Saturday, September 22, 2007

Waiting for cancer treatment

These conclusions don't seem all that surprising:

Does Canada's publicly funded, single payer health care system deliver better health outcomes and distribute health resources more equitably than the multi-payer heavily private U.S. system?


We find a somewhat higher incidence of chronic health conditions in the U.S. than in Canada but somewhat greater U.S. access to treatment for these conditions. Moreover, a significantly higher percentage of U.S. women and men are screened for major forms of cancer. Although health status, measured in various ways is similar in both countries, mortality/incidence ratios for various cancers tend to be higher in Canada. The need to ration resources in Canada, where care is delivered "free", ultimately leads to long waits. . . We also find that Canada has no more abolished the tendency for health status to improve with income than have other countries. Indeed, the health-income gradient is slightly steeper in Canada than it is in the U.S.

While this study is not necessarily an argument to adopt "US-style" health care it does cost a lot more the results skewer more of the myths about Canada's health care system.

h/t: Marginal Revolution

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Global warming – bring it on

David Warren offers his observations on the benefits of global warming:

As I’ve written before, the solar cycle appears to be reaching the end of its manic phase, and we should not be surprised by the onset of rather crisp global cooling over the coming decades. But even supposing the warming trend were to continue geometrically, in obedience to doomsday rhetoric, why on earth would a Canadian Conservative be alarmed?

For IF this were true, it would be Canada's lucky day. We should be gloating! The world will be starving, while we are farming the Hudson Bay lowlands. The world will be parched, while we are guzzling the fresh glacial run-off. Bring on the sun!

Moreover, a quick atlas check persuades me that there is a fairly close demographic relation, both in Canada and USA, between height above sea level and the propensity to vote gliberal (i.e. Liberal and NDP, or Democrat). Such that, a sea level rise of just 50 feet would give us a Conservative majority up here, and put the Republicans back in charge of Congress down there, while guaranteeing that neither Hillary nor Chelsea Clinton ever becomes President. (The submergence of Prince Edward Island alone would cost our Liberals four seats.)

Anyone for some beach-front property on James Bay?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Let's raise taxes for Jews and Muslims

What if a political party proposed to raise taxes for Jews and Muslims? The public reaction would surely be one of outrage. And I am pretty sure that outrage would not be limited to Jews and Muslims. Even those of us who might pay less taxes as a result of Jews and Muslims paying more would find the idea unacceptable, if not morally repugnant.

So tell me, what is the difference between a policy that would give preferential tax treatment to some religious groups and current education policy in Ontario? With a straight face, Dalton McGuinty rails against John Tory's proposal to equally fund faith-based schools of all religious denominations, yet defends the current system where Catholic schools are publicly funded and the schools of Jews, Muslims, Anglicans and Hindus are not. Parents of other faiths who desire faith-based schooling for their children too must pay thousands of dollars in tuition per child per year, while their tax dollars fund the schooling of children in Catholic schools.

There are two ways to go here: one, end all funding to Catholic schools and convert existing separate school boards into non-denominational boards, or two, equally fund all faith-based schools.

To defend the status quo is simply out of step with the values of our "multicultural" society. If the constitution is an obstacle to implementing fairness in education policy, then we should change the constitution. It is simply intolerant to champion the discriminatory treatment of other religious groups.

Shame on Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberal Party.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My question for Dalton McGuinty

The CBC invites us to submit our questions for the Ontario leaders to be asked in the leaders debate on September 20th. Here's what I submitted:

Mr. McGuinty, you appear to have taken a very principled stand against public funding of faith-based education in Ontario. Does that mean you are advocating a single, secular public education system? And if so, will you be proposing a constitutional amendment to establish non-denominational school boards in Ontario, similar to what was done in Quebec?

I would be very curious as to how he might reconcile the inconsistencies of his position with his own faith-based public education and that of his wife and kids.