Yukoners hurt by health care grab

Yukoners hurt by health-care grab I urge every Yukoner to visit: http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/downloads/301_yukon_health_care_review.pdf. There, they can look over the Yukon Health Care Review. I believe this government is going to skin us alive on the healt

I urge every Yukoner to visit: http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/downloads/301_yukon_health_care_review.pdf.

There, they can look over the Yukon Health Care Review.

I believe this government is going to skin us alive on the health-care issue.

If you have one dime they are going to take it. If, of course, you have never contributed a cent in your life, you will be OK. You will still get all the benefits for free, just as you always have.

But if you have worked, or work, or have any money at all, they are going to make a grab for it.

A $1.03-billion budget, and nothing for health care?

I did not find one single creative attempt to fund our health care through anything except taxing everyone who works. And I felt like they wanted to put the seniors on an ice floe.

There was nothing about tapping into lottery funds. There was nothing about diverting welfare bucks – every welfare recipient should be tested for drugs/alcoholism, or even smoking ($15 a day for a pack of cigarettes is a lot of my money), and if they test positive should be kicked off the dole. Now there we’d see savings.

Tax liquor. Tax sugar. Tax tobacco. While these things may not work, there was no attempt by the authors of this document to find any funding other than the working Yukoner. It’s a money grab.

I found a reference to a province on nearly every page; do I care how much money they are digging out of an Albertan?

They don’t mention a population of, say, 3,907,738 – according to a 2001 census in BC – against approximately 31,040 people living in the Yukon.

Nor do they accommodate the area differences.

The financial view is skewed. Did whoever wrote this review pay a February $800 fuel bill?

There is a lot covered in this review, and everyone should have a look at it.

The following are quotes from the review, with my own acid comments:

On continuing care: “Using the highest daily rate modeled in the scenario, ($973 per month by year five), based on the current OAS/GIS/YIS, escalated by two per cent over the next five years, would result in a monthly resident income of $1,374, leaving a comfort allowance of $401 after paying the increased daily rate. This comfort allowance is far in excess of what most other jurisdictions allow, generally in the $100 to $200 range.”

You’ve spent all your life supporting this country and the people who chose not to contribute, but rest assured, in your old age, you will get a comfort allowance.

Will they really give you $401? Or will they say, other jurisdictions only leave you with $100 and take everything else, so that’s what you get?

Another section says: “The Yukon Health Care Review Committee acknowledged that introducing health premiums would not be a popular measure, just like any form of tax or new levy.” They got this right – $700 a year, plus an insurance for drugs, plus insurance for things like an ambulance that won’t be covered. This is a lot of money for the average household.

“However, Yukoners need to be made aware of this revenue option and the potential revenue stream it might produce to help finance increasing health-care costs.”

This suggests to me that this is a done deal.

This government is going to put in health-care premiums. (What is the public consultation about then? Maybe I am not understanding it right. Maybe this public consultation is to prepare our heads for the guillotine. A year from now, when those who work are paying out the nose, the government can say, “You knew it was coming, we held a public consultation.”)

“The Department of Health provided an estimate of the potential revenue that could be raised through the introduction of a premium. For their calculation they used the BC Health Care Premium Policy, which applies different monthly rates depending on the household size. In BC, rates are charged on a sliding scale up to an individual income of $28,000, at which point the full premium charge is made.” (There ya’ go, BC again. Do they even have a heat bill out there?)

“There is a way to eliminate most of the administration cost, if the premium were to be collected through the income tax system.” I don’t like this move. Income tax should be just that. It shouldn’t be income tax, and health care, and raising $36 million for shady investments and road repairs.

Where does it end?

There go the seniors’ programs: “The government should consider introducing changes to the Senior’s Pharmacare and Extended Health Benefits Program that would result in a deductible and co-payment along similar lines to the senior’s drug and extended care programs that currently exist in the provinces.

“Their developed program should include a deductible that recognizes a family’s ability to pay, and be accompanied with a reasonable co-payment for drug costs that is in line with what is provided in other Canadian jurisdictions.”

Other jurisdictions again. Who decides what a family’s ability to pay is? Oh yes, if you have any money it’s way too much.

“The inclusion of a maximum annual co-payment or cap on costs is also recommended. Eligibility should be restricted to seniors who are over 65 and not be based on marriage for a lower eligibility.”

The wife/husband, if one is younger, you are not going to be able to retire with your spouse, you will have to keep working until you too are 65, and then you get to pay through the nose with your partner.

These are just a few picks out of a 520-page document.

Everyone has to go and look at this É and form your own opinion. Personally, I am livid.

When I get to retirement there isn’t going to be anything left for me.

I’ll be caught on the edge as I have been my whole life; I make too much (gross) to qualify for anything and too little to actually pay the money grabs and hikes.

The government will look at gross income, because if they look at net income too many people will qualify.

I thought Canadians paid 66 per cent of their income in part to cover their health care.

No?

OK, so we need more money. Maybe I didn’t understand the Health Care Review correctly. The Yukon government is in its seventh year of a majority.

Perhaps the other parties need to make this an election issue.

June Jackson

Whitehorse

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