Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happy Chaoulli Anniversary


The fifth of June marked the one-year anniversary of the Chaoulli Supreme Court decision that rocked this country's health care establishment. The National Post is on the ball with a health care feature running through the next few weeks. But other news sources are creating stories to mark the anniversary as well.

So, one year later, and what has changed?

Not much. In fact, Quebec went ahead and got a stay of the decision to come up with a policy strategy just after the decision. Now they propose... private insurance on three procedures. Three procedures. As for other procedures? No plans to change anything as of yet.

Of course, this is making Chaoulli angry, just as it should make all of us angry. The point of the decision wasn't to put one or two or three procedures on a more private track, it was to loosen the restrictions on plenty of them. That's was the spirit of the ruling. But the Quebec government knows that they needn't go through with the spirit of the decision. They can put forward a half-hearted effort and wait until they are sued again to fully comply. Since another round of court rulings will take several years (possibly ten), they are probably content thinking that no one is going to manage getting the money together for the costly court cases.

Will they still be so smug when the Canadian Constitution Foundation gets its feet under them? This is a set of court cases they really ought to pursue, as soon as they have sufficient funds. After all, a slim majority of Canadians agree that they should have the right to private care, and this is prior to the establishment of a general private system. As soon as we try a little private care, the camel's nose will be in the tent. I predict we'll have greater majorities supporting private care just as soon as we get a chance to try it out.

UPDATE: Interestingly, the Tommy Douglas series (Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story) is being put on hold by the CBC. Complaints about historical innacuracies are the reason.


Blogger mostlyfree said...

I think the private insurance for a few procedures is a good step - not as far as I'd like to see it go, obviously, but enough to hopefully demonstrate that it's not such a scary idea and discredit opponents of private health insurance.

10:08 a.m.  

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