Leading Economist Shatters Myth That Public Health Care is 'Unsustainable'; Pins Blame for Soaring Costs on Private Health Care
Canadian Health Coalition release: http://tiny.cc/shjci
" 'Opponents of Medicare claim that public health care is fiscally unsustainable and that the only viable solution is a shift to more private coverage. Bluntly, this is a lie,' Dr. Evans said.
" 'Sustainability is often a code word for privatization and for-profit health care,' Dr. Evans said. 'But any debate on the sustainability of public health care must start from who and what drives health care spending, and include a clear identification of the winners and losers of any erosion or dismantling of Medicare.' "
Interesting that Dr. Evans calls those who say health spending in Canada is unsustainable liars. It is important that people recognize that some of those speaking on this topic are not just wrong or blinded by ideology. Some are deliberately misleading people with a clear profit motive in view.
Also interesting is the quantification of the impact of aging on the health system in Canada as a measly 0.8% per year, a figure well below inflation.
It is important to note that when we speak about health spending going up, we need to recognize that this includes private spending. Private spending impacts public health in a number of ways some indirect but significant. Gaps in access to pharmaceuticals, long-term care, home care, mental health, dental care all increase acute care costs, yet even so the public system is innovative and resilient.
As well when we speak of the budget burden of healthcare we need to recognize two contextual factors: firstly tax decreases and tax shifts from business to individuals and secondly cuts in all other manner of spending. These cuts make health spending take up a greater percentage of overall spending even when it is not increasing appreciably. This is why looking at public health spending as a proportion of GDP is a better way to look at it. Of course there it is a non story as it remains largely a constant.