Pay now, pay later

In a recent survey, 63% of Canadian respondents claimed that they would rather pay out of their pockets to get faster health care service. But, in my eyes, this raises a big question: would Canadians be willing to pay higher taxes to achieve faster public health care service? I strongly feel that the answer would be no. I am not sure why though, as it accomplishes the same thing while maintaining a universal system.

People would argue that Canadian taxes are already too high, which is hard to argue against as many Canadians don’t see the benefits of their tax dollars in action. This is especially true with respect to healthcare, a main concern for Canadians that appears to be stuck in a long waiting line itself. I wonder if people saw taxes for healthcare as health insurance premiums if they would see them differently. I personally would like to see our “healthcare taxes” separated when filing our income tax forms, so that at tax time Canadians can see exactly what they are paying toward their healthcare system. I would imagine they would be surprised, one way or the other.

People must realize that paying out of pocket to jump a line at the hospital is not going to be cheap. These would be life altering expenditures, on the scale of purchasing a new car, or home (or greater) depending on the procedures.

In the end, money is money I guess, whether spent now (in taxes) or spent later (out of pocket). Either way healthcare is expensive and someone has to pay for it. I would argue against anyone who would claim that the healthcare system has not benefited them, and I would argue against anyone who would claim that they will never use it in the future. I may not be a prime user today, but when I am old and frail I imagine I will get my moneys worth.

As a side note there is an interesting Wikipedia article on the Canadian Healthcare system. Particularly interesting is the WHO info at the bottom of the page.

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5 Comments

  1. Manatee said,

    Saturday, 9 July 2005 at 8:46 am

    “In a recent survey, 63% of Canadian respondents claimed that they would rather pay out of their pockets to get faster health care service.”

    I hate to respond to a poll with a poll, but check this one out. (http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/pressrelease.cfm?id=2714

    “But, in my eyes, this raises a big question: would Canadians be willing to pay higher taxes to achieve faster public health care service?”

    -Depending on how the question was framed there is a good chance people would dislike the idea of raising taxes, even over health care. However, knowing that a universal system is on the whole more efficient, and fair, it is incumbent of governments to do what is right regardless of which poll they read.

    -Perhaps they will be bolstered by info such as this, showing that most Canadians aren’t financially prepared to live through critical illness, even under our universal system. http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/pressrelease.cfm?id=2717

    “I personally would like to see our “healthcare taxes” separated when filing our income tax forms, so that at tax time Canadians can see exactly what they are paying toward their healthcare system. I would imagine they would be surprised, one way or the other.”

    We know that for-profit care would disproportionately favour some people. For example, young men like myself, with a fear of doctors. So, “one way or the other” is likely accurate.

    Also, here http://www.expressnews.ualberta.ca/article.cfm?id=6726 is a link to a summary of the SC decision (written by a friend of Manatee and Gnomes) to supplement our past discussions (Ill Judgement posted 9June).

  2. O'Smiley said,

    Saturday, 9 July 2005 at 11:35 am

    Manatee, your links aren’t working right. Otherwise I totally agree with you.

  3. Manatee said,

    Saturday, 9 July 2005 at 12:01 pm

    Oops, I don’t know what I’m doing. Please cut and paste people.

  4. Anonymous said,

    Saturday, 9 July 2005 at 12:55 pm

    The html code for links is the text you want to link. , just without the spaces after the

  5. Monday, 19 December 2005 at 6:51 pm

    Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.


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