Archive for the ‘HST’ Category

Taxing Your Healthcare

December 2nd, 2009

A quick story. My son decided to play organized football last spring. We signed him up, picked up his equipment and off he went. He did eight or so practices, 2 – 2 1/2 hours of hitting drills, usually in the rain. Then one glorious, sunny Saturday it was game time, his first ever football game. Five minutes later he was lying on the field, tibia and fibula broken.

Off to the hospital he goes, where they drug him up, set the bones and give him a hip to toe plaster cast. My 80lb son had a 10lb cast hanging off his torso. The cast was a menace to the poor boy, he needed help getting out of bed because his poor leg couldn’t possibly sustain the weight of the thing. He was in more pain four days after getting the cast than he when he got it. The cast was, to be blunt, a necessary menace.

Three weeks after the Mastercard moment (A full leg cast and a painkiller grin: priceless), he went in for a check up. “Off with his cast,” the doctor, of whom I have no complaint, announced. “Half cast for this boy.” Fortunately, I noted a list on the wall that mentioned lightweight fibre casts, $40 for a child, ½ leg. “What about one of those,” I suggested. No problem.

That’s health care in Ontario: free, but were giving the 12 year old a cast that’s 10% of his body weight. Any lighter, and you pay. Two weeks later the bill arrives for $42: $40 for the cast, $2 GST. That means, of course, that a year from now the cast will cost $45.20: $40 for the cast, $2 GST and $3.20 provincial HST. Nice, they sell you the cast, then they tax it.

Dalton McGuinty’s HST: Health Services Tax.

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