Walk a Kb or Two in my Moccasins- Nobody 'splained it to me like that!

Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

Monday, June 13, 2005

Healthcare - The Demand Side

The Supreme Court has brought discussion of our "National Sacred Trust" to the attention of all Canadians once again.

Rather that weigh in on the # of tiers / parallel-private-system "supply" side of the debate, may I submit a method for examining the provision of this motherhood issue from the "demand" side.

Three points first though;
1) Each yr Canadian governments spend ~$80 Billion to fund the "public" part of healthcare, while each year Canadians pay ~$80 Billion in provincial and Federal Personal Income Taxes - (isn't that a remarkable coincidence!)

2) Canadians believe that (in the general case) they are receiving a good (or at least acceptable) level of service in exchange for their tax money from the unionized, government monopoly that provides their healthcare.

3) Canadians perceive healthcare as a "payment-free" service and I believe the economic axiom states that there is an unlimited demand for a free service.

I submit that Canadians regard our current Healthcare system as a necessity of life. They cannot imagine NOT having the right/privilege of obtaining health services and proffering a healthcard for payment.

If Canadian life has indeed absorbed government-payer health as an integral part of their life - so be it! Let's keep it going (because how would you change so many committed minds) but let's examine whether we are funding it correctly and consciously decide if we are incentive-izing this huge program's stakeholders in the best way to maximize the "returns" for all of them.

Think for a few minutes that a bold new program was announced for the benefit of all Canadians - payment-free food.

The citizen &/or resident &/or taxfiler &/or taxpayer (we have Canadians who fall into all categories exclusively & in all possible combination) would go the the government food store, obtain whatever food they wanted and scan their SIN card on the way out.

Would the baskets (nay carts) be full of no-name frozen hamburgers or filet mignon?

Would the food retailers and distributors have every type of food item now available (in all the manufactures labels) on full shelves?

Would the stores be busy with consumers?

Would the checkout lines be long or short?

Would the workers at the retail stores be abundant, pleasant and knowledgeable or just "there"?

Would the tax system be able to obtain enough revenue (from the portion of the population that actually pays taxes) to fund the provision of payment-free food to the "everyone & anyone" who demanded it?

Would the increased level of taxes encourage personal productivity or increased tax-avoidance/evasion schemes?

To solve the Healthcare "problem" - Find the solution to providing payment-free food and simply apply that concept to Health.

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