Transcript: Show #187 "Toxic Shock" | Mar 06, 2000

(music plays)

The opening sequence rolls.
Music plays as clips of politicians and demonstrations appear on an animated number 4.

Steve says THIS WEEK ON 4th
READING... TOXIC SHOCK.
PREMIER HARRIS THREATENS
PRIVATIZED MEDICINE UNLESS
OTTAWA PONIES UP MORE
MONEY FOR HEALTHCARE.

A clip shows a doctor pushing an old woman in a wheelchair.

Steve, Gina and Richard sit next to two guests around a table in the shape of a number 4.

Steve is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray jacket over a dark green turtleneck sweater.

Steve says HI EVERYBODY, I'M STEVE
PAIKIN, AND WELCOME TO
THIS WEEK'S EDITION
OF
4th READING.
YOU'VE GOT A LOVED ONE IN
THE HOSPITAL IN NEED OF
SERIOUS TREATMENT.
ARE YOU CONFIDENT
CARE WILL BE THERE?
IF YOU'RE WORRIED,
YOU'RE NOT ALONE.
THE POLLS SAY CONCERN OVER
HEALTHCARE IS OUR NUMBER
ONE PRIORITY.
PAUL MARTIN THOUGHT HE WAS
ADDRESSING THAT WHEN HE
ANNOUNCED 2.5 BILLION FOR
HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL
PROGRAMS IN LAST
WEEK'S BUDGET.
BUT A SHOCKED GROUP OF PREMIERS
WAS EXPECTING MUCH MORE.
CRITICS SAY TOMMY DOUGLAS,
THE FATHER OF MEDICARE,
WOULD BE SPINNING
IN HIS GRAVE.

A clip plays.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Shirley Douglas. Daughter of Tommy Douglas." Shirley is in her sixties with curly short auburn hair.

Shirley says TOMMY WOULD BE SO ANGRY.
HE'D BE ANGRY
FOR MANY REASONS.
HE'D BE ANGRY THAT IT
HAD GONE THIS FAR.
HE'D BE ANGRY THE GOVERNMENT
WOULD DARE TO DO WHAT
THEY HAVE BEEN DOING.

The caption changes to "Paul Martin. Federal Finance Minister." Paul is in his mid-sixties, clean-shaven with gray hair.

At the Legislature, Paul says WE ARE ANNOUNCING THE
TRANSFER OF A FURTHER 2.5
BILLION DOLLARS TO THE PROVINCES
TO USE OVER FOUR YEARS
FOR POST SECONDARY
EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE.

Steve says THAT MEANT LITTLE TO
MIKE HARRIS AFTER THE BUDGET.

Mike Harris is in his fifties, clean-shaven with gray hair.

Standing behind a lectern, Mike says I READ WHAT THEY HAVE SAID,
AND I SAID THEY MUST THINK
EITHER PRIVATE SECTOR'S
GOING TO HAVE TO PAY MORE,
INDIVIDUALS ARE GOING
TO HAVE TO PAY MORE, OR
SOMEHOW OR OTHER WE CAN RUN
THIS SYSTEM ON FAR FEWER
DOLLARS THAN WE HAVE TODAY.
THAT'S THE MESSAGE
THEY GAVE US YESTERDAY.

Steve says CASH TRANSFERS FROM
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
HAVE GONE DOWN.
BUT THAT'S ONLY
PART OF THE PICTURE.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GIVES
MONEY TO THE PROVINCES TO
PAY FOR HEALTHCARE AND
POST SECONDARY EDUCATION
IN TWO WAYS.
THE FIRST WAY IS
A CASH TRANSFER.
OTTAWA HAS CUT THE MONEY IT
GIVES TO ONTARIO FROM 6.2
BILLION IN 1995-'96, TO
AN EXPECTED 5.2 BILLION
IN 2000-2001.
AT THE SAME TIME, THE
FEDS TRANSFER MONEY WITH
SOMETHING THE BUREAUCRATS
CALL TAX POINTS.
THIS IS MONEY COLLECTED BY
OTTAWA, BUT GIVEN TO THE
PROVINCES TO HELP PAY
FOR PROGRAMS AND NO
STRINGS ATTACHED.
IN 1995-'96, THOSE POINTS
GAVE ONTARIO 4.5 BILLION
TO SPEND.
THIS YEAR, OTTAWA SAYS IT
WILL TRANSFER 6.3 BILLION
WORTH OF TAX
POINTS TO ONTARIO.
ADDED TOGETHER, OTTAWA
SAYS THE MONEY IT GIVES TO
ONTARIO HAS GONE FROM 10.7
BILLION, FIVE YEARS AGO, TO
ALMOST 11.6 BILLION
IN THE COMING YEAR.

A slate shows a line graph with the data mentioned.

Mike says WE'VE BEEN DOING
EVERYTHING WE CAN.
WE'VE BEEN MERGING
HOSPITALS, WE'VE BEEN
RATIONALIZING THE
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.
WE'VE BEEN TRYING
TO FIND SAVINGS.
BOB RAE STARTED WITH SOCIAL
CONTRACT, HE CLAWED BACK
HERE, WE'VE DONE EVERYTHING
WE CAN TO MAKE OUR
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM JUST
AS EFFICIENT AS WE CAN.

The caption changes to "Honourable Ralph Klein. Premier of Alberta." Ralph is in his mid-sixties, with blondish hair and clean-shaven.

Ralph says GOOD EVENING, LADIES
AND GENTLEMEN.

Steve says BUT ALL EYES
ARE ON ALBERTA.
THAT GOVERNMENT HAS SAID
IT WILL ALLOW PRIVATE
HOSPITALS TO CONTRACT WITH
THE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM TO
DO SOME SURGICAL
PROCEDURES.
THEY ARGUE PRIVATE HOSPITALS
WILL SAVE MONEY IN A CASH
STRAPPED HEALTH SYSTEM.

The caption changes to "Lyn McLeod. Liberal Education Critic." Lyn sits in a living room. She’s in her fifties with curly short gray hair.

Lyn says I'M ALMOST CONVINCED THAT
MIKE HARRIS WOULD LOVE TO
FOLLOW THE RALPH KLEIN MODEL
INTO THE PRIVATE DELIVERY
OF HOSPITAL CARE IN A BROADLY
BASED HOSPITAL SENSE.
THAT DOESN'T NECESSARILY
MEAN RIGHT OFF THE BAT
PEOPLE WOULD BE PAYING FOR
THE HOSPITAL CARE IN THOSE
PRIVATELY RUN HOSPITALS.
BUT IT CERTAINLY STARTS TO
CHANGE THE AGENDA OF THE WAY
IN WHICH WE PROVIDE
PUBLICLY FUNDED CARE.

