Sunday, November 29, 2009

"the most powerful tool we have in our health-care armamentarium is income redistribution"

Rich vs. Poor: The lives we can expect from our income
Both longevity and quality of life are now measured by statisticians, but however you parse the data, Canada's poor have worse life expectancy than the well off.

Andre Picard

Andre Picard

.....There are a lot of numbers to digest here, but the bottom line is this: People's income (or lack thereof) has about twice the impact on their health as cancer does. That is a humbling bit of data. It also raises the question: Why is tackling poverty not a health priority?

Patching and mending is all well and good, and our sickness-care system does a good job of it. But the data tell us that the most powerful tool we have in our health-care armamentarium is income redistribution. The most powerful drug we have – money – is pretty plentiful in Canada. But it is not being prescribed to everyone who would benefit. Yesterday, the group Campaign 2000 released its 2009 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada. It showed that 637,000 children are still living in low-income families – two decades after federal politicians vowed to eradicate child poverty. One can only despair that, in a country with one of the highest life expectancies in the world, these children are being deprived of almost a decade of life from the get-go, and we seem largely indifferent.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Release secret RCMP file on Tommy Douglas

The family of Canadian icon Tommy Douglas is urging the government to make public RCMP intelligence on the socialist firebrand and father of medicare, while an expert calls it ludicrous to claim any national security grounds to keep them secret...The document battle began in November 2005, when Canadian Press reporter Jim Bronskill requested the RCMP dossier on the fabled Prairie politician under access to information laws. A year later, Library and Archives Canada handed over some of the material, which showed RCMP spies had shadowed Tommy Douglas for more than three decades.

The Canadian Press (click here for
full story)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dennis Kucinich on passage of Obama's health reform

“We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry, the very source of the problem. When health insurance companies deny care or raise premiums, co-pays and deductibles they are simply trying to make a profit. That is our system.... Notwithstanding the fate of H.R. 3962, America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America’s businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals.”

For the full text of Kucinich's speech, click here.