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Tuesday, October 5

Shady Dealings Afoot Behind Alberta Health Card Scandal?

Now, it is the firm belief of the Tyranny Response Unit that governments are a) No good or 2) up to no good, especially when scandals hit. Take for instance the recent Health Care Card scandal that has shown the Klein regime to be both inept and unresponsive to concerns that the Health care card system has been systematically abused by free riders in the United States. As the Edmonton journal highlights:

* One Albertan was issued 60 duplicate or replacement health cards, while 32,440 people had received five or more.

* 123 municipalities had two to four health numbers for every person counted in the December 2003 census.

* In 2002-03, the lone Health ministry worker who investigates potential health-card abuse reviewed 105 cases and found that 54 of the numbers were ineligible. That investigation division had been downsized since the 1998 report, from two full-time workers and a part-timer to one full-time worker.

* In a three-year period, seven duplicate health cards for one personal number were used for 330 visits to 37 health-care providers in seven different parts of the province.

The timing of the news release is peculiar, as vivelecanada.ca has been keeping active on preventing the government from allowing private US companies to manage health information, as these corporations may be subject to the strictures of the Patriot Act. The "discovery" of this scandal thus comes at a peculiar time, as the Alberta government has obviously been looking at placing the management of health info out to tender for management by US Companies. The Tyranny Response Unit therefore suggests that these two activities are related and will be used by the Klein government to both advance private-for profit health care in Alberta as well as to allow security agencies in the US such as the DIA and NSA to keep track of citizens in an effort to protect the capital intensive investment in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

According to vivelecanada, it's all up to the new privacy commisioner to decide if the management of health info will be subject to the Patriot Act, or if this possibility will violate the sovereignty of Canada and the privacy of Canadians. The timing of the whole scandal is suggestive of the problem-reaction solution methods used by governments the world over to advance a specific agenda. Could it be that the Alberta Health registry was consistently under-funded in order to have such a screwed up governmental agency? Well, at least the Privacy Commissioner appears to be on our side .

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