5/28/11

Tories waving goodbye to Canada Health Act?

Andre Picard’s piece in the Globe today suggests that the Tories will keep the 6% Canada Health Transfer funding escalator intact only until 2016  -- that's the most minimal version of the promise they made during the election campaign.  

Picard, however, suggests the Tories will avoid a ten province deal and instead create different deals with different provinces, with increases only keeping up with inflation after 2016.  The deals would tie the money to specific items in different provinces (e.g. wait times for certain surgeries in Ontario, catastrophic drug coverage in New Brunswick.)  There is also even the suggestion that ultimately the Tories may get rid of all federal- provincial  transfers and instead give the provinces revenue from the GST.   

The CHT cash transfer currently supplies about $27 billion to the provinces for health care.  For Ontario that covers about 23% of provincial health care spending ($10.746 billion).  Such changes would radically reduce the federal government’s ability to enforce the Canada Health Act and its five principles of comprehensiveness, universality, accessibility, portability, and public administration.  -- Doug

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