Private health care – not sustainability – is the goal

Ron Liepert’s goal is to slash the amount of money the Alberta government annually puts into health care. Minister Liepert claims health expenditures are escalating “out of control” and are increasing at an unsustainable rate. This “lack of sustainability” is exacerbated by the politically motivated and fiscally irresponsible elimination of Alberta Health Care premiums.

Ron Liepert’s goal is to slash the amount of money the Alberta government annually puts into health care. Minister Liepert claims health expenditures are escalating “out of control” and are increasing at an unsustainable rate. This “lack of sustainability” is exacerbated by the politically motivated and fiscally irresponsible elimination of Alberta Health Care premiums.

Liepert says Albertans should believe his rhetoric rather than trusting the actual numbers. The actual numbers indicate the cost of health care has been increasing at approximately the same rate as the increase in the provincial domestic product and therefore is absolutely sustainable.

The way Liepert plans to reduce the government health care budget is to privatize large parts of the system. Recruiting and appointing Stephen Duckett, the champion of privatization from Australia, as CEO of the new superboard is proof of Liepert’s intent despite his protestations.

Privatizing large parts of health care in Alberta will accomplish Liepert’s goal of reducing government expenditures on health; however it will not reduce the cost of health care in Alberta. Costs will increase at a rate far exceeding the rate Liepert claims is occurring today.

The reason for this cost increase is simple. Privatized health care costs more than our current system because of the profit component. Health insurance companies are not altruistic. They are in the system to make money for their shareholders.

They accomplish this in three ways. First, they charge far more for health coverage than is currently being charged by Alberta Blue Cross and the now “free” Alberta Health Care plan. The cost of private health insurance in the USA is a good example.

Second, an individual who wishes to purchase private health insurance generally is refused coverage if the insurance company thinks there is any chance the individual may actually present a claim. They only insure those who have a low probability of needing health services.

Third, there is the whole issue of pre-existing conditions. An individual will rarely get private insurance coverage for a condition they presented in the past and if they are lucky enough to get coverage it will be at an exorbitant rate.,

To free enterprise conservative ideologues Liepert will look like a hero and a winner. The losers under Liepert’s plan will be anyone in Alberta who actually needs health care.

Albertans, with private insurance, will pay far more than they are currently paying to be treated. Those who are considered uninsurable will either have to pay the total cost themselves or go untreated.

Michael J. O’Hanlon

Red Deer

Just Posted

PHOTO: Rainbow Block Party at Red Deer’s West Park

The Trans and Non-Binary Aid Society hosted a Rainbow Block Party at… Continue reading

Blood donations needed in Central Alberta: Canadian Blood Services

357 donors are needed before Aug. 26 at the Red Deer clinic

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Photos: Smoky conditions in Red Deer

Red Deer and area is experiencing high risk air quality.See related: Red… Continue reading

Committee to decide how millions in Humboldt Broncos donations are split

SASKATOON — Lawyers for the families of some of those who died… Continue reading

Boy, 11, dies after being struck by payloader on southern Alberta ranch

BOW ISLAND, Alta. — A boy has died after an accident on… Continue reading

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government wants to establish a holiday to… Continue reading

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

FREDERICTON — Thousands of police officers and first responders from across the… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency over wildfires

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has declared a provincial state of… Continue reading

As service refusals make headlines, experts say businesses usually in the wrong

Two Canadian businesses that recently made headlines for refusing customers have learned… Continue reading

Irregular asylum claims increased in July after two months of decline

OTTAWA — The number of irregular border crossers in Canada went up… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month