Talking to the press, Mike says RALPH IS EXPLORING
ALL OF THOSE OPTIONS.
I SUPPOSE ALL OF THE
PREMIERS, WE CHATTED
YESTERDAY, ARE SAYING IF
THE FEDS ARE GOING TO PULL
OUT OF HEALTHCARE, THAT
WE'LL HAVE TO LOOK AT
OTHER OPTIONS AS WELL.

Shirley chats with a woman and a man on a landing.

Shirley says I WOULD SAY TO JEAN CHRETIEN
NOW THAT DO NOT LET THIS
GET AWAY.
DO NOT BE THE PERSON WHO IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSING THE
CANADIAN HEALTH SYSTEM.

The clip ends.

At the studio, Steve says SO ARE WE REALLY ABOUT TO
LOSE PUBLIC HEALTHCARE?
MICHAEL DECTER KNOWS THE
SYSTEM INSIDE AND OUT.
HE'S CHAIR OF THE CANADIAN
INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH
INFORMATION, AUTHOR OF THE
BOOK
HEALING MEDICARE
AND A FORMER DEPUTY
MINISTER OF HEALTH HERE
IN ONTARIO.

Michael Decter is in his late forties, clean-shaven with gray hair. He wears a blue shirt, light brown jacket and patterned yellow tie.

Steve continues AND OUR QUEEN'S PARK
ANALYSTS, HERE'S RICHARD
MAHONEY FROM THE OTTAWA LAW
FIRM, FRASER MILNER, A PAST
PRESIDENT OF THE
ONTARIO LIBERALS.

Richard Mahoney is in his forties, clean-shaven with gray hair. He’s wearing a olive green jacket over a blue shirt and green silk tie.

Steve continues GINA BRANNAN, FORMER TORY
POLICY ADVISOR, NOW A
LAWYER.

Gina Brannan is in her forties with tied-up blond hair. She wears glasses and a gray blazer over a black shirt.

Steve continues AND JORDAN BERGER,
RESEARCH DIRECTOR FOR OPSEU,
AND A MEMBER OF
THE NDP EXECUTIVE.

Jordan Berger is in his late twenties, clean-shaven with curly brown hair. He wears glasses, a blue suit, burgundy tie and blue shirt.

Steve continues WELCOME BACK TO TVO.
NICE TO HAVE YOU
HERE, MICHAEL.

Michael says PLEASURE.

Steve says SHOULD THE FEDS HAVE
TRANSFERRED MORE MONEY
TO THE PROVINCES?
YOU SAW THE OUTRAGE
EXPRESSED BY THE PREMIERS,
PREMIER HARRIS IN
PARTICULAR, 2.5 BILLION DOLLARS
OVER THE LONG PERIOD
OF TIME WASN'T ENOUGH.

The caption changes to "Michael Decter. CDN. Institute for Health Information."

Michael says WELL, IT ISN'T ENOUGH.
BUT LET'S REMEMBER THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PUTS
SOME LONG-TERM MONEY BACK
IN A YEAR AGO, AND THEY'VE
LEFT THE DOOR OPEN
TO MORE NEXT YEAR.
SO I THINK WHAT YOU'RE
SEEING IS A HUGE
NEGOTIATION IN WHICH THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, MY
READ, WANTED TO HAVE A TAX
REDUCTION BUDGET, AND THEY
WANTED IT TO BE
PRETTY CLEAN.
AND THEY DON'T WANT TO JUST
PUT MONEY BACK IN THE
HEALTH SYSTEM UNTIL THEY
CAN FIGURE OUT HOW THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOWS
SOME LEADERSHIP, GETS SOME
CREDIT, AND IS PART OF IT.
AND THAT'S INVITED A REALLY
ANGRY RESPONSE FROM THE
PREMIERS, WHO FEEL LIKE
THEY'VE BEEN OUT IN THE
TRENCHES REFORMING
HEALTHCARE AND GETTING
THEIR HEADS KICKED IN DOING
IT FOR MOST OF THE DECADE.

Steve says ERNIE EVES, THE FINANCE
MINISTER OF ONTARIO WAS ON
THIS SHOW THE OTHER DAY
SAYING THAT ONTARIO'S SHARE OF
THAT 2.5 BILLION WORKS OUT TO
ABOUT 380 MILLION THIS YEAR.
NOW, THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN
AWFUL LOT OF MONEY, BUT IN
THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM,
HOW MUCH CAN THAT DO?

Michael says THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, A
YEAR AGO, PUT IN ENOUGH
MONEY TO PAY HALF
OF THE GROWTH.
AND I THINK SOME OF THE
PROVINCES READ THAT AS
THIS IS THE NEW
PARTNERSHIP.
WE'RE NOT GOING BACK TO
50-50 ON THE TOTAL, BUT WE
MIGHT BE GOING TO 50-50
ON THE NEEDED INCREASE.

Steve says PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT.
25 YEARS AGO, THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY PAID
HALF THE COST
OF HEALTHCARE.

Michael says MEDICARE
STARTED IN THE PROVINCES.
TOMMY DOUGLAS IN
SASKATCHEWAN BROUGHT IN
HOSPITAL INSURANCE, AND THEN
LATER PHYSICIAN INSURANCE.
AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
GOT ALL THE PROVINCES IN BY
SAYING 50-50 COST SHARING.
YOU BRING IT IN,
WE'LL PAY HALF.

Steve says NOW IN ONTARIO THEY
PAY 10 PERCENT, NOT 50.

Michael says WELL, DEPENDING ON
WHOSE NUMBERS YOU WANT TO USE.
THE PROVINCES WILL ARGUE ON
THE STRAIGHT CASH TRANSFER
IT'S DOWN AROUND
10-13 PERCENT.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL
ARGUE ON THE INFAMOUS TAX
POINTS TRANSFER WHERE THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REDUCED
TAXES, PROVINCES INCREASED
TAXES, THAT IT'S MORE LIKE
25 PERCENT.
BUT IT ISN'T 50 PERCENT.

