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Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Sunday, March 19, 2006

SENSIBLE HEALTH CARE #7 

OPINIONS CLASH AND CONFUSE
INFORMATION CALMS AND CLARIFIES

*Please note:- This posting builds on, and is supportive to, the previous one entitled, "TWO SIDES TO THE THIRD WAY DEBATE." That attractively presented article vividly illustrates he vast chasm between superficial, uninformed opinion, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the presentation of conclusions based on research and rational analysis.

Paul Jackson's Calgary Sun column is obviously based on little more than a belly full of irrational responses to political leaders and a head full of emotion loaded smear language intended to cut down Liberals and NDPers while proposing to give Klein license to do as he will.

The other presentation of Ten reasons against two tier medicine, by probably the most informed researchers in Canada today, represents what is, arguably, the result of the broadest and deepest search for information about health care available.

Why is it so hard for Alberta citizens to learn the truth about Medicare in this province?

The answer is that Alberta's Klein government has, from day one, dealt in highly suspect and unsubstantiated opinions devoid of complete and accurate information. Klein still chooses to retail emotion loaded, propaganda-spun opinions rather than come clean with unbiased information for the public at large.

The result is a politically controlled, big business driven, decision making process designed to undercut and dismantle one of the greatest public services in Canada today.

Unless? Unless we, the public, can shame, demand or force the government into opening up with their numbers and their motives.

By far the most sensible way to move a group of people through a problem solving process is to start by gathering and widely disseminating all of the relevant information possible.

The most senseless (a.k.a. stupid) place to start into group decision making is to call for expressions of opinion from a people who are ill informed, propagandized or almost totally ignorant about the nature of the problem or problems to be solved.

We have come to the point where the Klein government treats a person or group seeking accurate information as if they were an enemy to be put down and kept in the dark rather than persons with a legitimate right to the numbers that reveal the reality of the situation faced by those providing health care services.

HERE IS THE KIND OF THING WE'RE FACING

OPINION: "Unsustainable" is nothing more than an emotionally loaded and aggressive opinion: Klein and Evans offer no solid information. Instead Klein calls Taft a liar and Mason a socialist ideologue. He and Iris Evans bluster on about health costs absorbing the whole budget by the year 2030 when they are asked for honest information ( See Hansard )

INFORMATION: According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, in 2001 the Alberta government spent $2,081.83 per capita on health care -- slightly below the national average of $2,089.72. " As a percentage of the gross domestic product, Alberta's health care spending is 4.7 percent and this has changed very little in the last 15 years" - (Phillip H. Walker Edmonton Journal 5/03/06)

Why, then, is the Klein government suddenly claiming to foresee disaster unless we sell our system to privateers?

Maybe it's time to address the Premier by the name he uses so freely on those who challenge him for information, i.e. by the legislative equivalent of "liar".

"TEN TOP REASONS AGAINST TWO-TIER MEDICINE IN CANADA" by contrast with Paul Jackson's purely opinionated Sun article, is based on real research and honest analysis by highly qualified and objective professionals.

The Klein government undoubtedly loves to hear mindless opinions like those of Paul Jackson.

What they really need to hear is what Dr. Colleen Flood, Dr. Tom Noseworthy and other informed professionals prescribe as an antidote to the kind of democratically poisonous and opinionated conflict that this government engenders by its refusal to make the truth known to the citizens of Alberta.

Blair McPherson

See other articles in this series below:
Sensible Health Care #1
Sensible Health Care #2
Sensible Health Care #3
Sensible Health Care #4
Sensible Health Care #5
Sensible Health Care #6
Sensible Health Care #7

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