9/10/11

Increasing economic insecurity due to rising private health care costs

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards has released a report that concludes there has been a decline in the economic security of Canadians since 1981.  


The cause?  The growing financial risk of illness, as measured by out-of pocket healthcare expenditures  (i.e. user fees).    The report notes, "In Canada, the proportion of personal disposable income being spent on healthcare increased from 2.65 per cent in 1981 to 5.59 per cent in 2010." 


In Ontario, it's worse.  While in 1981 Ontario was at about the Canada-wide average, by 2010, Ontario was well above the Canadian average, with 6.28% of disposable income spent on healthcare.


Despite this, the federal Liberal leader, Bob Rae has just come out and suggested Canadians should be open to discussing a role for private health insurance, Health Edition reported September 9.  


For those without private insurance, this simply  means more (often unaffordable) user fees -- the major impediment to universal coverage for health care. 


Canada already has one of the highest amounts of private payments for health care in the developed world. And Ontario has the highest such payments of any province

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