Enter Claude Castonguay. Who, you may well ask, is this guy? Well, he's the guy who thought this whole thing up. He's the Father of Canadian Medicare. Good ol' Claude figured back in the 1960's that if we could just get the filthy profit motive out of medicine, everything would be awesome and cool, like peace man. Capitalism bad, only government can set you free, etc.
Actually, in my humble yet quite well informed opinion, we've been in "crisis" around here since the early 1990's. In 2008 we've moved beyond crisis and are well into meltdown, we've burned through the emergency containment building and we're heading for the water table and a really big freakin' explosion. But, I digress.
Back in the 1960s, Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.
The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: "the father of Quebec medicare." Even this title seems modest; Castonguay's work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.
Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in "crisis."
So Claude started this whole debacle with his radical theories back in the days of Flower Power, what's he learned in 40 years? What radical rabbit is he going to pull out of his progressively pink hat to save us all from ourselves?
Ok, so I bolded that part. Sue me. But advocating freedom of choice?! That's some radical stuff! What kinda shit you been smokin' Claude?
"We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice."
Yes friends, no less a man than the very Father of Canadian Medicare has admitted that he fucked up big time, and wants to put things back pretty much the way they were back in the 1960's before he stuck his big monkey wrench in the gears. As the author notes, that's a hell of an admission from a hard core socialist.
Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.
In America, these ideas may not sound shocking. But in Canada, where the private sector has been shunned for decades, these are extraordinary views, especially coming from Castonguay. It's as if John Maynard Keynes, resting on his British death bed in 1946, had declared that his faith in government interventionism was misplaced.An admission of such magnitude makes one wax philosophical, and to reflect upon the arrogance of man. Here we have Claude, biiiig intellectual, well educated in the history of medicine and economics as well. He knew at the time that left to themselves, human beings self assemble into a kind of small time capitalism. Value for value is the rule of life. But he thought he was smarter than history, so he went with the exact opposite. Value given for no value received, aka "free" medical care for all. Keynesian socialism writ large, since we mentioned big JM there.
In less exalted circles this is called "pissing into the wind". You have to be an intellectual to think you can do that and not get any on you.