Steve says ANY WAY YOU LOOK
AT IT IT'S A LOT LESS
THAN 50 PERCENT.

Michael says BUT WHAT SEEMED TO BE
EMERGING A YEAR AGO WAS THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STEPPED
UP TO THE PLATE WITH SOME
SERIOUS MONEY, AND IT LOOKED
LIKE THEY MIGHT FUND HALF
OF THE NECESSARY GROWTH.
AND THIS YEAR THEY KIND OF
STEPPED BACK AGAIN, PUT IN
ONLY TEMPORARY MONEY, AND
I THINK, YOU KNOW, IN SOME
PROVINCES LIKE ALBERTA,
ALBERTA'S INCREASED HEALTH
SPENDING 10 PERCENT THIS
YEAR ON A 5 BILLION BASE,
THAT'S 500 MILLION, THEIR
SHARE OF THE FEDERAL MONEY
WOULD BE MORE LIKE ONE-TENTH
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
I DON'T THINK IT'S
OVER BY ANY STRETCH.
THE PUBLIC WANT
THIS SYSTEM FIXED.
AND I THINK WHAT YOU'RE
SEEING IS A GIANT
NEGOTIATION WITH THE
PREMIERS SAYING YOU'VE GOT
TO PUT IN MORE MONEY OR YOU
DON'T GET TO TELL US HOW
TO RUN THE SYSTEM.
AND YET WHAT PROTECTS THE
SYSTEM IS THE PUBLIC.
THE PUBLIC WILL THROW OUT
A GOVERNMENT THAT DOESN'T
MANAGE IT WELL.
I THINK PREMIER FILMON
WHO HAD, AFTER ALL, BEATEN
GARY DOER THREE TIMES
RUNNING LOST AN ELECTION
ON ALL-WAY MEDICINE.
SO WHAT REALLY PROTECTS
MEDICARE IN CANADA ISN'T,
FRANKLY, THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT AND THE CANADA
HEALTH ACT, IT'S
THE ELECTORATE.

Steve says HAVING SAID THAT, DO
YOU THINK, RICHARD, THAT
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS
NOW AT ITS WEAKEST MOMENT
IN HISTORY IN TERMS OF
TRYING TO HAVE ITS SAY ON
HEALTHCARE BY PAYING, IF
THE ONTARIO NUMBERS ARE
RIGHT, AND THEY ARE ONLY
PAYING BETWEEN 10-13 PERCENT
OF THE SHOT HERE, THAT
DOESN'T GIVE THEM A VERY
BIG STICK TO WIELD IN ITS
EFFORTS TO PAY THE PIPER,
PAY THE TUNE.

The caption changes to "Richard Mahoney. Ontario Liberal Advisor."

Richard says IF THEY SAY THAT, THEY'RE
NOT RIGHT, AS YOUR OPENING
CLIP SHOWS.
THE TAX POINTS ARE
COMPLICATED, BUT ALL WE
REALLY NEED TO UNDERSTAND
ABOUT THAT IS REVENUE
CANADA, WHO WE ALL SEND
OUR TAX MONEY TO...

Steve says WHO WE KNOW AND LOVE.

Richard says WHO WE KNOW AND LOVE IN
OTTAWA, COLLECTS THE MONEY
AND TRANSFERS, ESSENTIALLY,
THAT MONEY TO ONTARIO FOR
ITS OWN USE.
AND THE TRANSFER, THE CHST,
THE CANADIAN HEALTH AND
SOCIAL TRANSFER IS A
COMBINATION OF CASH
AND TAX POINTS.
BY THE WAY, THOSE TAX POINTS
HAVE COME AT THE BEHEST OF
ONTARIO AND THE
OTHER PROVINCES.
THEY PREFER TAX POINTS
BECAUSE TAX POINTS GROW AS
THE OVERALL INCOME TAX TAKE
GROWS, AS THE ECONOMY GROWS.

Steve says SO IS OTTAWA
ARGUING THAT IT'S GONE UP?
IS OTTAWA ACTUALLY ARGUING
THAT OVER THE LONG HAUL
THEY'RE ACTUALLY SPENDING
MORE ON HEALTHCARE NOW
THAN THEY WERE?

Richard says YEAH, OTTAWA ACKNOWLEDGES,
OF COURSE, THAT WHICH IS
TRUE, IN THE '95 BUDGET
WHEN FEDERAL SPENDING WAS
CUT DRASTICALLY, FEDERAL
TRANSFERS, CASH TRANSFERS,
WERE CUT TO THE PROVINCES.
WHAT IS A FACT IS THAT THE
TOTAL TAKE NOW, AS TO THE
TIME THE LIBERALS TOOK
OFFICE, IS GREATER.
HOWEVER, TO BE HONEST ABOUT
IT, THE POPULATION HAS GONE
UP, THE COST OF HEALTHCARE,
AS MICHAEL GOES, HAS GONE
UP AS WELL.
MIKE, LAST BUDGET WAS THE
HEALTHCARE BUDGET WHERE, AS
MICHAEL DECTER POINTED OUT,
THERE WAS AN INCREASE IN THE
AMOUNT OF TRANSFERS IN THE
NEXT THREE OR FOUR YEARS,
LARGE SCALE TRANSFERS.
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, IN A
PREELECTION ADVERTISING
BINGE TOOK OUT ADVERTISING
RIGHT ACROSS THE PROVINCE,
PAID FOR BY US SAYING NOW
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS
PUT 5 BILLION DOLLARS OF NEW MONEY
INTO THE SYSTEM, WE DON'T
HAVE TO WORRY
ABOUT HEALTHCARE.

Steve says HANG ON ONE SECOND.
DO WE HAVE THIS?
DO WE HAVE THIS
CLIP STANDING BY?
YOU TALKED ABOUT IT AND,
BY GOLLY, WE'VE GOT IT!
ROLL TAPE.

A clip plays.

A Female Narrator says SINCE 1995, ONTARIO'S
HEALTH SPENDING HAS
INCREASED BY OVER
1.5 BILLION DOLLARS.
COMBINE THAT WITH THE 900
MILLION DOLLARS FEDERAL TRANSFER
OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS, AND
IT MEANS THAT WE CAN NOW
BUILD A BETTER HEALTH
SYSTEM FASTER.

An animated bar graph appears printed over medical staff working at a hospital. The graph reads "1995: 17.4 95/96: 17.6. 96/97: 17.8. 97/98: 18.3. 98/99: 18.9."

