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The Fraser Institute will release its third annual report on medicare this Monday Oct. 2. In case the anticipation is just too much for you, we have used our psychic powers - being the powerful union that we are - to predict the report’s conclusions: Our predictions for Paying More, Getting Less 2006:

Hospitals cost too much

  • Provincial governments should pave them or re-purpose them as shopping malls for the ultimate in cost-recovery efficiency.
  • Failing that (in the event the irrational, non-self-interest-maximizing public persists in preferring public health care) some rationalizing, cost-recovery suggestions:
    • smart meters on IV drips
    • on-site financial consultants. Swapping a mortgage on your house for treatment of a heart attack is an economically rational decision.
    • Handi-wipe vending machines (see below)

Unions are to blame

  • People who clean hospitals should be paid less. Otherwise people who are paid well - to work at right wing think tanks, for example - will feel inadequate.
  • We should actually privatize more hospital cleaning so as not to undercut our handi-wipe cost-recovery strategy (see above).
  • Come to think of it, eliminate the kitchen staff too. Empty wards, corridors and operating rooms can be lined with food vending machines.
  • When I was a kid, a guy ran over my toy dump truck and his car had a UAW sticker on it, and it’s just kinda stayed with me ever since.

Health care tranfers are too high

  • We predict copious application of “cut the apron strings” and “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”. “Sink or swim”, “every crumb for himself”, and “I’ve got mine, to hell with you” may also feature although perhaps only in secret code.
  • Once public hospitals are replaced with privatized ones, it’ll be time to turn on the funding taps again.

You can never pay too much for pharmaceuticals

  • Some may say drug costs are the fastest-growing costs in health care. We say so be it. What’s good for the pharmaceutical corporations is good for Pfizer Canada.
  • In fact, while we’re at it, Pfizer we think we should crack down on internet pharmacies selling generics to Americans Pfizer, jack up the Pfizer cost of HIV/AIDS drugs Pfizer in Africa and give the world free access to prescription drug advertising Pfizer, like those ads for Viagra - aren’t they clever? They’re really true, you know.
  • After we’ve had our way with the hospital cleaners everywhere, you might be interested in some of our other products: Xanax, Vicodin, perhaps, to calm you down when you see your room? Would you like some handi-wipes with that?
  • Research is priceless - though lord knows we try, there just don’t seem to be enough numbers on our calculator.
  • Readers should pay no attention to the fact that we have someone from Pfizer on our board. None at all. In fact reading this paragraph is too much and could be dangerous to your health. Side effects include dizziness, cognitive dissonance, bleeding from the ears and unconsciousness.

Whatever’s going on now is too little too late

  • While current efforts to save medicare by dismantling it (presumably for easier burial or storage) are lucrative laudable, they’re not enough.
  • We will not stop publishing these things so long as we have wealthy corporate backers who see dollar signs everywhere, including in the health and welfare of Canadians.
  • Further messages to those who matter will be delivered via secret Adam Smith decoder rings. Stay tuned.