medicare

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When Canada’s premiers met recently in Halifax, talks of a possible pipeline to move oil from Alberta to eastern Canada dominated national headlines. There was also mention of talks about trade, immigration, skills training, and infrastructure. One issue that didn’t receive nearly as much attention is the management of public finances and growing government debt.


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The true cost of Medicare for individuals and families in Canada is often misunderstood, with many people thinking it’s 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.


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The true cost of Medicare for individuals and families in Canada is often misunderstood with many people thinking it’s either free or covered by what we pay for our provincial health insurance coverage. It is critically important however, that Canadians understand the true cost of Medicare. Armed with a more meaningful estimate, Canadians will be able to better assess whether or not they are receiving value for their health care dollars.


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On Monday, Finance Minister Goodale tabled legislation to implement the government’s 10-year plan for improving health care. Though the legislation itself is simply part of the process of implementing the plan that was agreed to last September, its tabling should spur Canadians to again consider the merits of the 10-year Plan to Strengthen Health Care.