The Narrator continues AND VITAL SERVICES LIKE MORE
NURSES, SHORTER WAITING
LISTS, IMPROVED EMERGENCY,
LONG-TERM CARE AND HOMECARE
SERVICES CAN NOW
BE ACCELERATED.
A MESSAGE FROM THE
GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO.

The clip ends.

Back at the studio, Steve says GINA, THOSE WERE ADS, PAID
FOR, AS RICHARD SAYS, BY THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO,
RUN BY THE PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT,
JUST BEFORE THE LAST
ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
AND THEY WEREN'T SAYING THAT
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
WERE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS
ON HEALTHCARE THEN.

The caption changes to "Gina Brannan. Former PC Policy Advisor."

Gina says NO, THAT'S QUITE TRUE.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I WANT TO
DO IS WE HEAR ALL THIS TALK
ABOUT TAX POINTS, TRANSFER
FUNDING, WHAT IS IMPORTANT
TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO
IS WHEN THEY GO TO THE
HOSPITAL THEY GET CARE.
SO WE'RE SITTING HERE,
EVERYBODY IS PATTING
THEMSELVES ON THE BACK, THE
FEDS, THE PROVINCE, ABOUT
HOW MUCH MONEY THEY'RE
PUTTING INTO THE HEALTHCARE
SYSTEM, YET PEOPLE
ARE TURNED AWAY FROM
EMERGENCIES, THE HALLWAYS
STILL HAVE STRETCHERS IN THEM.
THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO
ARE LINED UP FOR RADIATION
CARE, AND IN FACT ARE BEING
SENT DOWN TO BUFFALO, AT
THE EXPENSE OF THE
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT.
SO WHERE'S THE BEEF?

Steve says WHAT I'M WONDERING IS
SEVEN MONTHS AGO THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT WAS TAKING OUT
ADS SAYING THINGS ARE
ACTUALLY OKAY.
NOW HERE WE ARE SEVEN MONTHS
LATER, AND YOU'VE GOT THE
PREMIER OF ONTARIO SAYING
THE HEALTH MINISTER DOESN'T
UNDERSTAND A DAMN
THING ABOUT THIS.

Gina says THERE'S COMMERCIALS
FOR SELLING CEREAL, TOO.
WHAT CAN I TELL YOU?

Steve laughs and says JORDAN.

Jordan says STEVE, I THINK IT'S ALSO
INTERESTING THAT IN THE LAST
ELECTION THE TORIES SAID
TAX CUTS CREATE ADDITIONAL
REVENUES AND JOBS.

The caption changes to "Jordan Berger. Ontario NDP Activist."

Jordan continues BY THAT THEORY, THESE
TAX CUTS THAT THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED TO
OFFER AS A MAIN PART OF
THEIR BUDGET SHOULD RESULT
IN FABULOUS NEW REVENUES
FOR THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT TO INVEST
IN HEALTHCARE.
THEY'RE UPSET BECAUSE THEY
WERE LYING IN THE LAST ELECTION.
THEY'RE LYING NOW.
TAX CUTS DO NOT INCREASE
GOVERNMENT REVENUES.
THEY ARE IN A REAL QUANDARY.
AND IT'S A QUANDARY
OF THEIR OWN MAKING.
THEY PUSHED THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT TO MAKE A
20 PERCENT CUT, I THINK,
IN OVERALL TAX RATES.
THAT WORKS OUT TO A
REDUCTION IN PROVINCIAL
INCOMES OF 3.4 BILLION DOLLARS.
IN SOME WAYS, THEY'RE LUCKY
THEY DIDN'T GET WHAT THEY
ASKED FOR BECAUSE THEN WE'D
HAVE AN EVEN GREATER CRISIS.

Richard says JORDAN IS RIGHT.
TAX CUTS DO COST MONEY, AND
IT WAS DISINGENUOUS OF THE
PROVINCE TO
SUGGEST OTHERWISE.
I'LL JUST NOTE THAT IN
ADVANCE OF THIS BUDGET, THE
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES
THIS TIME PAID FOR A STRING
OF ADVERTISING AGAIN,
ASKING THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT TO SPEND MORE
MONEY ON HEALTHCARE?
NO.
ASKING THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT TO CUT TAXES.
SECONDLY, THE 2.5
BILLION DOLLARS IN THIS BUDGET IS
ADDITIONAL MONEY,
ADDITIONAL TO THE TRANSFERS
MICHAEL DECTER WAS TALKING
ABOUT THAT THEY CAN ACCESS.
IN LAST YEAR'S BUDGET THERE
WAS ALSO 3.5 BILLION OF
ADDITIONAL
He air quotes TRUST
FUND MONEY ADDED IN.
SORT OF A ONE-TIME LUMP SUM
YOU CAN DRAW THIS DOWN OVER
THREE YEARS.
THE GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO
HAS NOT WITHDRAWN ALL THE
MONEY FROM LAST
YEAR'S FUND.

Steve says THE GOVERNMENT OF
QUEBEC HASN'T SPEND A DIME
OF THAT 840 MILLION
THEY'VE GOT SITTING THERE.

Richard says SO HERE YOU'VE GOT MIKE
HARRIS, HE'S SAYING, WE'RE
DYING, I'M DYING OF THIRST,
I'M DYING OF THIRST,
THERE'S A 2 LITRE BOTTLE OF
WATER SITTING THERE WHICH
HE CAN TAKE A DRINK OF.
HE'S NOT TOUCHING IT.

Steve says LET ME GET MICHAEL ON THIS
BECAUSE I'M SURE OUR VIEWERS
ARE CONFUSED AS HELL WHEN
WE HEAR WE ARE STARVING FOR
HEALTHCARE DOLLARS, AND AS
I JUST SAID, BERNARD LANDRY
HASN'T DRAWN ON ONE CENT OF
THAT 840 MILLION DOLLARS THAT'S
SITTING IN A BANK ACCOUNT IN
TORONTO THAT'S SUPPOSED TO
GO TO HEALTHCARE.
HOW CAN THE PROVINCES BE
ASKING FOR MORE MONEY FOR
HEALTHCARE WHEN THEY'VE GOT
IT SITTING RIGHT THERE AND
THEY DON'T DRAW ON IT?

