Michael Rachlis MD

‹ At the University of Toronto with the Globe's Jeffrey Simpson Home  

User fees are zombies

9 March 2013, 4:51 AM

I had a letter in Friday’s Globe (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/letters/march-8-canadas-own-stompin-tom-and-other-letters-to-the-editor/article9481641/ — you have to scroll down to find it.) in response to Jeffrey Simpson’s somewhat pathetic column on user fees on Wednesday (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/patient-user-fees-in-canada-hot-potato/article9317535/). Simpson is more than mischievous as he regurgitates others’ arguments for user fees.

In particular he quotes from a recent paper by Janice MacKinnon, former Saskatchewan NDP finance minister http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/patient-user-fees-in-canada-hot-potato/article9317535/. MacKinnon recommends charging people for their health care use through the tax system. This would provide less deterrence than charging patients directly and would have more impact on the rich than the poor. Still, if we wish to raise more money for the system why not raise taxes on all high earners? Why would we only tax the rich who get sick?

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