There seems to be great deal of noise coming from the “left” side of the great social divide, concerning public healthcare in Canada. Predominantly the need to substantially raise federal taxes in order to save, maintain, and/or improve upon the existing public system.
The Canadian people do not need MORE taxes. But what we do need, is for the existing taxes to be better allocated. And spent only upon programs which the Canadian people want and need.
Billions of dollars are squandered on programs very few of us would have ever endorsed if asked, and in grants and handouts to the friends of the PMO and his Ministers. Canadians do not need new, or more taxes. We need better and more honest distribution of the taxes we already pay.
Canada (Ottawa) spends close to $9 billion on NGOs. These are the special interest “non government agencies” which run all around Canada and throughout the world like headless chickens, from one inconsequential meeting to another.
Canada has allocated more than $1 billion annually to foreign aid, most of which is going to Africa. Why are we sending so much money to a region run mostly by bullies, thugs and dictators?
Canada, through the “Export Development Corporation” has fronted TENS of billions of dollars to foreign buyers of Canadian products, in order to guarantee sales. It is remarkable that just about half of all the money at risk, is money loaned on the behalf of two Canadian corporate juggernauts: Nortel and Bombardier.
What the hell is Canada doing propping up the customers of HUGE Canadian companies? And to put the cherry on top of the whip cream. Some of the Canadian companies whose customers are receiving these very generous loans actually manufacture and or assemble their products outside of Canada. Where does that help Canadians?
These are just a few boondoggles easy enough to find. What about all the phony loans and grants we can’t as easily locate? I am certain there would be a few billion more we could add to the list.
Here is my very uncomplicated solution for funding healthcare:
1) No more foreign aid. Save a $1 billion.
2) Close down the CEDC. save more than $20 billion.
3) Close down the NGO’s. Save $9 billion.
4) Stop giving grants. Save $1 billion.
5) While we’re at it. Privatize the CBC and save another billion.
Just on the surface, we can save $32 billion per year. And we haven’t even looked at closing down the Senate and the Governor General’s office.
There is another thing Canada can do. The federal government can lower its taxes by a point or two, and pass on that point or two to the provinces, for them to charge for their own healthcare systems. Since Ottawa only pays about 14% of the nation’s healthcare costs, why don’t they just get out of the system and let each province run their healthcare the way they want to?
And for the provinces; here is another suggestion. By year’s end, at tax time, why not charge each person who is not on welfare, or strictly on old pensions, a user fee of $20 for every time they visited a doctor, to a maximum of one or two thousand dollars per year? This would have several instant benefits.
1) If people know they have to pay, they might be far more unlikely to abuse the system with nuisance visits to their doctors.
2) If fewer people visit their doctors because they have to pay, this would free up the doctors and the system, for people who really need it.
3) If millions of people, who can afford $20 per visit, have this amount added to their tax bills at the end of the year, each province would probably find several billion dollars in extra healthcare revenue.
The Canadian healthcare problem will not be solved by increasing taxes. It will be solved by cutting useless and costly government services no one asked for. This money could go to funding healthcare. Or heaven forbid, pay down the debt. But that’s another story.
And finally: Let private industry run the hospitals. And let them be paid for all essential services directly, and exclusively by the Provinces. And not by the patients.
The system is in trouble, mostly because the governments are incompetent, and the wrong people are making decisions. And the way the system stands; not only is it open for abuse. It is begging to be abused.
And under the current circumstances, all the tax increases in the world will not make it better.