Raised from the dead

Klein’s ‘Third Way’ healthcare may be revived as Alberta moves to delist services

A few years ago, former premier Ralph Klein raised the specter of private healthcare by announcing his Third Way, a battery of market-driven reforms he hoped would revolutionize the delivery of medical treatment in Alberta. “It’s about people making choices for themselves,” became Klein’s slogan. “I don’t think it’s two tier,” he said elsewhere. “I guess it’s subjective.” But the gambit died amid controversy, both within Alberta and in Ottawa, where the Harper Tories threatened to cut off health transfer payments, a power Health Minister Tony Clement described as a “blunt instrument.” Now, with a $4.7-billion deficit bumping up against a $12.9-billion health budget, Health Minister Ron Liepert appears poised to introduce a wide-ranging package of “delisted” health services–medical procedures the province used to pay for but now won’t. He started in last week’s budget with chiropractic services and, to the vocal chagrin of Alberta’s transgendered community, gender reassignment surgery. More is very likely to come.

Calgary Herald

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