Written by Mark Taliano
Canadians are forever being informed, explicitly or implicitly, that the solution to the crisis of the day, or decade, is a freedom-sounding word called “privatization”. This, the free-marketeers tell us, will solve our problems.
The reality is invariably the opposite. “Privatization” -- also known as bailed-out, highly subsidized corporatism – is in fact the problem, not the solution.
Furthermore, the crises being addressed are often manufactured for the express purpose of rolling out a parasitical regime of corporatization that profits from calamity, even as its “host”, the public, is fleeced.
A tattered thread is woven into a seemingly endless series of crises, and it is the public sector, the commons, that is invariably being exploited.
Neo-conservative strategists disguise the real problem, and deflect attention from it, using a myriad of strategies, all of which serve to instil what insurance whistle-blower Wendel Potter calls FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt—in the collective mental landscape of the masses.
According to neo-con politicians, union bosses and their minions, as well as public servants, and public institutions, are the causes of our economic woes, even as these are some of the few remaining polities that mitigate the damages caused by predator capitalism.
Two of Canada’s “emblematic” institutions, currently being undermined so that they can be replaced by inferior models, are “universal” health care, and Canada Post.
Canada’s public healthcare system is in distress. Community hospitals are closing, wait-times are long, and the public is dissatisfied. Corporate messaging proclaims that since the status quo of public universal healthcare is failing, then the answer must be privatization/corporatization. Consequently, the 2004 Health Accord has not been renewed, and the federal government will be cutting $36 Billion http://www.canada.com/health/Federal+health+cuts+will+total+billion+over+decade+Premiers/7000240/story.html over ten years from its Canadian Health Transfers (CHT’s) to the provinces.
he manufactured crisis in healthcare is chronic under-funding, and the solution is more comprehensive public funding, not corporatization. Since 1981 hospital funding has decreased significantly as a share of Canada’s health care budget.
A CUPE article entitled, "Public Health Care Costs Less, Delivers More”
clearly shows that the “private” components of health care far exceed its public counterparts in costs even as they deliver less. Listed below are some (of numerous) examples identified in the article:
- Ontario paid 75 per cent more to for-profit labs than it had to non-profit community labs over the previous 30 years, for the same tests.10
- Public-private partnerships are 83 per cent costlier to finance than public projects.11
* (Canadians) spend roughly half of what the private US system spends per person,16 and we get better coverage and outcomes.
- Studies comparing US and Canadian outcomes for heart attacks, cancer, surgical procedures and chronic conditions show that Canada does at least as well, often better.21
- A recent Canadian study found that expedited knee surgery in a for-profit clinic costs $3,222 compared to $959 in a public hospital (with worse return-to-work outcomes).24
These two important examples are, nonetheless, the tip of the iceberg. The list is long, but the strategies are consistent: create a crisis to undemocratically impose inefficient, expensive corporate models in domains best suited to public funding.
Written by Mark Taliano
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