August 28, 2002


Canadian model of healthcare ails : Report ranks Canada's state-funded system near the bottom among industrial nations. (Eric Beaudan, August 28, 2002, The Christian Science Monitor)
When Bill Clinton attempted to reform US healthcare in 1994, his administration often touted Canada's publicly funded, universal access system as a model to be emulated. As it turns out, the Canadian system may be crumbling under its own weight.

Despite spending nearly C$100 billion (US$64 billion) per year on healthcare--the most per capita among countries that run a similar system--a study released last week by the Fraser Institute, a public-policy think tank in Vancouver, shows that Canada ranks only slightly higher than Hungary, Poland, and Turkey in the quality of service its citizens receive.

Canada is the last industrialized nation to rely solely on government funds for its core healthcare system. There's an emerging view that it, too, may abandon a system that has long been a symbol of its national identity.

"We are no longer the model," says Michael Walker, executive director of the Fraser Institute. "When you consider that equal access in a country as spread out as Canada would require a greater number of physicians and diagnostic equipment, we're clearly headed in the wrong direction."

Here's how The Newshour describes Bill Kristol's role in killing the Clinton Health Care Plan :
December 2, 1993 - Leading conservative operative William Kristol privately circulates a strategy document to Republicans in Congress. Kristol writes that congressional Republicans should work to "kill" -- not amend -- the Clinton plan because it presents a real danger to the Republican future: Its passage will give the Democrats a lock on the crucial middle-class vote and revive the reputation of the party. Nearly a full year before Republicans will unite behind the "Contract With America," Kristol has provided the rationale and the steel for them to achieve their aims of winning control of Congress and becoming America's majority party. Killing health care will serve both ends. The timing of the memo dovetails with a growing private consensus among Republicans that all-out opposition to the Clinton plan is in their best political interest. Until the memo surfaces, most opponents prefer behind-the-scenes warfare largely shielded from public view. The boldness of Kristol's strategy signals a new turn in the battle. Not only is it politically acceptable to criticize the Clinton plan on policy grounds, it is also politically advantageous. By the end of 1993, blocking reform poses little risk as the public becomes increasingly fearful of what it has heard about the Clinton plan.

For stopping us from heading in the disastrous direction outlined in the article above, if for nothing else, Mr. Kristol is a conservative hero, neo or no. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 28, 2002 9:45 AM
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