FORT MCMURRAY – Health care reforms proposed by the Klein government are not ‘reform at the edges’ but ‘the beginning of the end of health care as we know it,’ according to Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) President Gil McGowan.
In his address to CUPE Alberta convention delegates, McGowan promised a fight against the health care reforms and congratulated CUPE for its ‘unprecedented’ involvement and support of the Friends of Medicare campaign to defeat the proposals.
“The good news is that we’ve had this battle before and won,” said McGowan. “The bad news is that this time the charge is being led by a Premier who will not face the voters again - and in politics that is a dangerous thing.”
“But, he is surrounded by a cabinet of people who will have to come back to the polls.”
McGowan said the reforms strike four blows into the heart of Medicare, eliminating prohibition of doctors working in both, shrinking umbrellas of services offered by Medicare, allowing people to buy their way to front of line, and the introduction of private insurance.
“If you can buy your way to the front of the line of health care, then there is no public health care,” said McGowan.