“Don’t touch my free health care,” is a common refrain from defenders of the status quo whenever anyone broaches the topic of reforming Canada’s health-care system.
The season finale of the popular U.S. drama Breaking Bad brought with it renewed interest in a viral internet meme that implicitly suggested that the entire story might not have taken place had the main character, Walter White, lived in Canada. The meme suggests that within minutes of being diagnosed with cancer, Walt's "free" treatments would begin the very next week.
For many Canadians, the Victoria Day long weekend marks the beginning of summertime holiday planning, if not a late May escape after a long winter. For those who travel outside of the country in the coming months, we have a modest proposal: find a pub, sit down with locals and ask about their nations health care system.
With the turning of the calendar to May, the effort to complete our income tax returns will slowly start to fade from memory.
The true cost of Medicare for individuals and families in Canada is often misunderstood, with many people thinking its either free or covered by our provincial health insurance premiums.
This misconception has many sources. In part, it stems from the fact that health care consumption is free at the point of use, leading many to grossly underestimate the actual cost of care delivered. Furthermore, health care is financed through general government revenues, rather than financed through a dedicated tax, further blurring the true dollar cost of the service.
To understand health insurance performance, measure the right outcomes - Appeared in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, and Fredericton Daily Gleaner
Are Canadians getting good value for money from their health insurance system? This question is often discussed among health economists and policymakers. And while its important to know whether citizens are getting the best bang for their health buck, its imperative that the appropriate outcomes are measured in order to accurately assess the economic performance of a health insurance system.