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Federal dental plan
December 12, 2023
11:48 am
MattS
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i dont support any additional deficit spending. Those hundreds of millions will have forever compounding interest attached to that borrowed money. In a day and age where there is a labour shortage, perhaps working more hours to get the coverage you desire is an option. Eventually we will hit a financial crises, those who continually take nothing but pay through the nose for every new program is a terrible deal. I work in a factory that employees routinely work a 40 hour week when 60 is offered. They say no and are rewarded with HST rebate cheques, and scads of Child benefit money. Those who say yes are slapped across the face and have their UCCB child money reduced to almost nothing. To whoever said make it universal, I am all for, go full on socialist, make it fair for everyone and I too can then tell my employer to pound salt with the 60 hour work week because i will be released from the burden of providing for myself and my family which was imbedded into my DNA from birth.

December 12, 2023
7:50 pm
RetirEd
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cgouimet: This dental plan is slated to expand coverage to everyone in phases. It will probably eventually be universal; the age requirements will stop mid-2024. There's no official date for income cut-offs yet. AND cosmetic dental work will NOT be covered, just the basics and cleanings.

Remember, you CAN'T GET dental insurance at any price if you are older or have outstanding dental issues.

want8tracks: People who can't afford groceries, rent or utilities may die of dental ills. And their income taxes won't go up because people at the bottom don't pay income taxes, just consumption taxes. The consumption taxes on not being able to buy anything are zero, too.

Alexandre: The numbers have been in for decades - universal health plans (including dental) are much cheaper than pay-as-you-go for almost everyone. And certainly for governments, too.

At the moment, dentists all over Canada are in financial difficulty because of COVID-19 (and that dental convention in 2020...) and the skyrocketing prices of dental care. That means lots of choice for new patients.

We don't know how many people who have never had dental care will start trying to get it. Almost all the teaching programs offering some free care (when it suited the class objectives) have been replaced by fee-bearing programs with only a 10% discount.

With most single-payer benefits of all sorts, the NON-covered benefits go sky-high for those who pay their own way, and covered patients get slower, poorer service. It's the already-insured or self-paying who will be bringing in big bucks for crowns and bridges. They'll get first flossing.

mordko: Our current healthcare system only looks worse than the US one because about a third of Americans (at least until the Affordable Health Act - I have no more recent stats) NEVER get the care they need.

MattS: The answer to avoid deficit spending is increasing tax revenues somewhere. I won't go into where you or I would get those, but we can't go on kicking the bill down the road to an ever-increasing population strangling the world.

RetirEd

December 12, 2023
8:12 pm
mordko
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Just to clarify, Canadian Healthcare System is poor when compared to 29 other countries with universal healthcare systems (so not US).

According to the study (after adjusting for population age in each country), Canada was the highest spender on healthcare as a share of the economy (at 12.6 percent) and ninth-highest on a per-person basis in 2021, the latest year of available data.

And yet, compared to other universal healthcare countries, Canada reported far fewer physicians (ranking 28th of 30) and hospital beds (23rd of 29) per 1,000 people in 2021. And ranked low for the availability of MRI machines (25th of 29) and CT scanners (26th of 30) per million people in 2019 (the latest year of available data).

Long waiting time in exchange for our governments (at federal and provincial levels) throwing $s at the problem seems like not the experience to be replicated but NDP-run Ottawa begs to differ.

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/comparing-performance-of-universal-health-care-countries-2023

December 13, 2023
12:17 am
smayer97
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RetirEd said
...
The answer to avoid deficit spending is increasing tax revenues somewhere. I won't go into where you or I would get those, but we can't go on kicking the bill down the road to an ever-increasing population strangling the world.  

Or, you decrease expenses by decreasing demand. What are some of the groups who are the biggest demand? The elderly and disabled (physical, mental). So, very sadly, one way to decrease demand is getting rid of the elderly and the disabled, hence an increase in the push for MAiD.

You might see it framed in oh so many "benevolent" ways, but all you have to do is follow the money... Don't believe me? Just goo look at many recent stories that surface about elderly, veterans, and disabled being offered MAiD because they are poor and such, when all they want is better care.

Sad thing when a society's values deteriorate and places $ above the value and dignity of life.

