If there is one useful byproduct to come out of the current federal election campaign, it is the emergence of health care as a public issue.
Since the 2008 election, health care has been the proverbial elephant in the room among political issues.
Publicly-funded health care may be this country’s pride and joy. Politicians may be constantly paying limit lip service to it. But up until a couple of weeks ago, no political party has wanted to talk about it, even though the federal-provincial health accord expires in 2014.
Political parties like to look like they have solutions to the issues they talk about, or at least like they have a handle on them.
It is easy to understand why any politician would be reluctant to talk about something that is eating up half the revenues of
With one portfolio hoovering up tax dollars like that, there won’t be much money left over for education, infrastructure, law enforcement or, in the federal case, jet fighters and prisons.
Complicating things further is that aging baby boomers are the cause of this imbalance just as the post-war generation forced society to spend more than two decades building schools and universities.
Generational politics is something no politician welcomes. Health care is a tough sound bite, no doubt about it.
This is why the March 22 federal budget said little about health care or how future generations will pay for it.
Now almost a month later, all political parties are vowing to preserve public health care – without saying how of course. But it’s a start.
Healthcare is something Canadians will have to stop taking for granted and start looking at some tough options. It is also something that will wind up dominating the remainder of this election campaign, the next one and possibly the election after that.