An Open letter to Albertans

My fellow Albertans,

Our publicly funded and publicly delivered healthcare system and the principle of universal access to quality care have come under attack in this election.

Albertans, like all Canadians, place great value on the idea that all citizens deserve the best possible care, regardless of income or status. Stories of families losing homes to pay for medical bills are not limited to the United States. Many older Canadians can still recall the same thing happening right here in Canada.

It is almost incomprehensible that some people want to lead us back to those days. Yet recent proposals of Danielle Smith’s Wildrose Party do just that. The creation of a two-tier private health system, where wealthy individuals can pay to get better treatment, and get it sooner, is the foot in the door for American-style private healthcare. Allowing taxpayers money to be used to subsidize preferential, private health care just adds insult to injury.

We can’t count on Allison Redford’s PCs to stand up for public healthcare. In fact, the Conservatives have created chaos in our health system through constant reorganizations and repeated attempts to introduce more privatization.

They mislead voters about their real intentions before elections, only to reveal new health care “reforms” after being safely re-elected. Remember Ralph Klein’s “Third Way” plan for two-tier private health care after the 2004 election? Or the bed closures and nurse layoffs of Ron Liepert’s disastrous corporate style reorganization after the 2008 election?

Allison Redford wants to hand new senior’s care facilities over to private developers who will charge seniors more for daily living costs. She is careful to say that the Conservatives stand for “publicly funded” health care, but what she means is taxpayer support for private, for-profit health services. We just can’t trust the Conservatives to stand up for public healthcare.

In this election, the future of our healthcare system is on the line. What the Wildrose is publicly proclaiming they will do, the Conservatives will continue to try to accomplish by stealth.

Publicly funded, publicly delivered healthcare produces the best outcomes, at the lowest
cost, of any system. It also ensures fairness and equity in access to health services, something that’s critically important to Albertans. Properly funded and run, it is still the best health care system in the world. Join me in standing up for public health care, part of our heritage as Albertans and Canadians.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Mason
Leader, Alberta’s New Democrats

About brianmasonndp

I am the MLA for Edmonton Highlands-Norwood.
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3 Responses to An Open letter to Albertans

  1. Bob Hawkesworth says:

    Great letter, Brian. Do all you can to turn this election into a referendum on the future of public health care. The NDP owns that issue. Thank you again for attending our Dad’s service yesterday. He was one of those seniors who knew the financial devastation to families from medical costs before Medicare was developed. Thanks again for coming out swinging on this one! Keep repeating the message endlessly until election day.

  2. Jayn Edmonds says:

    The PC pamphlet I have states that they will ‘advocate on behalf of senior housing’. I would like to know how you know, ‘what they really mean…’, Brian. Also, PC pamphlet states that they will advocate on behalf of healthcare. You say, ‘we can’t count on PC to stand up for public health care’. How can you say you, ‘call for an end to personal attacks’, when clearly, you are calling the PC liars? I’m not interested in your personal opinions of the opposing parties agendas. I would rather hear what it is you have to offer Albertans. Wouldn’t you agree that it would be more productive to focus less on what the other guys are doing and focus more on your own campaign and what you are doing? I haven’t voted for some years, and thought Twitter would be a great way to be informed, and ask some questions, maybe I’ll even vote this time. But the NDP doesn’t seem in the least bit interested in my questions on Twitter. As it stands now, your silence is speaking volumes to me, NDP. I’m an Albertan, and if you are there for me, please answer these few simple questions.

    • Hi Jayn,
      Thanks for your response. Ending personal attacks in this campaign is important for many reasons, not the least of which is to increase voter turnout. I’m glad you’re thinking of voting. I hope you do.

      However, ending personal attacks is not the same thing as ending political debate, including political attacks. The fact is, the PCs have mislead Albertans about their intentions regarding private health care in the last two elections, and there is documentary evidence that they are planning to do it again.

      1. Ralph Klein denied having a plan for more private healthcare before the 2004 election, then introduced the “Third Way”, a plan for private two-tier health care soon after the election.
      2. Ed Stelmach said nothing about a major reorganization of health care before the 2008 election, then appointed Ron Liepert as Health Minister after being re-elected. Liepert introduced a corporate-style governance super board, closed hospital beds and layed off nurses.
      3. A plan was presented to the Tory caucus in July 2010 outlining plans for delisting health services, private health insurance, and allowing people to pay extra to private clinics to jump ahead on waitlists. It was to be introduced after this election.
      4. The person who presented this plan to the PC caucus was Fred Horn. When Alison Redford became Premier, she made Horn her Health Minister.

      I make no apology for challenging the PCs record of deceiving Albertans about their plans to introduce two-tier private health care. At least the Wildrose is honest about it.

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