Medicare isn’t free. Costs average family of four $11,735 + costs of waiting for care

Medicare isn’t free, the Fraser Institute reminds us in its 2015 annual report. “In 2015, the average Canadian family of four with earnings of $119,082 paid the equivalent of $11,735 in taxes for public health care insurance.” In addition, Canadians “incurred $1.2 billion in lost income and productivity due to waiting for needed medical care.”

Over the past decade, the cost of health care insurance for Canadian families has increased 48.5%, “dwarfing” increases in income [30.8%], shelter [35.9%] and food [18.2%].

In the institute’s signature study, “Waiting Your Turn,” the median wait time for medical surgeries and other therapeutic treatments has doubled in less than two decades, 18.3 weeks in 2015 vs. “just 9.3 weeks” in 1993.

Another study examined the role and use of for-profit hospitals and insurance in six countries with universal health care systems: Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. It “concluded that for-profit hospitals and insurers are compatible with universal health care.” Moreover, the health care systems in these six countries “are superior to Canada’s in timeliness, accessibility and outcomes, despite similar or lower health expenditures.”

Canada’s government-run health care system – Medicare -- is a monopoly that prohibits private hospital and private physician care. Medicare is a subpar performer, ranking 10th among 11 advanced countries. Canadians deserve much better! Patients deserve timely access to quality care and choice of hospitals and physicians. Taxpayers deserve much more value for their tax dollars.

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