Michael says WELL, MANY OF THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENTS IN THEIR ZEAL
TO PREVENT DEFICITS PUT
IN PLACE LEGISLATION THAT
FORCES THEM TO USE ANY
MONEY THEY DRAW DOWN IN
A PARTICULAR WAY.
SO WHAT MINISTER LANDRY
POINTED OUT WAS IF HE DREW THE
MONEY, HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO
USE IT TO PAY OFF THE DEFICIT.
SO HE'S DRAWING IT OVER
THREE YEARS RATHER
THAN ALL AT ONCE.

Steve says THE OPTICS ARE A
LITTLE WEIRD, THOUGH,
WOULDN'T YOU AGREE?

Michael says WELL, OF COURSE
THEY'RE A LITTLE WEIRD.
IT'S A LITTLE WEIRD THAT THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD
PUT MONEY INTO A TRUST
ACCOUNT IN A BANK TO START WITH.

Gina says IN TORONTO.

Michael continues THAT'S THEIR WAY OF GETTING
AROUND WHAT USED TO BE A
PRETTY IRONCLAD SYSTEM THAT
YOU HAD TO ACCOUNT FOR
MONEY IN THE YEAR
YOU SPENT IT.
NOW WHAT WE'VE GOT IS A
WHOLE SERIES OF POTS OF
MONEY HERE AND THERE WHICH IS
A WAY OF SPENDING A SURPLUS...

Richard says IF THEY DIDN'T DO THAT,
THAT MONEY COULD GO TO
PAYING DOWN THE DEBT
RATHER THAN TO HEALTHCARE
IN ONTARIO OR SOMEWHERE ELSE,
WHICH IS WHY THEY DO THAT.
I AGREE IT'S AN
ACCOUNTING TRICK,
BUT THAT'S WHY
THEY DO IT.

Michael says I THINK WHAT MUST AT THE END
OF THE DAY ALARM CANADIANS
ARE TWO THINGS.
ONE IS OVERWHELMINGLY, THEY'D
LIKE THEIR GOVERNMENTS TO
WORK TOGETHER TO SOLVE THE
PROBLEMS IN HEALTHCARE.
SO WHEN THEIR GOVERNMENTS
ARE BASHING EACH OTHER,
THEY'RE THINKING, WELL,
THEY'RE NOT ACTUALLY
SOLVING THE EMERGENCY
ROOM PROBLEM.
THEY'RE NOT SOLVING DOCTORS
IN NORTHERN ONTARIO BECAUSE
WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS
LOOKING AS TO HOW THEY CAN
BLAME SOMEONE ELSE
FOR THE PROBLEM.
SO NUMBER ONE, CANADIANS,
WHEN YOU TALK TO THEM,
OVERWHELMINGLY JUST
WANT THE THING FIXED.
NUMBER TWO, IN TERMS OF THE
MONEY, IT'S ALL COMING OUT
OF OUR POCKETS ANYWAY.
SO ALL OF THESE KIND OF
ACCOUNTS AND SCHEMES AND SO
ON, I THINK AT THE END OF
THE DAY, PEOPLE WOULD JUST
LIKE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
FUNDED ON SOME RATIONAL BASIS.

Steve says WHAT'S THE BEST WAY
TO GET THEM WORKING TOGETHER?
I KNOW WE SAW RUMOURS THE
OTHER DAY OF ROY ROMANOW
HEADING UP A
ROYAL COMMISSION.
DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?
ROYAL COMMISSION?

Michael says I DON'T THINK SO.
GOD, WE HAD A NATIONAL
FORUM FOR THREE YEARS.
IT MADE SOME VERY SENSIBLE
RECOMMENDATIONS WHICH WERE
OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORTED
BY THE PROVINCES.
NOW WE'VE GOT A THREE-YEAR
SENATE COMMITTEE LAUNCHED.
I'M REMINDED THAT FRANK SCOTT
ONCE WROTE A POEM ABOUT
MACKENZIE KING IN WHICH HE
SAID "THE HEIGHT OF HIS
AMBITION WAS TO PILE A
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE
ATOP A ROYAL COMMISSION."
THIS IS TREADING WATER.

Steve laughs.

He continues THERE'S NO SECRET ABOUT
WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN THE
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, AND SOME
OF IT WILL TAKE MONEY.
WE NEED TO PROPERLY FUND
HOMECARE, WE NEED TO
PROPERLY FUND
LONG-TERM CARE.
WE NEED TO PAY FOR DRUGS
THAT ARE NOW A BIGGER COST
ITEM THAN DOCTORS.

Steve says YOU WANT TO PRIVATIZE
MORE PARTS OF THE SYSTEM?

Michael says I DON'T.
THAT'S SUCH A SIDE BAR
ISSUE, AND IT'S DRAWING
THIS HUGE HEAT AND LIGHT.
THE REAL ISSUE IS ARE PEOPLE
GETTING THE CARE THEY NEED?
AND THE PROBLEM HERE
IS THAT YOU'VE GOT THIS
FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL TUG OF WAR,
AND WHEN IT'S RUNNING IN
NEGATIVE, IT'S
VERY DESTRUCTIVE.
WHEN IT'S RUNNING IN
POSITIVE, WHEN THEY'RE
TOGETHER, THEY CAN
GET A LOT DONE.
YOU SAW THAT, THE PROVINCES
AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAME
TOGETHER TO SOLVE
THE BLOOD SYSTEM.
WE HAD HUGE PROBLEMS
IN THE BLOOD SYSTEM WHICH
KREVER IDENTIFIED.
IT'S NOT ON THE
FRONT PAGE ANYMORE.
IT'S ACTUALLY GETTING FIXED.
AND IT'S GETTING FIXED
BECAUSE THE TWO LEVELS
WORKED TOGETHER.
SO IT'S POSSIBLE
FOR THEM TO DO IT.
BUT YOU'VE GOT NOW
THIS HUGE POSTURING.
AND PART OF IT IS A
STRUCTURAL PROBLEM THAT THE
PROVINCES BEAR THE
BRUNT ON HEALTHCARE.
THEY'RE THE ONES, QUESTION
PERIOD PROVINCIALLY IS
THE COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT.
AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
UNDERSTAND THAT, AND THEY'RE
A LITTLE RELUCTANT TO TAKE
THE PROVINCES OFF THE HOOK
FINANCIALLY WITHOUT FIGURING
OUT SOME WAY OF KIND OF
GETTING SOME
NATIONAL STANDARDS.

