Sunday, May 17, 2009

Alberta to sue criminals over health care costs

The spirit of the bill is fantastic. The Alberta gov't wants to sue criminals for any health care costs as a result of their crimes. Sounds brilliant, doesn't it?

A few questions though...

1. How many criminals are actually going to be aware that they'll have to pay these costs (likely expensive), and most importantly, will it deter them from committing crimes that cause a burden on our health care system? I doubt it.

2. Do judges have the power to determine this? Is this open for interpretation dependent upon the situation?

3. Even if a criminal is convicted, would they even actually pay a likely very high cost?

That all said, even if the money doesn't flow or if it doesn't deter, what's the harm then?

Let's say a drunk driver hurts someone badly in a crash? Would they pay directly or would their insurance company cover it? Or what if the fact he or she was drunk was in question? At that point, it would be up to the insurance adjuster in determining this. Regardless, instead of Albertan taxpayers covering unnecessary negligence, that responsibility is transferred to those that caused the problem in the first place.

Ok, more questions...

But is THAT the issue?

What if we didn't have publicly funded health care?

Would having this law even be an issue then?

Wouldn't the health insurance companies between both parties fight it out, like they do with car crashes?

Oh, but with drunk driving, they already do in regards to vehicle damage. But why not personal physical damage that taxpayers have to cover?

Do people hold back their physical injury upon someone else if they know they will be sued for health care damages? Perhaps, on a personal level. But now the gov't wants a piece!


Have their been studies done on this as regards the effectiveness of such laws?


What other jurisdictions have implemented this and does it work?

I love the spirit of the bill, but is it worth the trouble?

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