9/22/11

Hudak ducks fight for health care funding

It was a fight, but, during the federal election, the people forced the federal Conservative Party to commit to increasing health care transfers to the provinces by 6% for two years after the expiry of the current ten year health care transfer deal in 2014.  


But we only squeezed two years out of the Tories.  The last deal guaranteed secure transfers for ten years.  Much more of a push is needed to get a commitment beyond two years.


Now Tim Hudak is the latest Tory to drag his feet.  When asked by the Globe and Mail "if he would push the Prime Minister for a second 10-year accord, Mr. Hudak would say only that he wants funding to continue."



This appears to be as feared: Hudak has clammed up in Conservative solidarity.  People outside of the federal and provincial Tory parties have been calling for a ten year deal with the same escalator for some time.   


Unfortunately, Hudak's position goes directly against Ontario's interests. New federal health care funding is going to be vital.  In fact half of the new funding Hudak has promised for health care would come directly from the federal government.  On his own, Hudak is only coming up with about 1.6%. (That won't even come close to covering inflation.) So Hudak knows all too well that the continuation of the escalator is vital. 

Both the Ontario NDP and the Ontario Liberals are demanding the Feds agree to a ten year deal with the same 6% escalator as in the last ten year deal. 


Hudak has to decide if he is part of the Ontario team, or the Harper Tory team.



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