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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

Monday, August 21, 2006

SENSIBLE HEALTH CARE # 16 

UNDERHANDED, SNEAKY, DECEPTIVE AND IRRESPONSIBLE
“Alberta government quietly releases ‘Third Way’ health plan”

Those investor-driven corporatizers inside the Klein government function exactly like a prairie coyote skulking around the chicken coop in a farmers’ yard.

They don’t come right out in the open where the people who have done all the hard work of raising the chickens can see them. They know they'll be exposed as the sneak thieves they really are and sent packing by the family watch dog.

No, what they do is come in the doldrums of summer when even the farmer’s dog is napping. Then they will try to strike before the rightful owners of the healthcare hen house can stop them.

The problem we face in Alberta regarding health care is that the watchdogs that have the power to stop the corporate raiders are being fed on the side by the coyotes.

Our irresponsible and double-dealing politicians are helping the corporate raiders sneak in during the doldrums when the rightful owners are on either holiday or distracted by the phony and foolish fireworks show sponsored by their regressive conservative buddies in Washington and Ottawa.

Why the Klein government is so blindly determined to steal healthcare from the people and sell it to the rapidly corrupting American style corporate exploiters defies all reason and responsibility.

Corporate crime uncovered among health care providers in the US is rapidly approaching Enron and Worldcom in the corruption category.

Richard Scrushy, CEO of HealthSouth Corp., “THE (US) NATION’S LARGEST PROVIDER OF OUTPATIENT SURGERY, DIAGNOSTIC AND REHABILITATIVE HEALTHCARE SERVICES” (SEC press release March 19,2003) narrowly escaped conviction for fraud, the effect of which had been to leave thousands and thousands without needed health services.

Just this week, David Kocieniewski writing for the New York Times reports (Aug. 20/06) on New Jersey’s “LARGEST HEALTH CARE PROVIDER AND STATE’S SECOND BIGGEST PRIVATE EMPLOYER” what Federal prosecutors have called “ONE OF THE MOST LUCRATIVE MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEMES IN THE NATION’S HISTORY.”

The problems began, he says, when hospital administrators around the country - trying to satisfy the demands of investors at a time when managed companies were cutting reimbursements - turned to a handful of accounting firms that promised to help them maximize their financing from Medicare.

By exploiting loopholes in the complex formula that Medicare uses to reimburse providers for their most expensive cases, known as outliers, many hospitals had their federal aid doubled, quadrupled or increased 10 times.”

The fraud was so extensive, Medicare officials said in 2003, that to restrict the number of outlier claims they had to raise the threshold for qualified cases in each of the previous five years: from under $10,000 in 1998, to more than $33,000 in 2003.

These two examples are clearly only tip-of-the-iceberg samples (the New York article alludes to many more) of the disgusting danger the Klein government wants to impose on Canada’s public health system.

The skulking coyote in Alberta is right in the government itself trying to sneak off with the benefits that belong to the people who have brought Canada’s health system to one that is far better than what Klein is threataening to impose on the people of Alberta.

Will the farmers of Alberta finally come out with pitchforks and hay knives or will we again be robbed and asked to pay for another regressive conservative boondoggle because we’re too busy vacationing and harvesting?

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