Health care in Canada... rich get better treatment?


Now that Canada is starting a healthcare tax…

The $200,000+ income only has to pay $900/year for it…
while the $21,000 income has to pay $300/year for it…

I’m wondering if wealthier people in Canada get access to better healthcare even though they don’t pay extra…

Also are there any cites?

Here are some cites I found that show rich do in someway get better care.

What do you guys think?

Is it equal care for the poor and rich in Canada?

Check your math. The rich are paying $600 a year extra.

Sorry should’ve been a little more specific…

i meant pay extra by paying outside the taxes…

plus this new premium has just been implemented… so the rich haven’t paid extra yet…

prior to this…
income tax money was taken and used in the healthcare…
but this new tax is in addition to the income tax…

the extra $$$ has nothing to do with the new $300/year vs $900/year…

In my experience, wealthy Canadians in need of serious health care tend to come here to get it.

Nuts. Before I get jumped, please let me clarify that.

By “serious” I mean “immediate treatment for something life-threatening.” I most definitely did not mean to imply that health care in Canada was silly or substandard.

The difference between the US and Canadian systems is that we took different routes to the same goal, and yes, I would like to see some gap coverage here. I’d also like to see some Medicar/Medicaid reforms, but I’m not holding my breath.

Broad availablity, high quality, low price. Pick two.

The new fees in Canada are simply a response to a desperate need for more funding, and apparently it was decided that the wealthy could pay more. Are you suggesting extra fees for wealthier citizens, over and above the $900?

Health care is a provincial responsibility that is partially funded by the federal government. The Canadian Health Care is the relevant legislation.

Now what we have here is a move by the Ontario Liberal government to impose a “Health care premium” on tax payers. People in Nova Scotia will not be paying this fee, only people in Ontario. Unemployed people will not be paying this fee either. This premium is supposedly ear marked for health care and will not be moved straight into general revenues. This will allow for specific health care initiatives to enhance services, reduce waiting times and generally make Ontario a place to stand, a place to grow, we call this land…sorry about that.

All that despite the fact that there already is funding applied to health care from general revenues.

As it stands the cost of the premium is remarkably regressive considering the party presenting the idea is the Liberal party. However $900 is still more than $300 with no one ever checking your pay stubs when you walk into your Dr.’s office.

   	Proposed Premium
Taxable Income 	      2004 Taxation Year  2005 and Subsequent Tax Years
up to $20,000 	      No premium 	  No premium
$20,000 - $36,000 	$150 	          $300
$36,000 - $48,000 	$225 	          $450
$48,000 - $72,000 	$300 	          $600
$72,000 - $200,000 	$375 	          $750
more than $200,000 	$450 	          $900

From the Ontario 2004 budget. link

What about the employed people in the other (Yankee estimate warning) 9 provinces, and however many territories you guys have left? Obviously, I don’t know what I’m talking about, and should properly be ignored.

Dream on, man. That’s exactly what they told us about the lottery, except that was about education.

If it helps, this made me laugh. Ontarriooo…. Heh.

Again, look at New York and the Lotto/edumacation thing. Same joke.

And what about the really rich people who have, for various reasons, zero annual income and a whole pile of money in the bank?

Eh, screw it. I’m not Canadian, I have no dog in this fight, and, as I said, I can’t make a knowledgable contribution. I’ll bow out now.

There are ten provinces and three territories.

The measure in question is an act of the Ontario government and will apply to Ontario only.

I don’t know enough about the measure to declare myself, except that

  1. making people pay for medicare is bad, and

  2. considering the chainsaw massacre that was the previous Progressive Conservative governments under Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, not to mention the slashed transfer payments for social programs from the federal governments over the last decade of Liberal rule in Ottawa, I’m not surprised that Ontario needs (or at least is in a position for the government to claim it needs) more funding for medicare.

For cardiac procedures, the answer is yes.

And, the same conclusion from the same group.

Ooops! I meant to say

For cardiac procedures the answer is NO.

Albertans with an income above handwave $20k pay about $500 a year, with a sliding scale below that.

Well then, I’ll have to pat myself on the back for getting the number of provinces right. Why in hell do you people still have territories, anyway? Everythings contiguous, so Provincehood (?) seems logical for everything.

Hell, we have Territories like Guam, which I’d just as soon get rid of.

Okay, okay, I’m really leaving this time.

Extremely low population density. Yukon, the most dense of our three territories, has just 0.06 people/sq. km – about 7 times less dense than even Alaska. The status of Nunavut is related to limited Inuit self-government, as well.

Thank you Grey for clearing things up. I know here in the US I hear nothing about Canada at all, but you’d think something like that would at least make the online version of the Globe&Mail…

As for Health Premiums-- BC has 'em, Alberta has 'em (and it’s a shock when you move there from elsewhere in Canada and suddenly have to start paying that), and Ontario used to have 'em too.

Since the people dispensing health care don’t have any way of knowing who pays extra, it doesn’t affect a damn thing.

So for Ontario residents each “person” pays about $5400 for health care. However this is hidden by taking the money from employers and the general revenue stream. Now, if anyone thinks that this premium will fade away or not feed some non health projects may I direct them to the gasoline tax and its stunning focus on highways and transportation.

If I understand it properly, the premiums were moved to employers from employees 10 to 15 years ago. I’m not sure if that tax will be turned off.

Ok, who am I kidding? Of course they won’t turn it off.

Ultimately there’s no such thing as free healthcare. By making the cost visible, it at least gives people a starting point for appreciating/scorning what they have.

I believe the rich get marginally better health care treatment in Canada.

  1. They have the option of going to the United States for a procedure rather than waiting in line.

  2. The rich often live in cities where there is a higher density of family doctors, specialists and services.

  3. The rich are, I’m sure, more likely to have a family doctor. The rich certainly access “private” health care more often – e.g. corporate funded MRIs and colonoscopies in healthy patients.

  4. Doctors in Canada have a fair amount of discretion in determining case priorities – things tend to be done quite quickly or too slowly. “Queue jumping” is illegal but I have heard of a few cases. It is not hard to believe that some doctors would put more effort in to arranging consults for wealthier patients – but I do believe most Canadian doctors would not. In Canada, squeaky wheels get greased as do squeaky wheels with lawyers and bad prostates. From what I have seen, mildly preferential treatment is often given to other doctors, nurses and police officers.

  5. The OHIP premium is something that would, in my view, not make a difference to health care. The doctor’s office would likely neither know nor care what you paid.

It is worth emphasizing differences between rich and poor:

  • are likely smaller than almost any other country
  • are largely due to geographic population distribution (rural vs urban)
  • may be unintentional
  • often involve rich people paying for procedures THEY DO NOT NEED
  • are largest and most pressing in things NOT covered by OHIP: the high cost of drugs and dentistry being two very big examples which I see DAILY.

<side note> Ever since I became an Ontario ex-pat (now living in the US) I will NEVER AGAIN complain about drug costs in Canada. </side note>