Tuesday, July 31, 2007

choice and health care

The Calvinball Diaries writes the following on the CMA's support for a parallel private system:
The goal of all Canadian governments should be to see that everyone has access to health care; this can be achieved by paying for the care of those who can't afford it. Owning hospitals, employing doctors and nurses, banning health insurance and preventing doctors from working both publicly and privately are all measures that are not only unrelated to this goal, they seem to be preventing us from reaching it.
And he's right - if the goal of Canada's governments is to ensure that all Canadians have health care, all that is needed is a subsidy of health insurance premiums - not government-owned-and-run hospitals, not public-only health clinics and diagnostics, not even a specific government plan like medicare - simply a set of rules that the subscriber would have to adhere to to get government coverage, or a maximum that the government is willing to pay for the premium.

If you couldn't afford to pay for health care at all, the government would pay your premium. If you can prove that you can only afford to pay it in part, the government would top it up so that you could recieve what is considered the minimum amount of care acceptable, or (more likely in Canada) the government could simply pay enough to cover the basic premium for everyone and then people could be free to invest in health insurance for themselves and their families above and beyond what is covered by their government.

If the goal of the Canadian government with respect to health care is to ensure that all Canadians have equal access to care, this is all that is required of them.

"Canada's New Government" should be all over this one - they could call it the "Canadian Health Care tax credit," and we could all pretend that they're being fiscally conservative! Sounds like a blast.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Immigration is ImmiGREAT!

You are only 30 days away...

... from the 2007 Liberty Summer Seminar!

The seventh annual Liberty Summer Seminar is fast approaching. Falling on the August 18-19 weekend, the overnight retreat features a concert, incredible food, great people, and a bevy of pro-liberty speakers. We even have a theme song!

This year's speakers include:

Benjamin Perrin, Assistant professor of law at the University of British Columbia and member of the editorial board of C2C: Canada's Journal of Ideas
MP Scott Reid, representative for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington and fighter for Canadian liberty in the House of Commons
Jason Talley, Bureaucrash Crasher-in-Chief
Gerry Nicholls, columnist, Senior Fellow at the Democracy Institute
Karen Selick, lawyer and columnist with the Western Standard
Dr. Jan Narveson, professor of philosophy, University of Waterloo, Order of Canada recipient, lover of liberty.
Avril Allen, Canadian Constitution Foundation Lawyer

We are also very pleased to announce that our headline speaker will be none other than Marc Emery, referred to as the "Prince of Pot." Marc is the editor of Cannabis Culture magazine and a great freedom fighter who has long been dedicated to the fight to legalize marijuana - a fight that has recently landed him in a battle with the US government. To learn more about Marc and his current fight, take a look at this “60 Minutes" video.

Meanwhile, our musical act will again be Lindy!

Make sure to register at LiberalStudies.ca before July 28th to save $10 on registration. The price is $55 for students and $75 for everyone else. After the 28th, it will be $65 and $85, respectively.

Please also consider helping our fund raising efforts by visiting our main site, or by clicking on the "ChipIn" button found on this blog.

As always, if you have questions, suggestions, or advice, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Clicking "reply" to this email will do the trick!


The Liberty Summer Seminar Team

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

take that, statists!

Well you don't have to be excited, but I'm excited about this ruling.

Civil liberties: 1
War on drugs/statism/anti-immiGREATion: 0

Ooo, scratch that. It's actually,

Civil liberties: 2
War on drugs/statism/anti-immiGREATion: 0

because provincial judges RULE this week.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sicko and health care systems.

I was putzing around Facebook and it led me, eventually, to this very insightful suggestion:
In order to think about institutional choices related to health care, I’ve learned to ask two questions. First, who pays? And secondly, who makes decisions about the care provided? The first question is important because medical providers pay the most attention to the person or institution that pays them. If I pay my grocer myself, she will make sure she stocks food that I like. If she is paid by someone else (for example, the corporation that owns her store), then she’ll be sure to put what that person wants on the shelf, and pay less attention to my requests. The second question is important because different decision-makers may have different objectives to fulfill in their determination of the care you receive

and on Canadian health care vs. American HMOs:
The commonality between HMOs and single-payer national health care systems should have made Michael Moore more skeptical about the European, Cuban and Canadian systems. You see, each of these countries has a health care system that is, in effect, a single, national HMO.

Because I know Canada the best, I’ll use it as an example, but the point applies to all the rest. The questions are: who pays? And who decides? Moore makes the same mistake that most of us make regarding national health care systems when he says that “everyone” pays in such a system (remember the golfer scene?). The better answer to the first question is that the provincial health ministry pays, because it controls the revenue that doctors, diagnosticians, and medical service providers receive. The answer to the second question is the same: each provincial health ministry in Canada decides what medical goods and services will be available in any given year. A budget is set for the year, and the health care system has to stay within that budget. A bureaucracy is rewarded with more funds when it stays within its budget, hence the goal in any given year is to minimize costs: exactly the charge Moore brings against the “greedy” for-profit HMOs . A national health care system is simply a single HMO for everyone.
The quotes are from The Skeptical Liberal, and you can read his extremely well-thought out and defended opinion on Michael Moore's Sicko and the effects ofHMOs on American health care in their entierty here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Targeted Taxes Hurting

From here:
"The general philosophy that we need to reduce tax rates and broaden tax bases is being eroded by federal and provincial targeted tax relief," the study says.

"If governments remain on this tax reform path, the accumulation of targeted tax relief measures will have a significant fiscal cost, which could be better used to finance broad rate reductions. Tax rate reductions encourage greater work effort, investment and risk-taking without governments putting themselves in the position of picking winners from losers, a task at which they rarely succeed."


Political analysts say these targeted tax cuts are aimed at winning over specific constituencies that reside in politically important parts of either the country or province.

"You load up system with all these special preferences, then down the road the politicians realize they could have had a big tax rate cut instead," Mr. Mintz said in an interview.

Political faithful and spinsters backing the introducers of all this subsidization through the tax system (most notably, Tories) will toss up their hands at this one and say "Well, it works!" when confronted with this kind of talk.

How does it "work?" Well, it pushes governments like Harper's towards a majority by winning votes... at the expense of Canada and Canadians.

It works when all you care about is winning and being in power.
Say, isn't that what we used to bash the Liberals for doing?

I could swear that I remember hearing Tories on their high horses saying "I care about more than winning - that's why I could never be a Liberal."

I guess those particular horses went to the glue factory. I wonder if that's where the Conservatives' concern about what's best for Canadians ended up as well.

h/t for the link goes to Countering the Nanny State

Bernier's bad bet

Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press Maxime Bernier is taking a gamble. He believes that there is a large, disenfranchised voting bloc in Canada...