Jordan says I DON'T AGREE WITH
THAT POINT, MICHAEL.
I THINK THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT MADE A CLEAR
CHOICE IN THIS BUDGET.
THEY HAD A CHOICE BETWEEN
SHORING UP MEDICARE, WHICH
IS THE NUMBER ONE CONCERN
OF CANADIANS, OR SERVING
THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY.
AND THEY CHOSE
TO DO THE LATTER.
AND I THINK WHAT IT SIGNALS
IS THAT PAUL MARTIN IS
RESIGNED TO NEVER BECOMING
PRIME MINISTER OF THIS COUNTRY.
AND IT'S THE MOST EXPENSIVE
RESIGNATION LETTER WE HAVE
EVER SEEN IN THIS COUNTRY.

[all talking at once]

Steve says NOT TO GET TOO FAR OFF
TOPIC, BUT HOW DO YOU
READ THAT OUT OF THAT?

Jordan says BECAUSE THE FACT THEY ARE
GIVING, NEXT YEAR, A QUARTER
OF THE TAX DOLLARS GIVEN
AWAY IN THE BUDGET, THE
EQUIVALENT OF A QUARTER OF
THAT WILL GO TO HEALTHCARE.
THE YEAR FOLLOWING,
UNDER 8 PERCENT.
AND IN THE THIRD YEAR OF
THIS FIVE-YEAR PLAN...

Richard says THOSE NUMBERS ARE ONLY
CONFIRMED AT THE NDP
RESEARCH BUREAU IN OTTAWA.

Jordan continues HE MADE THAT CHOICE FOR A
REASON, AND THAT REASON IS
HE KNOWS HE'S NOT GOING
TO BE PRIME MINISTER.
HE'S GOING BACK TO
THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
HE WANTS TO GO
BACK WITH A RESUME.

Richard says LET ME IGNORE THAT
RIDICULOUS SPIN FROM JORDAN
AND RESPOND TO A GOOD POINT
THAT MICHAEL MADE WHICH IS
THERE IS A NEGOTIATION
BEGINNING HERE.
AND AS MUCH AS
MICHAEL'S POINTS...

Gina says LOOKS LIKE A
LOT OF POSTURING TO ME.

Richard leans forward to look at Gina and says THE GUY WHO IS ACTUALLY
RESPONSIBLE FOR HEALTHCARE,
IF YOU'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT,
IS Mr. HARRIS AND Ms. WITMER.
AND THEY'RE THE ONES WHO
BORROWED MONEY TO FUND A TAX
CUT WHILST... WHY DIDN'T
THEY BORROW MONEY TO FUND
THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM?
THEY DIDN'T DO THAT.

Gina says WE HAVE A
500 BILLION DOLLARS DEBT.

Richard says NOW IT'S THE DEBT ISSUE.
THERE WE GO.

Gina says YOU CAN GET INTO THE
DEBT ISSUE IF YOU WANT.

Richard says IF YOU CAN BORROW MONEY FOR
THE TAX CUT, YOU CAN BORROW
MONEY FOR THE
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.
SECONDLY, I THINK
MICHAEL'S RIGHT.
IN SPITE OF THE FACT
THE FEDS HAVE INCREASED
HEALTHCARE AND TRANSFERS
IN LAST YEAR'S BUDGET, AND
AGAIN IN THIS YEAR'S
BUDGET, THERE IS A
RELUCTANCE AMONGST THE FEDS
TO WRITE A BLANK CHEQUE
WITHOUT REESTABLISHING
THEIR ENTRY INTO FUNDING
THE NEW WORLD.
I THINK THAT'S RIGHT.
I THINK BOTH PAUL MARTIN
AND ALLAN ROCK AND THE PRIME
MINISTER HAVE SIGNALED
THAT THERE IS A LOT OF
ADDITIONAL MONEY AFTER THIS
BUDGET THAT COULD TAKE
PLACE THIS YEAR IF THERE
IS AN AGREEMENT AMONGST
PROVINCES AND THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT TO REFORM THE
SYSTEM.
NOW, PRESUMABLY, WE'RE NOW
GOING TO HEAR FROM THEM AND
THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS.
Mr. ROCK HAS INDICATED
HE WOULD MEET WITH THEM
AS SOON AS NEXT
WEEK TO DISCUSS THAT.
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES
AROUND WHICH WE WOULD DO
THAT SYSTEM?
MICHAEL'S VERY RIGHT TO SAY
WE'VE HAD STUDY AFTER STUDY
WHICH HAVE SUGGESTED WHAT
THOSE PRINCIPLES SHOULD BE.
AND NOW I THINK IT'S UP TO
ONTARIO, WHICH IS TALKING
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH ABOUT
THINGS LIKE PRIMARY CARE
REFORM, WHICH SHOULD BE
ONE OF THOSE PRINCIPLES,
IN MY VIEW.
AND THERE SHOULD BE
ADDITIONAL PROVINCIAL
MONEYS COMING IN.
AND I WOULD THINK A VERY
SIGNIFICANT FEDERAL
COMPLEMENT TO THAT.

Steve says EQUAL TIME TO GINA.

Gina says I'VE JUST GOT TO CUT THROUGH
ALL THIS POLITICAL-ESE
AND GOBBLEDYGOOK.
2.5 BILLION IS NOT JUST FOR
HEALTHCARE... YOU HAD YOUR
TIME, RICHARD.

Richard says IT'S
11.5 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

Gina continues THERE'S EDUCATION,
SOCIAL PROGRAMS...

Richard says AND HEALTHCARE.

Gina continues WHICH IS THE BIGGEST PART.
AND WHAT DOES
IT WORK OUT TO?
386 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

Steve says FOR ONTARIO.

Gina says FOR ONTARIO.
THAT IS JUST A
SPIT IN THE BUCKET.
AND THE FACT OF THE MATTER
IS YOU CAN'T DO, WHAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT HERE TODAY
ISN'T WHAT THE PEOPLE ON
THE STREET CARE ABOUT.
THEY DON'T CARE HOW YOU FIX
THE PROBLEM, YOU'VE JUST
GOT TO FIX THE PROBLEM.
AND I HAVE TO SAY ONE THING,
WHILE WE SIT HERE AND SAY
IT WASN'T ENOUGH MONEY
THROWN AT THE HEALTHCARE
SYSTEM, I MEAN, THE
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS
A MONEY PIT.
YOU CAN THROW AND THROW AND
THROW MONEY AND IT'LL BE
CHEWED UP SO FAST THAT, YOU
KNOW, YOUR EYES WILL SPIN.

