In the National Post, Michael Watts, a partner at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP and author of the MLI report "Debunking the Myths: A broader perspective of the Canada Health Act" writes that too many politicians are willing to hide behind the Canada Health Act, and perpetuate the myth that it is a serious barrier to medicare reform. In fact it does little to prevent provinces from experimenting with new ways to deliver and pay for health services.

Michael Watts: Our health care monopoly myth

 | Published: 08/10/13

Back when he was leader of the newly created Canadian Alliance, Stockwell Day was severely criticized by his political opponents over his alleged support for two-tier medicine. A few years later in 2004, Liberal health minister Pierre Pettigrew caused a political firestorm for making the factually correct point that there was room for the provinces to manoeuvre and experiment with innovation in health care, even while respecting the Canada Health Act (CHA).

After witnessing the demolition of Day, and the shouting down of politicians of any stripe who make a frank assessment of the CHA, it seems that members of the Harper government who have expressed such views in the past have lost their voices.

Today's politicians are well aware of what happens to those who question the status quo. But question it we must, as OECD data show Canada lingers near or at the bottom of developed nations for timeliness of health care while claiming fifth place for health-care expenditures. Adjusted for age, Canada has one of the costliest health-care systems in the world ... For the rest of Watts' op-ed click here.

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