OK

I'm going to take a chance and write a diary on a subject I don't know very much about, the federal Canada Health Act. I'm hoping others can fill in some of the blanks.

This is an extremely important subject for the future of Medicare as we know it. No politician is addressing it directly right now, although Ignatieff has presciently said yesterday that, if we spend money on prisons, jets and corporate tax cuts, there won't be sufficient money to maintain medicare.

Kim Campbell once remarked that some issues are too big to discuss during an election campaign.

I hope to show that Stephen Harper should not receive a majority and be the one to renegotiate the Act.

Essentially, our medicare plans are provincial, owing to the constituional jurisdition of the provinces in health. That is why we have OHIP in Ontario and each provicne has its own. There is no Canadian medicare plan.

Rather the Feds provide prescribed transfer funding to provinces who agree to and meet the standards of the Canada Health Act.

As background, you should read this http://www.hilltimes.com/...

Stephen Harper dislikes big central government. Academics have noted his desire for the federal government to retreat from areas of provincial jurisdiction. One I read went so far as to say he was changing federalism and the constitutional bargain by not spending in areas of provincial and shared jursidiction, quietly spending that money on other things (rather than ceding the tax points to the provinces) and leaving the federal government in future unable to return to the kind of big national projects Trudeau, Pearson and others have done. Also gone would big the big national vision and equalization in medicare

If one accepts this analysis at face value, then Harper may be approaching those 2014 negotiations in bad faith, e.g. "the feds have no money, we need to cut back, privatize parts, etc."

If all of this were to happen with no discusssion in this election, we could all be very surprised.

I am going to leave this here, hoping to get a discussion going and hopefully some input from someone who may know more about it. How do we awaken the discussion in this election? Maybe through Uddal Dosanjh? Anyone know him?

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