July 3, 2014 – A typical Canadian family with two parents and two children will pay up to $11,786 for public health care in 2014, finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
The study, The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, helps Canadians
better understand health-care costs and the value they receive for their
“Health care in Canada is not free – while
Canadians may not pay directly for medical services, they pay a
substantial amount of money for health care through taxes,” said Bacchus
Barua, study co-author and senior economist in the Fraser Institute's
Centre for Health Policy Studies.
In fact, most Canadians
are unaware of the true cost of health care because they are not billed
for any portion of physician and hospital services covered by tax-funded
health-care insurance. Moreover, general government revenue – not a
dedicated tax – bankrolls health care, while health-care premiums (where
applied among provinces) cover only a fraction of health-care costs.
using data from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health
Information, the study estimates the amount of taxes Canadian families
will pay for public health insurance in 2014, and by how much it has
increased over the last decade. For example:
– In 2014, the average single individual earning roughly $42,000 will pay $4,381 for public health care insurance.
A family of two adults and two children earning approximately $118,000
in 2014 will pay $11,786 for public health-care insurance.
10 per cent of Canadian families with the lowest income will pay an
average of $523 for public health care insurance in 2014.
– In 2014, the 10 per cent of Canadian families with an average income of $57,818 will pay an average of $5,522.
Families among the top 10 per cent of income earners in Canada will pay
$37,239 for public health-care insurance. Finally, between 2004 and
2014, the cost of health care insurance for the average Canadian family
(all family types) increased by 53.3 per cent, dwarfing increases in
income (34.7 per cent), shelter (40.7 per cent), clothing (33.4 per
cent) and food (15.6 per cent).
“The cost of health care in Canada is rising and it's ordinary Canadians and their families who pay the bill,” Barua said.
debate about health care in Canada has to acknowledge the real cost
Canadians pay through taxes. Once Canadians know how much health care
actually costs them, they can then decide if the system delivers good
value for their money.”
The Fraser Institute is an independent
Canadian public policy research and educational organization with
offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, and ties to a
global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to
measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and
government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the
Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or
contracts for research.
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