An American-style system that none of us wants?

Earlier, we reported Gordon Campbell's brother-in-law Les Vertesi, an advocate of parallel private healthcare, would be joining the premier's European mystery health tour. But it turns out this isn't the first time the premier has rubbed shoulders with those who might favour adding a dash of free enterprise flavour to the bland borscht that is Canadian medicare. Back in 2003, The Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee reported British Columbia's first minister invited Richard Scott, the former chief executive officer of what was once America's largest and most aggressive for-profit hospital operator, "to come to B.C. to give him advice on overhauling the health care system, saying he was 'an invaluable resource for government leaders, like myself, who see the need to reform and rebuild health care.'"

The premier eventually withdrew that invite, explaining "I don't see that we need him. I think the health authorities are well on target for what they are doing." Of course, that decision had absolutely nothing to do with the fact Mr. Scott and his company was at the centre of one of the largest healthcare fraud cases in United States history, with the Department of Justice accusing the firm of defrauding and overbilling the government's Medicare program.

10 Comments

Keep this up, Sean -- you're right on track with this one.

I can't believe Mr. Campbell seriously thinks he can pull this one off!

Name--

It's all about pushing the envelope.

I think if you look back at every major initiative/blunder you can see that this is the strategy. First you float the concept with weasel words.....then you move behind the curtain and push (and maybe destroy a few hundred or thousands of lives in the process - see MCF) and then finally aftger the creative destruction is complete you pullback to a newly calibrated 'reasonable' position.

Of course, to do this kind of soul, and social fabric, destroying work you need to 1) centralize power (see VPalmer's column yesterday) and, 2) have a huge spin machine.

Regarding point #2, what is the size of it now Mr. Holman....am I remembering correctly that it recently passed the 200 hundred mark in terms of pure, raw staffer numbers?

Sure he can pull it off. He got the most seats in the house, so if he decides to bring his brother in law along he just goes ahead and does it. Besides he is pretty arrogant, Sure the brother in law paid his trip ticket . Wonder if he goes by bus to the games, eats in another place than Gordo and of course pays for all of his costs. believe that and you can believe anyhting. I find it fasinating that it takes the opposition critc standing in the legislature to quote section of the brother in laws opinions on health care, and of course the health Minister telling us that the NDP are mad because the trip doesn't go to Cuba. Abbott is turning into a real comic.Too bad it doesn't go to Cuba as they have an exceptional good health care system there.

In question period today an opposition member talked about the brother in law of Gordon Campbell as to why he was going as the only medical person on the four day holiday to Europe.

The answer was no answer.

The health minister is fast becoming a sort of a joke as he twists and turns on such subjects. The other seals behind him keep thumping the desk and laughing as important issues are raised.

A number of concerns about bed closures, and how people are seperated from their familes got short shrift and a few comments how awful it was when the present government took over. The number of 5,000 beds Gordo bragged about in 2002 are not yet here. Doesn't slow down the health minister he simply says there are more than before and those before were substandard. I guess the other folks are banging the desk hoping nobody asks them a question they can't answer. So Gordo and relation are off to somewhere to do something

An Opposition that can't be ignored was always going to be this Socred governments biggest headache.

Its just too bad the NDP is not government. Just think, all of our health care problems would be solved. After all, everything bad is all the Libs fault right? Just ask the NDP. How many new doctors spaces did the NDP create in that decade ? Was it zero? How many nurses actually got eliminated? Thousands? I wonder why the NDP never bring up those 180,000 people in BC who cannot even get a doctor. The upside they have likely done a great job boosting Dr.Vertesi book sales.

Credit to Sean for breaking the story. A sad state for the NDP when Carole James best opposition critic is none other than Sean Holman.

Kevin, you dodge the issue and fall for Lib spin so well you could write Abbott's responses.

Speaking of Abbott, seems he has cancelled his fact finding trip to assorted spots in Europe. maybe he has finally figured it out. Gordo wanted to show up and brag at the closing of the games, and as most folks know, what Gordo wants Gordo gets. Abbott can hear the results when gordo shows up, back in BC. For a health tour why take the Health Minister along? makes sense!

I have heard many reasons for this trip on this "blog" but none of them make any sense. So, are all missing the obvious?
Or, the unspoken?

Yes.

What Gordo wants Gordo gets.

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