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The Explainer explains

Posted September 11, 2014 by Norm Farrell

Surveying corporate media coverage of the education dispute, I noted a column by Vaughn Palmer that displays his particularly usefulness when BC Liberals want information distributed. More about education later but here is an excerpt from A balanced budget, but it’s not exactly ‘happy days’ in B.C. finance land:

“B.C. Liberals were forced to rein in spending by several hundred million dollars as well. Much of that was achieved by slowing the rate of growth in the health ministry, including some $100 million reaped in the Pharmacare budget from the continuing shift to generic drugs.”

Obviously, what he should have said is not that Liberals were “forced to rein in spending” but that they “chose to rein in spending.”

But, that’s a minor complaint. When he wrote government saved $100 million by PharmaCare shifting to generic drugs, The Explainer had not spoken to users of prescription medications, he was reading from Liberal talking points. In fact, PharmaCare saved money but they gained most of it by shifting costs onto users. This has been accelerated recently.

  1. PharmaCare sets a maximum price it will recognize for each drug and patients pay the extra. Often, PharmaCare prices are lower than actual prices in the market place.
  2. PharmaCare has a Low Cost Alternative (LCA) program and will accept only amounts established for the cheapest drug in a category. If doctors prefers to prescribe drugs different than the LCA, the patients pay extra.
  3. Under the Reference Drug Program, PharmaCare provides full coverage for only the most “cost effective” drugs in the category. Coverage for other drugs may be will be denied without special authority.
  4. The Limited Coverage program dictates that certain medications will not be covered unless health care providers apply for special authority. The list of drugs not covered has expanded. Special authorities are often declined and physicians may ask patients to pay fees for applications. This encourages patients to abandon claims.

These policies not only save the BC Government large amounts but they profit private insurers, such as Pacific Blue Cross, who apply me-too rules and follow the PharmaCare model. So, government and business saved money, but that came out of the pockets of patients.

I can understand government not wanting to admit the fact but they should not be helped by misinformed reporters.

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Beat reporters left the building

Posted September 14, 2014 by Norm Farrell

In 2010, the small city of Bell, CA was front page news nationwide. Over 17 years, the city manager and other municipal officials bilked tax payers out of millions of dollars. The LA Times won a Pulitzer for reporting on this story but it had paid no routine attention to this “cesspool of corruption” during the many years the fraud was active.

Deadbeats, the September 12 episode of WNYC’s series ON THE MEDIA (available by podcast) examines the failure of journalists to hold the powerful accountable.

The entire program is worthy of your time because the same decline in beat reporting has occurred here. If, as some of us suspect, high level political and commercial corruption exists in British Columbia, it is a safe bet that the corporate media has no ability or interest in reporting the stories.

 The following is an introduction to the ON THE MEDIA report.

Gadget Google – Lecteur multimédia de Google –

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Allan's Perspective

We got trouble in River City Folks!

Posted June 12, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, this is wrong on so many levels that I hardly know where to begin! Why this wasn’t one of the main election issues is totally beyond me, but then again, people just seem naturally reticent about asking for my opinion about stuff………, and that’s why I started this “Blog!” SO! How do I begin? […]

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Allan's Perspective

I’m not at all confused about Saturday morning!

Posted June 14, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Nope, everything is as “right as rain” if you will pardon the expression. Yesterday was the famous “Friday the 13th” motorcycle rally in Port Dover, Ontario, and as usual, tens of thousand of bikers gathered for the event. Even the rain didn’t seem to deter the hard-core bikers, as the streets of Port Dover filled […]

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Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

Posted July 16, 2014 by Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Below are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me! :) There are 278 people! 278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas: Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications functions, including […]

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