Toronto Sun: ‘Death Panels’ a Fact of Life in Ontario

Christina Blizzard wrote and article for the Toronto Sun on Saturday, describing how the current government-run health care system works in in Ontario, Canada. She explains why Governor Palin was absolutely correct to bring attention to the panel of government bureaucrats who will make life and death decisions for patients based on cost concerns, under such a system.

She wrote:

Sarah Palin’s prophecy is a fact of life in Ontario

Palin, the former U.S. vice-presidential candidate and governor of Alaska, conjured up the Orwellian spectre of “death panels,” — faceless groups of bureaucrats who’d make tough decisions on who gets what medical care under socialized medicine.

In this province, a patient whose application for out-of-province care is turned down can appeal to the Health Services Appeals and Review Board (HSARB).

According to lawyer Perry Brodkin, almost all those appeals are rejected.

Part of the problem, he says, is that patients try to represent themselves at the hearings — and find themselves up against a battery of high-priced OHIP and ministry lawyers.

And high legal costs mean it’s only worthwhile hiring a lawyer if the procedure is expensive.

“When we’re talking $25,000 only, the legal fees are going to be pretty close to that.

“If your appeal is granted, you get nothing. If your appeal is denied, you pay the $25,000 (for the procedure) plus all the legal fees,” he said.

Either way, you’re out of pocket.

So who makes up these panels?

Well, of HSARB’s 43-person board, 31 are lawyers. One is a chartered accountant, one is a mortgage underwriter and the rest are a mix of educators and consultants. The position pays $398 a day.

So much for the little guy.

You can read the entire article here.



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