Here's how Jason Kenney is rolling out the red carpet for American-style, profit-first and people-second healthcare.

THREAD #ableg #abhealth
Health care is one of the most important public investments that the government can make in Alberta.

Not only is health care literally a question of life and death, a healthy population plays an integral role in the prosperity of our province.

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And quite frankly, Medicare and the fact that we take good care of each other without worrying about how much we have in our bank accounts are some of our fundamental values as Canadians.

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Unfortunately, this government has introduced the omnibus Bill 30, which amends or repeals 11 pieces of legislation.

Simply put, this government’s new health care legislation sets the stage for profit-centred, American-style private health care.

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It allows for-profit corporations to contract for insured health services, even to the detriment of the public health system.

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Alberta’s Health Care Protection Act takes out all references to public benefit and the strength of the public health care system when it comes to the test that the Minister must apply prior to granting approvals for new private surgical facilities.

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(By the way, this legislation renames the Health Care Protection Act so that it’s just the Health Care Facilities Act. Read into that what you will.)

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One of the biggest changes this legislation makes is that it allows billing for health services directly between Government and for-profit corporations.

You know, Telus. A&W.

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Previously the only entities that could bill government for insured services were doctors and dentists.

And those practitioners are governed by their professional practice standards and by the oaths they take as health care professionals.

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In other words, they are accountable to the public & there are processes & protections in place to handle complaints.

With corporations being able to bill directly, a profit motive is literally being intro'd into #abhealth without associated professional standards.

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And the recourse people have against corporations are costly court battles.

And there’s more.

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The legislation also loosens restrictions and Ministerial oversight on agreements to provide surgical services, allowing for proliferation of private, for-profit companies and facilities.

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The combination of being able to sign agreements with for-profit corporations & changing the mechanism for approval for these agreements from ‘by order’ to ‘in writing’ gives the Minister the ability to hide behind FOIP when it comes to releasing details of agreements. 13/ #ableg
And this legislation includes yet another power grab by the Minister of Health when it comes to establishing alternative billing arrangements, allowing him to go around the Alberta Medical Association.

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This government is trying to ram through yet more complex, omnibus legislation at the tail end of session, and we are still working hard with experts to analyze all the changes.

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But know this. The idea that this is just a continuation of previous arrangements is simply false.

Moreover, this government’s track record on #abhealth legislation isn’t great.

Bill 10: Minister gave himself extraordinary powers & tried to use the pandemic as justification.16/
Bill 24: Minister gave himself yet more outrageous powers.

And now here we are with Bill 30, where he’s giving himself yet more powers.

Let’s be clear.

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This legislation is not about helping Albertans access health care when they need it. It is helping Tyler Shandro.

This is about Premier Jason Kenney methodically setting the stage to open the floodgates to profit-centred, American-style healthcare.

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Now, the Premier is going to say this is essentially ‘the same as it was before.’

That’s not true.

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Under us, the Minister had to consider the public good, and the health and strength of the public health care system before delegating to any kind of private provider. If this legislation passes, that will no longer be the case.

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Delegation to private providers can absolutely damage the public health care system. But it’s not relevant to Jason Kenney.

It’s not just me sounding the alarm. We've heard from docs and Albertans across the province.

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I want to say to Albertans that we will fight this legislation every step of the way to make sure no one is left behind.

If you're concerned about American-style health care, please get in touch. [email protected]

/end #ableg #abhealth
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