannot measure just what the government does with this accord, we have to factor in what they do in all sectors – including support for health research (applied and discovery research).

I presume the Liberals know that blowing this file would be fatal for their government.

mark_alfred

She was great.  A lotta great ideas.  At times she disagreed with me and my posts, and in no uncertain terms would let me know.  Good to be challenged.

ETA:  oops, cross-posted with Sean.  Anyway, just referring to the thread drift above (posts 6, 8 to 12).

mark_alfred

Quote:

In this context we cannot measure just what the government does with this accord, we have to factor in what they do in all sectors – including support for health research (applied and discovery research).

I presume the Liberals know that blowing this file would be fatal for their government.

[cynic alert]

"fatal for their government"?  I suspect that if Prince Wonderful keeps taking selfies, the public will continue to forgive any shortcoming of this government for years to come.

[/cynic alert]

Sean in Ottawa

mark_alfred wrote:

Quote:

In this context we cannot measure just what the government does with this accord, we have to factor in what they do in all sectors – including support for health research (applied and discovery research).

I presume the Liberals know that blowing this file would be fatal for their government.

[cynic alert]

"fatal for their government"?  I suspect that if Prince Wonderful keeps taking selfies, the public will continue to forgive any shortcoming of this government for years to come.

[/cynic alert]

Even a selfie could not cover up blowing this file. We shall see but I suspect this is one they might be more careful with. If they are not they will get burned.

Naturally it is perception more than reality that will count but you can bet they will make sure the perception is taken care of. I think they will need a little bit of the real goods too as people will pay attention. Not the least becuase the Premiers will put it out there.

mark_alfred

True about the premiers.  Still, back in the 90s when the Liberals cut transfer payments and health funding, forcing provinces to cut and resulting in huge wait times, the Libs still got three majority governments in a row. 

mark_alfred

Hébert's analysis:  Canadians caught in the battle over health care (The first full-fledged federal-provincial conversation about Canada’s health system in more than a decade is off to a poor start.)

Quote:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is planning to follow through on Stephen Harper’s plan to cut by half the annual rate of increase of the health transfer to the provinces.

If they want a top-up of federal money, they will have to invest in the priority areas identified by the ruling Liberals in their election platform. But if they do, the provinces will still be receiving less money than the funds they would have been getting under the current formula.

The provinces have been picking up most of the tab for the rising costs of the system under the 6-per-cent escalator regimen and they will do more of that under the Harper/Trudeau formula.

In response, a number of them have been warning that the slower growth of the health transfer will either impact negatively on the quality of care or force them to take dollars out of other programs to fund medicare. It’s clear, education or child-care dollars could have to be diverted to the health system.

She further mentions that commitments toward a revitalized and more efficient health care system are simply hypocrisy on both the provincial and federal level.  I dunno.  But I do anticipate we're going to start seeing similarities to what we saw under Chretien in the '90s -- cutbacks and closures within social services, including health care.

 

Aristotleded24

Is it just me, or does it seem that the most dangerous advancements towards for-profit happen under the watch of Liberal governments and not Conservative ones?

quizzical

health care cuts coming  under the Liberals are what my mom has carried on about since they won.

she says it happens everytime.

mark_alfred
jjuares

Trudeau " misremembers" position on health care funding. Now " misremembers" is a generous term.
http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/12/19/trudeau-mis-remembers-platfo...

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

health care cuts coming  under the Liberals are what my mom has carried on about since they won.

she says it happens everytime.

Voting Liberal remains a triumph of hope over experience.

ETA: A little like going outside in December in a t-shirt. You want it to be warm but deep down you know it won't be.

quizzical

Justin Trudeau a lying liar.......

Martin N.

jjuares wrote:
Trudeau " misremembers" position on health care funding. Now " misremembers" is a generous term.
">http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/12/19/trudeau-mis-remembers-platfo...
Now, now, there is a lot of truthiness in such a generous term, none the less.

Martin N.

mark_alfred wrote:

True about the premiers.  Still, back in the 90s when the Liberals cut transfer payments and health funding, forcing provinces to cut and resulting in huge wait times, the Libs still got three majority governments in a row. 


Since healthcare is a provincial responsibility and provinces have much the same taxation powers, why is it encumbent upon the Feds to fund it? Provinces vigorously defend their powers but attempt to lay the blame for their failures at the feet of the Feds due to, not less funding but less of an increase to funding than demanded.

jjuares

Good article. Trudeau's latest offer is actually less for the provinces than Harper's plan.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/buyer-beware-ottawa-playing...