Medicare is the third rail of Canadian politics. Touch it and
you die. Every politician knows this truism, which is why no one
wants to debate it. Privately, many of them understand that the
health care system, which costs about $200 billion a year in public
and private money, cannot continue as it is-increasingly
ill-adapted to an aging population with public costs growing faster
than government revenues.
In Chronic Condition, Jeffrey Simpson meets health care
head on and explores the only four options we have to end this
growing crisis: cuts in spending, tax increases, privatization, and
reaping savings through increased efficiency. He examines the
tenets of the Medicare system that Canadians cling to so
passionately. Here, he finds that many other countries have more
extensive public health systems, and Canadian health care produces
only average value for money. In fact, our rigid system for some
health care needs and a costly system for other needs-drugs,
dentistry, and home care-is really the worst of both worlds.
Chronic Condition breaks the silence about the huge
changes and real choices that Canadians face.