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- for immediate release -



Freedom Party of Ontario



Attn: Newsroom

Private, for Profit Health Care Option Now
Ontario's Government Monopoly Needs Private Sector Competitors says Fp Leader, McKeever

January 18, 2005 - Oshawa, Ontario

With the news that $91M of the McGuinty government's $200M bail-out to hospitals will be spent on severance packages for nurses, the Freedom Party of Ontario is proposing that Ontarians be given the option of buying private, for profit health care, instead of paying for the government's plan through taxes.

"The government monopoly on health care insurance and services is failing to deliver" says Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever.

"However, contrary to what Mr. Tory and the PCs are mindlessly chiming in unison, this is not simply a matter of the Liberals having written their plans for health care "on the back of a cocktail napkin". The real problem is the very fact that health care is being centrally "planned" in the first place. The time has come to heal the health care system itself with the invisible, helping hand of market forces and personal choice.

"Both Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Tory are against private, for profit health care insurance. However, contrary to what Mr. Bill Carroll said on Toronto radio station CFRB today - and to what others in the media routinely have said - it is not true that all politicians are afraid to talk about private health care options.

"The public deserves to know that there is a better and sustainable alternative to a centrally planned health care monopoly. They also deserve to know that there is a growing, economically-informed political party that is openly and explicitly in favour of introducing private sector competition for both health care insurance and health care services. No double talk, no knowing winks, no ambiguous banter. Freedom Party calls it: honesty and integrity.

"To that end, Freedom Party of Ontario is today calling upon the Liberal government - and its PC critics - to stop proposing the re-arrangement of deck-chairs on the Titanic. We will not hold our breath, but we are nonetheless calling on the government to implement Freedom Party's plan to heal health care in Ontario:

  1. Fund the Ontario government's health insurance plan by selling it to them. Specifically, only those Ontarians who choose to buy the OHIP plan should pay for it, and they should pay directly and voluntarily, rather than being forced to pay for it with taxes

  2. To avoid the government revenues windfall that would otherwise result from ceasing to fund the Ontario government's health plan with taxes, the government should immediately reduce taxes sufficiently to reduce taxpayer support of the government's health care insurance/plan to zero.

  3. Immediately eliminate the prohibition against health care insurance and services competition. Allow private sector companies to compete, on an equal footing, for profit if they wish, with the Ontario government's health care plan.

  4. Treat issues of inability-to-pay for healthcare as a matter of financial assistance: if Ontario is to assist its lower-income earners to obtain health care, it should do so by providing money, not state-managed, tax-funded services.

  5. End public funding of hospitals and other health care service providers. End the prohibition of private-sector competition for services currently provided only by government providers. Let public and private hospitals and other providers compete for patients. Put patient satisfaction back into the equation.

"Enough talk. Let us put Ontario's government health plan to the test. If a centrally-planned, not-for-profit, government-run health plan is actually better and more sustainable than a decentralized, profit-driven, privately-owned and operated health plan, then the government's health plan should not have any fears about competing with private sector companies. The time for competition from private, for-profit alternatives is now."

"To the media, some of whose members bemoan socialism but are afraid to risk their credibility by mentioning the very existence of Freedom Party and its proposals (we know some of you like them, and us): the time for moral courage is now. Stating or implying that no political party is in favour of private health care - perhaps to make miniscule policy differences between the Liberals and PCs appear bigger than they are - is doing a disservice to the public at the very time when public discourse on health care is most needed.

"As to the matter of partisanship: the same logic applies as in the public-private health care debate. Specifically, if Freedom Party's proposal is so unpopular, then anti-profit, anti-competition Progressive Conservatives have nothing to fear, and everything to gain, from exposing Freedom Party for what it is: an unapologetic advocate of capitalism and the profit motive as a remedy for what ails Ontario's health care system."

This media release has been sent to all major print, radio, and television media.

For further information, contact Freedom Party of Ontario's leader, Paul McKeever:

Office: 905-721-9772
Cell: ***-***-****


Freedom Party of Ontario
240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario N6A 4E3
1-(800)-830-3301 / (519) 681-3999
FAX: (519) 681-2857