Steve says MICHAEL,
YOU WANTED IN.

Michael says TWO THINGS, AND I WAS VERY
MUCH SOMEONE WHO FIVE YEARS
AGO SAID THERE'S ENOUGH MONEY
IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.
BUT WE'VE SQUEEZED
IT PRETTY HARD.
WE HAVE NOT FUNDED
POPULATION GROWTH,
WE HAVEN'T FUNDED
NEW TECHNOLOGIES.
SO MANY OF US WHO FELT THERE
WAS AN EFFICIENCY TO BE HAD,
ARE NOW OF THE VIEW,
THAT WASN'T WRONG,
IT WASN'T WRONG TO LOOK FOR
THAT EFFICIENCY, BUT NOW THERE
ARE SOME REAL AND PRESSING
NEEDS THAT NEED FUNDING.
BUT, SECOND, THE POLITICAL
IRONY OF THIS, IF YOU THINK
ABOUT IT, IS MARTIN AND THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DID A
TAX CUTTING BUDGET TO TAKE
AN AGENDA AWAY FROM THE
REFORM PARTY FOR
THE NEXT ELECTION.
AND IN SO DOING, THEY'VE
MANAGED TO ALIGN ALEXA
MCDONOUGH, WHO WAS THE
ONLY ONE WHO HAD ANYTHING
SENSIBLE TO SAY ON BUDGET
NIGHT IN MY VIEW, WITH MIKE
HARRIS, AND RALPH KLEIN.

Steve says WHICH WERE
ALEXA'S COMMENTS THAT
YOU THOUGHT
WERE...?

Michael says SHE WAS FOCUSSED
ON THE HEALTH SPENDING.
WHEREAS THE REST OF THE
OPPOSITION, THE NEXT DAY,
WENT RIGHT BACK TO
THE HUMAN RESOURCE,
DEVELOPMENT, SPENDING
BOONDOGGLE BECAUSE THEY
WANT TO RUN ON
GOVERNMENT WASTE.
SO THE GREAT IRONY OF THIS
IN POLITICAL TERMS IS THE
PREMIERS ARE NOW ALIGNED
LEFT OF CENTRE, WANTING
MORE MONEY FOR HEALTHCARE,
RALPH KLEIN'S ON NATIONAL
TELEVISION SAYING HE
SUPPORTS THE CANADA HEALTH
ACT, HE'S ENTRENCHING
IT IN LEGISLATION.
IN A WEIRD WAY, THE
TAX CUT ISSUE IS GONE.
REFORM DON'T WANT TO TALK
ABOUT IT BECAUSE MARTIN
BASICALLY TOOK THEIR
WHOLE PLATFORM.
AND THE DEBATE HAS SHIFTED
NOW IN A VERY CANADIAN WAY
RIGHT BACK TO SPENDING
ON HEALTHCARE.

Steve says I KNOW YOU DON'T NECESSARILY
LOOK AT PRIVATIZATION OF
HEALTHCARE IN ONTARIO AS ONE
OF THE GREAT BOOGIE MEN OUT
THERE, BUT YOU'VE GOT TO
KNOW THERE'S A LOT OF
DISCUSSION GOING ON ABOUT
IT AT QUEEN'S PARK.
THERE'S, I'D SAY THERE'S A
LOT OF CONCERN IN THE AIR
AMONG PEOPLE IN ONTARIO WHO
WANT TO KNOW WHAT MIGHT BE
PRIVATIZED, WHAT MIGHT NOT
BE... HOLD ON, GINA, I WANT
TO GIVE YOU THE STUDY HERE.
Steve looks at a piece of paper and continues YORK UNIVERSITY STUDY SAYS 66.9 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL
HEALTHCARE TAB IN 1998 IN
THIS PROVINCE WAS PAID BY
THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT.
BASICALLY IT'S SAYING A
THIRD OF THE SYSTEM IS
ALREADY PRIVATIZED
WITH MORE TO COME.

Gina says EXACTLY.

Michael says BUT LET'S BE CAREFUL
ABOUT THOSE NUMBERS.
IN CANADA, THERE'S A
VERY SHARP DIVIDE ABOUT
WHO PAYS FOR WHAT.
THE GOVERNMENT PAYS
FOR 90-SOME PERCENT OF
HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS.
THE PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS
PAY FOR EYEGLASSES, THEY
PAY FOR SOME EXTENDED CARE,
AND THEY PAY FOR A CHUNK
OF THE DRUG BUDGET.
IN FACT, THE DRUG BUDGET IS
ABOUT A THIRD GOVERNMENT,
A THIRD EMPLOYERS, A
THIRD INDIVIDUALS.
ONE OF THE REASONS THOSE
NUMBERS HAVE SHIFTED IS NOT
PRIVATIZATION, BUT IT
SHIFTED BECAUSE DRUG COSTS
HAVE GONE UP FASTER THAN
DOCTOR OR HOSPITAL COSTS.
GOVERNMENTS HAVE DONE
A JOB OF CONTAINING WHAT
THEY'RE PAYING FOR.
EMPLOYERS HAVE HAD A LOT
MORE TROUBLE CONTAINING THE
COST OF DRUGS.
SO PART OF WHAT LOOKS LIKE
A PRIVATIZATION IS ACTUALLY
JUST SOME THINGS GOING UP
IN PRICE MORE THAN OTHERS.
AND SO THE DEBATE, THERE'S
LEGITIMATE FEARS AND
CONCERNS, BUT THE DATA
DOESN'T ACTUALLY SUPPORT
THAT THERE'S
PRIVATIZATION GOING ON.

Steve says BUT ALL PARTIES
ARE DOING IT.
EVERYBODY'S DOING IT.
EVEN THE NDP DELISTED
SERVICES WHICH MEANT YOU
HAD TO GO TO YOUR OWN
POCKET TO PAY FOR IT,
AND THAT'S AN INCREASING
PRIVATIZATION.

