Memo: To the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier, Province of Ontario
From: Your new pals at OPSEU Diablogue
Dear Premier Wynne –
Imagine our surprise when we discovered in today’s newspaper that the public sector unions are in fact running government. We have to give thanks to PC Leader Tim Hudak for pointing this out, because we had no idea this had taken place.
Anybody who reads our BLOG will note that we have had many recent differences, ranging from your government’s addiction to costly private-public partnerships to the present round of deep cuts to our public hospitals. We know, you don’t call them cuts, you call it restructuring (now that we’re friends perhaps you’ll let us know where this work is being restructured so our members can pursue jobs there).
We thought we would start off with a basic principle – public is better.
Here’s the proof: at the dawn of Medicare in Canada, we spent about the same percentage of our economy on health care as the United States. That percentage has since gone up for both of us, but at a much faster rate in the United States where the majority of health care delivery is in private hands.
In 2010, the most recent year we have comparable international data, the U.S. was spending 17.6 per cent of its economic output on health care – both public and private. In Canada we spent 11.4 per cent. While we could do a lot better, our spending is comparable to countries such as France, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Incidentally, for all the panic about rising health care costs, Canada also spent 11.4 per cent of its economic output on health care in 2009.