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Monday, July 15, 2024

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We’ve seen this public service heist movie before

The Conservative attack on healthcare is not a new trick. We’ve seen it before when they attacked other public services like Hydro.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Credit: Premier of Ontario Photography / Flickr

A successful heist requires careful planning and timing. Privatizing healthcare has been planned for years by the Conservatives.

It was once unthinkable that our non-profit public power hydro system would be turned into a for-profit system. Now the theft of our beloved healthcare system is going on right before our eyes.

Ford is following the exact same script to privatize healthcare as Mike Harris did when Harris claimed public power was bankrupt. While endlessly promising “lower rates” and that “nothing will go wrong” Harris’s hydro deregulation changed every non -profit hydro commission in Ontario into a for -profit corporation. Every ratepayer knows how those promises worked out. Ford is again promising that his for-profit private surgery clinics won’t cost you anything out of pocket. This is completely false. With profit as the main concern, private owners will add in a long list of additional fees not covered by OHIP.

Just how are private owners going to staff their clinics with doctors and nurses? There is only one way, pay a premium to lure them away from the public system and then charge more so they can make a profit off of them. Unfortunately, Ford will likely pay some doctor turncoats to do ads praising his plan.

First, as John Snobelen of the Harris government said, “you have to create a crisis.” The Pandemic was tailor made for privatizing healthcare.

Taking advantage of or creating a crisis is only the first part of the plan. Then they will claim and exaggerate that the public system is broken while constantly repeating “the status quo isn’t working”. we need “innovation” to fix it.

The words “reform” and “innovation” have always been code words for privatization.

Health minister Sylvia Jones, has claimed “decades of inaction has caused the healthcare crisis”. The facts are that decades of underfunding and cuts to pay for revenue shortfalls, caused by Tory tax cuts, is the untold truth about the healthcare crisis.

As well as endlessly using the word “innovation”, watch for the promise of “increased efficiencies”. They will likely make a big deal out of the word “choice.” People can choose the fastest way to get their healthcare needs met.

“Cutting red tape” and “innovation” and “choice“ make for nice soundbites, but the reality is those Conservative policies make us all much poorer.

The Conservatives are largely to blame for this crisis that they created with under funding and funding cuts to pay for tax cuts. When you think about it, this should be illegal. It is important to note that the tax cuts and cuts to healthcare made by the Harris Conservatives in the 1990’s resulted in the loss of over 10,000 nurses. It was a loss the healthcare system never recovered from.

Now Ford is going to fix a crisis they created with privatization? Worldwide the record of privatization is dismal.

Since 1980, the wealthiest people and their corporations have successfully lobbied Governments for massive tax cuts in the multiple billions.

What we really need to do to fix our healthcare system is to reverse tax cuts. (Reversing tax cuts on the wealthy and their corporations is not raising taxes, it is restoring funding to build and pay for a civil society.)

We have decades of proof that Public Universal healthcare works when properly funded and managed.

There’s a reason why we made rich people use our hospitals through universal public healthcare, that was so that healthcare would be good for everyone!

Ford is again making false claims. We’ve seen this movie before, it doesn’t end well!

If you love your healthcare and want to stop this robbery. Contact the Ontario Health Coalition to find out how.

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