Two right-wing think tanks have been working overtime, churning out new reports that – surprise, surprise – promote privatization as the cure for everything that ails public services.
In September, the Canada West Foundation released “New Tools For New Times.” The report claims to be about ‘new’ and ‘innovative’ ways of financing and delivering public services. Yet it recycles the same old broken tool—P3s, while ignoring the broader context of underfunding that created the infrastructure crisis in the first place.
Meanwhile, the Fraser Institute released its third annual report on the sustainability of provincial health insurance last month. The report takes a selective look at provincial spending figures to conclude that “health care financing, as it is currently structured in Canada, is not financially sustainable” and that privatization is the only possible solution.
The report lacks any analysis of what is causing the increases in health care spending. It doesn’t even examine the major factors behind rising health costs over the past decade. If they’d bothered to check, the Fraser number-crunchers would have found that prescription drug costs have grown at by far the fastest rate of all components of provincial health care spending.
“Paying More, Getting Less” doesn’t call for controlling drug costs, no doubt partly because the institute’s board of trustees includes a representative of U.S.-based drug giant Pfizer. Instead, the made-in-Fraserland solution is to spend more on pharmaceuticals.
A CUPE economic analysis of the Fraser Institute report exposes the absurdity of their approach. You can read it here.