Understanding the Canadian Healthcare System

In Canada, residents and citizens are recipients of a socialized provincial insurance plan. Although the specific terms of what is covered might differ slightly by province, most of the major aspects remain the same. Trips to the doctor are free and do not include any type of co-pay. The cost for the healthcare is covered through our taxes.

In Ontario, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan or OHIP, covers the cost of every doctor visit, visits with specialists, admissions to the hospital, any necessary surgeries, and so on. Certain treatments are limited by their needed frequency. For example, OHIP will cover the cost of a Pap smear once every three years as that is the standard frequency recommended by Health Canada. In the event however that you test positive for HPV or have an abnormal reading, or have a family history that requires more frequent screenings, OHIP will cover the cost of those as well as they are deemed medically necessary to occur more frequently.

Similarly as someone with Crohn’s, I require frequent colonoscopies, more than might be otherwise covered, but don’t ever have to worry about paying for the procedure.

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Understanding the Canadian Healthcare System

They're Taking Your Money and Giving it to Your Boss's Boss

The marketing campaign that made everyone fear deficits was a brilliant one. Politicians have been using that fear to fake economic policies ever since then, to the detriment of everyone. One of the favorite comparisons out there regarding the budget of any country is the one to the household budget. Different candidates wax poetic about the importance of living within one’s means and how the same rules must apply to a country and so forth and so on.

The idea of living within one’s means is one that often gets trotted out to “teach” poor people not to be poor, under the mistaken belief that the poverty is the fault of the people living within it.

Like any person actually living in poverty will tell you, it’s not really about not spending money you don’t have, but making sure that such expenses pay dividends. No one lives within their means, except for the very poor. For everyone else, there are credit cards, mortgages, financing, and so forth. All of which are examples of spending more than you make.

It’s the very poor, who don’t qualify for those loans, people on disability, on welfare, homeless people, who live entirely within their means because they don’t have the privilege of not doing that. Where the problem arises is that “within their means” does not equate to “while having the basic necessities needed for survival”.

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They're Taking Your Money and Giving it to Your Boss's Boss