Friday, November 30, 2007

Sorry, Canadian freeloaders: medicare ain't free back home

I recently read a ridiculous post titled “Debunking the Myths of Canadian vs. American Healthcare” (Oct.16, 2007) on a blogsite called “Luke and Beth’s excellent adventure”, where some supposed-Canuck praises Canadian healthcare and disses the States – while living in the U.S. The post is a sad reminder of how uninformed about our health system some people are. It’s worth reading - or not. Anyway, it’s the usual diatribe against evil profit, with no mention made of the Canadians who are suffering under medicare and forced to the States for treatment. I was really impressed by this view:

I have moved to the USA because I like the people and the work that I do, how ever once I have my 10 years in and I have my USA citizenship, I will return to canada and have my children and grow old there knowing that my doctor is going to be doing the best for me and not for how much it is going to cost me or my insurance company.
In my experiences in the USA with the health system they have been positive with good doctors, nurses and others. Where the issue becomes is with the insurance companies and how my premiums have gone from $45 dollars a month in 2001 to $298.50 a month in 2007.”
How special! Does the writer think 'positive' healthcare is free?

Canadians who leave the country on 'excellent adventures' for extended periods – over which OHIP ceases to cover them – and who then decide to return, should be made to pay a “medicare-repatriation tax” before their OHIP (provincial government ) health coverage is reinstated!!

Why should they leave to earn their living elsewhere, forcing the rest of us foot the bill to carry the system... then show up 5, 10, 20 years later to have their kids or their heart operations?!

If Canadians living and working in another jurisdiction wish to return to Canada, they should pay the full cost of their health-taxes that they “missed” while away, before their “free healthcare” is reinstated. This is because medicare is NOT free - it is paid for and sustained through our various tax structures, which those who weren’t there didn’t pay for.

It’s not enough for the returning Lukes and the Beths just to say, ‘well, I was away from Canada all these years, I wasn’t a burden to the system, so why should I pay?’

But: that could equally be said for those of us who never left Canada in the first place: ‘Hey, I didn’t use the health system either over the past 5, 10, 20 years either, so why was I forced to pay all this time?’ And, now, you greedy Lukes and Beths think you can just waltz back into Canada and demand "free healthcare" be given to you - health care for which you never helped pay?!'These greedy Canucks who leave and then return expect the system they never paid for to suddenly look after them the moment their glorious prodigal asses arrive back at the Canadian border. Well, they should be held accountable, even though they were away.

Canucks returning to Ontario should pay (...perhaps ‘reimburse’, or ‘top-up’ better conveys the idea, making it more palatable to their entitled, left wing sensibilities...) the McGuinty health-taxes that they have missed since 2004, just as if they had lived in Ontario all along.

Of course, to be fair, the medicare-repatriation tax will be based on the official government income tax forms from the jurisdiction(s) where the returnees lived. Returnees would be required to present these for verification. They would then be required to pay to the federal, and to the provincial, and possibly to the municipal levels of government, based on their earned income elsewhere, an appropriate health tax in lieu of the income taxes that were never paid in Canada.

So: you left Canada to earn a good living for ten years?
When you return, you owe ten years worth of accumulated health-taxes!!
Why? Because medicare ain’t free.
Of course, expats know, don’t they (?!) that McGuinty’s health tax is separate from other levied taxes. That’s why their income slips from wherever they lived would be used to levy not only the Canadian federal tax, but also their provincial health tax as well - so they can reimburse Ontario's health system for all the time they were away. This is because: medicare ain’t free.

Not only that, they should also have to also pay the employer’s portion of the health payroll tax, based on their reported earnings, just as an employer would have been forced to do, had they been working in Ontario all these years (or been self-employed). The reason: healthcare ain’t free.
By leaving Ontario when they were young and healthy, these Lukes and Beths deprived Ontario’s health system of monies which otherwise it would have received. These Luke and Beth clowns then return back to Ontario for their entitled "free healthcare" when they're old, and start burdening the system which they had never helped support.

As for the argument that ‘I left because Ontario could not have provided me with as good a living as I had in the U.S., so why should I have to pay even for the employers portion of what would have been paid had I stayed in Ontario?’ - well, so what? Because you left, the monies which everyone else paid for all those years, nevertheless was NOT PAID by you!!!
You deprived the very system which you, upon returning years later, suddenly want to take advantage of, and want to derive benefits from - while those who remained in Canada paid all the costs.
So to be fair - you must, upon your return to Canada,  have to contribute now in lieu of not having contributed then.
Maybe you'll then realize that medicare is not free.

And no, the premiums which you might have paid in the U.S., for example, can’t be used towards reducing your medicare-repatriation tax here in Canada!
Your premiums, which you paid for yourself in the States had nothing to do with Canadian healthcare, where you now have to pay for everyone else. { see how that 'socialism' thing works, Luke and Beth...?!}
If you want to leave the American system which you so despise (...but had no problem earning your living in...) and return to Canada's socialist system which you like so much (...but didn’t pay for...) you'll have to play catch-up by paying your healthcare repatriation tax for the all the time you were away.

Oh, yes, of course, the considerable costs to administer all this paperwork on your behalf to ensure you pay your fair share, will also be paid by you; the reason: medicare isn’t free.
And, of course, for all the years you were away, you will also owe accrued interest on your overdue healthcare repatriation tax – because medicare is not free.

You think you can opt-out of being forced to pay for that supposedly-wonderful health care system to which you just returned, but we, who have lived here, can’t?

You want to return to Canada to grow old here - and not think about costs?!
You should pay through the nose for the opportunity to wait for for no-choice, government-run healthcare just like the rest of us.

And the first thing you should do is pay your overdue health taxes for all the time you were away.

Sorry, freeloaders: medicare ain’t free.

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