Public Values

Walkom rebuts privatization proponents' framing, reveals true meaning of report

Focus not on Medicare in Canada, but on problems in US system.

Walkom: Skilfully provocative press release played into common narrative that Medicare is broken.May 18, 2011: Thomas Walkom defends, in the Toronto Star, a recent report that ranks Canada's spending on health care considerably higher than its overall performance in health care. While proponents of privatization seized on the chance to discredit Medicare, Walkom highlights the report's key messages: that administration costs related to private insurance are more expensive than keeping health care public, and that healthy lifestyles — not health care — improve health.

"A new report suggesting that Canadians don't get much bang for their health dollar is making headlines. So far, the reaction has been predictable.

Critics of Medicare say the Conference Board of Canada report shows that our universal health care system doesn't work. Writing in the Edmonton Journal, commentator Lorne Gunter blamed what he called Canada's poor showing on the government's 'monopolistic control' over health care. The National Post opined that only more privately funded health care (also known as two-tier medicine) could rectify the problem.

Both were reacting to a news release accompanying last week's reportÂ…"

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To read the Conference Board of Canada's report on health spending, please click here.

Posted: May 27, 2011

  Health care
  Public services

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