Richard says THE INTERESTING POLITICAL
RESPONSE HERE FROM HARRIS
WAS THE DAY OF THE BUDGET,
AND THE DAY AFTER THE
BUDGET, HIS IMMEDIATE
REACTION WAS TO TAKE
WHATEVER HE DIDN'T SEEM TO
WANT IN THE BUDGET, WHICH
WAS MORE MONEY FOR THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT,
WHICH WAS ESSENTIALLY WHAT
HE WANTED, AND SAY, I GUESS
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS
TELLING ME I HAVE TO SPEND
MORE MONEY ON PRIVATE CARE.
BECAUSE WHAT HE WANTS TO
DO IS WHAT RALPH KLEIN HAS
BEEN TALKING ABOUT DOING,
AND MAYBE DIDN'T DO THIS
WEEK, WHICH IS BEGIN TO
MOVE MORE INTO PRIVATE
HOSPITAL CARE.

Steve says THAT'S UP FOR GRABS.
I THINK MICHAEL'S SAYING
THAT'S UP FOR GRABS.

Richard says MICHAEL BRINGS UP SOME GOOD
POINTS, BUT I THINK HARRIS
IS TRYING TO USE THIS AS
AN ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF
MOVING TOWARDS MORE
PRIVATELY FUNDED.
NOT TO COVER DRUGS, BUT
TO COVER HOSPITAL CARE.

Gina says I JUST WANT TO DO A
LITTLE BIT OF CRYSTAL BALL
GAZING INTO THE FUTURE.
WE HAVE OUR BABY BOOM
BULGE MOVING INTO SENIORS,
THE LARGE PART OF OUR
POPULATION, AND A VERY,
I'D SAY, PERSUASIVE AND
INFLUENTIAL PART OF OUR
POPULATION, THE BABY BOOMERS
BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE.
AND I THINK WHEN MICHAEL
TALKS ABOUT HOW IT'S THE
PEOPLE, AND AS WE GO ON,
MORE AND MORE SOPHISTICATED
ELECTORATE, THEY'RE GOING
TO MAKE THE DEMANDS FOR
THE HEALTHCARE, AND THE
GOVERNMENTS ARE GOING TO
HAVE TO RESPOND OR THEY'RE
NOT GOING TO STAY IN POWER.
SO I THINK THAT AS TIME
GOES ON, THE PROBLEMS WILL
EVENTUALLY GET FIXED.
AND IT'S NOT
ALL ABOUT MONEY.

Steve says MIKE HARRIS' COMMENTS THIS
WEEK, AS RICHARD ACCURATELY
POINTED OUT IS SAYING, WHERE
DO THEY EXPECT US TO GET
THE MONEY FROM?
I GUESS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
TO GO TO INDIVIDUALS OR
BUSINESSES TO
GET MORE MONEY.
IS HE SETTING THE TABLE
FOR PRIVATIZATION?

Gina says HE IS SETTING THE STAGE FOR
PRIVATIZATION, AND I THINK
IT'S COMING, AND I THINK
WHEN IT COMES, BY THE TIME
WE GET THERE, PEOPLE WILL
BE SO TIRED WITH THE
LINE-UPS THAT IF THEY CAN
PAY TO GET THE SERVICES,
THEY'LL DO IT.

Steve says DO YOU AGREE
WITH THAT, MICHAEL?

Richard says I HOPE
THAT'S WRONG.

Michael says I DON'T AGREE
WITH THAT.
I THINK IT COMES
DOWN TO VALUES.

Gina says IN 20 YEARS WE'LL HAVE
DINNER AND TALK ABOUT IT.

Michael says WELL, WE MAY.
[laughing]
I'D BE DELIGHTED
TO DO THAT.
FUNDAMENTALLY, I DON'T THINK
CANADIANS WANT TO LIVE IN A
SOCIETY WHERE THEIR
NEIGHBOUR CAN LOSE THEIR
HOUSE AND THEIR LIFE
SAVINGS BECAUSE THEY GET SICK.

Steve says RIGHT.

Michael continues AND THERE IS A VALUE
THAT CANADIANS EMBRACE
AROUND SOLIDARITY.
NOW, A LOT OF THINGS ARE
PEELING OUT OF THE HEALTH
SYSTEM BECAUSE
TECHNOLOGIES HAVE CHANGED.
LET'S TAKE AN EASY ONE.
THE FASTEST GROWING MEDICAL
PROCEDURE IN CANADA IS
LASER EYE SURGERY.
NO ONE IS CLAMBERING FOR
GOVERNMENT TO PAY FOR IT.
BOOMERS ARE VERY HAPPY TO
BOUNCE DOWN, PAY 750 BUCKS
AN EYE, HAVE IT DONE IN TEN
MINUTES, AND, YOU KNOW, SO
IN AN ODD WAY, THE DEMAND
OF BOOMERS FOR SPEED AND
QUALITY IS MARRYING UP WITH
SOME TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES.
WHAT'S CAUSED THE CONCERN IN
ALBERTA IS THE NOTION HEAVY
SURGERY MIGHT MOVE OUT
OF THE PUBLIC SYSTEM.

Steve says RALPH KLEIN HAS
APPARENTLY TRIED TO CLOSE
THE DOOR ON THAT.

Jordan says MOST OF US CAN DO
WITHOUT LASER SURGERY,
THEY CAN'T DO WITHOUT
THE ESSENTIALS.
AND THAT'S THE
PROBLEM WITH CHOICE.
IT'S ALWAYS PEOPLE WITH
MONEY WHO GET THE CHOICES.

Gina says WE MAY NOT WANT TO SEE THE
PERSON NEXT DOOR LOSE THEIR
HOUSE BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO
MORTGAGE IT FOR HEALTHCARE,
BUT I DON'T WANT TO SEE
MY FRIEND'S SON MISS AN
EMERGENCY BECAUSE THEY'RE
ON CRITICAL BYPASS.

Steve says GINA, YOU GET THE
LAST WORD THIS WEEK.
THAT'S ALL THE
TIME WE'VE GOT.
MICHAEL DECTER FROM
CHI, THANKS A LOT
FOR BEING HERE TODAY.

Michael says PLEASURE.

Steve concludes TO THE THREE OF YOU,
MANY THANKS, AS WELL.
AND THAT'S OUR
PROGRAM FOR THIS WEEK.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
THANKS FOR WATCHING.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.

Music plays and the end credits roll, as Steve and the rest continue the conversation.

Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Susanna Kelley.

Producer, Bret Ballah.

Editor, Ted Ambrose.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #187 "Toxic Shock"