Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Jeffrey Simpson's deceptive healthcare column

In today's disingenuous column in the Globe and Mail, Jeffrey Simpson claims repeatedly that Canadians are unwilling to pay higher taxes for Canada's healthcare system.

This is simply and flatly untrue.

...Prof. Naylor is frustrated by the unwillingness of Canadians and their politicians even to debate health care. For him, the essential public system should be maintained, but Canadians don't confront the question of how.
Health care's share of every provincial budget is rising year after year, but that has led to what he calls “one of those great Canadian evasions.” There would be no question of sustaining ever-higher health-care spending if Canadians were willing to pay more tax or constrain other areas of government spending. But they prefer to limp along with costs that grow by more than government revenues adjusted for inflation and population.

But there you have it: a system that Canadians know and value, that they fear changing, that they will not willingly pay higher taxes to support or agree that other programs should be compressed to pay for its rising costs. Apparently, no debate is the preferred option.

In fact year after year in poll after poll a majority of Canadians have repeatedly made it clear they are more than willing to pay higher taxes to protect and expand Canada's healthcare system. Is it just the Globe and Mail editorial team Simpson is referring to when he talks about Canadians being unwilling to pay to protect our public healthcare system?
Canadians are willing to pay more to support health care, even though confidence in the system is falling, a new poll shows. Three-quarters of the respondents to the poll said fixing the system will require higher taxes or more out-of-pocket expenses. Almost as many, 69 per cent, said they would pay more to expand the range of services available or to cut down waiting times. A small majority said they would pay more just to maintain the existing system. "For them to be so determined ...that they would be willing to pay additional tax money shows how important this issue has become," said Michael Marzolini, chairman of Pollara Inc., which did the survey.
You are entitled to your own opinions Mr Simpson, not your own facts.

1 comment:

Polly Jones said...

The reality is that so many of us are paying heaps of money apart from taxes as we fall through the cracks of an underfunded system. I waited three months this summer for an "emergency MRI"...that ended up being the day before they decided to cut me open in surgery after leaving me on morphine for three months!

Believe me I would be contributing a much smaller amount in taxes toward having proper diagnostic machines and tools as compared to the money I lost in salary as well as all the money I invested in alternative therapies I tried in a desperate attempt to escape pain...which may be effective for some conditions but are not a substitute for surgery.

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