Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Tom Parkin writes that greed is the only reason why we haven't yet completed a full health care system with a pharmacare program:
If we had a universal pharmacare plan — one that saves lives and relieves suffering — it would cost $4.6 billion less than the current hodge podge of private plans and government assistance, which leaves millions uninsured. That’s $4.6 billion wasted to get a bad result.

Raising the $5.9 billion isn’t the tough part. Two steps. First, reverse some of the massive tax cuts our politicians have given to businesses. The trickle down theory never worked anyway. And with universal pharmacare, businesses are going to save billions in payroll costs.

No, the tough part is finding politicians with the courage to squeeze $4.6 billion out of big pharma and insurance companies. Because when you squeeze $4.6 billion out of a wasteful, inefficient industry that doesn’t deliver the goods, they have 4.6 billion reasons to fight back.

The morality won’t matter. Not the suffering and dying. Not the inefficiency. When big money is at risk, killing is just part of the process. Look at tobacco. Or guns. Or opioids.

Canadians need to support those politicians who are willing to win this fight. Because if we don’t, they can’t. And the unnecessary and immoral dying, suffering and waste will continue.
- Meanwhile, the Star's editorial board calls for greater transparency in the money funneled by pharmaceutical manufacturers toward Canadian doctors.

- Daniel Dutton and Jennifer Zwicker point out that some of the most effective investments in health are aimed at socioeconomic improvements, while the Press Association reports on the UK's alarming increase in child poverty as an example of the consequences of ignoring the social determinants of health. And the Chronicle Herald's editorial board weighs in on the value of early childhood education as a long-term investment.

- Henry Farber, Daniel Herbst, Ilyana Kuziemko and Suresh Naidu study (PDF) the connection between improved union organization rates and reduced inequality. And conversely, Anelyse Weiler and Amy Cohen discuss how the precarious legal status of seasonal farm workers leaves them ripe for abuse and exploitation.

- Finally, Vicky Mochama comments on the dangers of law enforcement treating journalism and activism as excuses for surveillance and disruption.

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