December 13, 2023
12:59 am
cgouimet
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smayer97 said

Or, you decrease expenses by decreasing demand. What are some of the groups who are the biggest demand? The elderly and disabled (physical, mental). So, very sadly, one way to decrease demand is getting rid of the elderly and the disabled, hence an increase in the push for MAiD.

You might see it framed in oh so many "benevolent" ways, but all you have to do is follow the money... Don't believe me? Just goo look at many recent stories that surface about elderly, veterans, and disabled being offered MAiD because they are poor and such, when all they want is better care.

Sad thing when a society's values deteriorate and places $ above the value and dignity of life.  

Ah ... Management manipulation of the gene pool for optimum behaviour and contribution to society?

CGO
December 13, 2023
2:06 am
smayer97
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Another way to decrease demand is to decrease population. Hence you get the push for increased availability and qualifying criteria to access abortion services. And guess who accesses these services the most, or get "offered" them then most, the poor and the disabled. And it is a very lucrative business to boot. (Follow the stories about Planned Parenthood's selling of baby parts for profit, for example).

And the more we fall on the government's dime to fund these services, the less say we have as to when or where or even if we can access better healthcare. COVID measures have revealed that in spades around the world, under socialized medicine. But I digress.

All that said, an increase in access to services does show support for the dignity of life, at least on the surface. Of course, this is all counterbalanced with the above.

December 13, 2023
4:40 am
mordko
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Someone has been watching Tucker Carlson.

December 13, 2023
5:07 am
cgouimet
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mordko said
Someone has been watching Tucker Carlson.  

Good one ...

CGO
December 13, 2023
5:49 am
smayer97
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mordko said
Someone has been watching Tucker Carlson.  

I guess you have? since you purport to have such insight about him.

December 13, 2023
6:11 am
mordko
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smayer97 said

I guess you have? since you purport to have such insight about him.  

Guilty as charges. Helps me to recognize primary sources of particularly bright ideas. https://www.foxnews.com/video/6314411679112

December 13, 2023
7:09 am
savemoresaveoften
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Covering for kids makes a lot of sense. Covering for senior and only those over 87 ?! Seriously !! Denture subsidy ?? Another dumber than dumb policy.
It just confirm my decision to retire early rather then keep paying high tax to fund and know I wont enjoy any of these silly handouts. I hope dentists are paying bare minimum to do the work, as oppose to the regular "oh u cover by insurance" type pricing.

December 13, 2023
7:22 am
Alexandre
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RetirEd said

Alexandre: The numbers have been in for decades - universal health plans (including dental) are much cheaper than pay-as-you-go for almost everyone. And certainly for governments, too.

After initial rollout, they plan to allocate approximately $500 per person annually, and that is with administrative overhead. Will be less after insurance companies take their cut.

Averaging over last 25 years, my spent is $1,000 annually on dental services. Not every year is the same, of course, hence $1K average. Not adjusted for inflation. For a healthy male with common to his age dental problems.

They'll have to add more to the budget for dental coverage. That's my point: this expense is underestimated. Not that I am against federal dental coverage, just saying it'll cost more.

December 13, 2023
7:35 am
savemoresaveoften
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It should be administered as a tax deductible expense for all seniors would have made a lot more sense. And only make it a handout for those who file less than a fixed amount in their taxable income, $40k maybe ?

December 13, 2023
8:45 am
serendipity
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savemoresaveoften said
It should be administered as a tax deductible expense for all seniors would have made a lot more sense. And only make it a handout for those who file less than a fixed amount in their taxable income, $40k maybe ?  

So for a senior your suggestion would give 15% back of the “eligible” amount. I already get that measly amount.

Edit: I guess CRA could rewrite the tax forms to allow 100% back. But then you are bypassing the administrator who controls what is covered vs the dental fee guide and % paid back.

December 13, 2023
10:15 am
serendipity
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Just thought about something else.

My dentist as many others do, milk the dental plan. They know your plan details. They share it with other dental specialists. And you likely may have more dental work done that is what is really needed.

Now that I am on no plan I get good basic care.

And I am still very uncomfortable at the dentist from the old days of being slapped on the legs because I was in writhing pain from the drilling with no freezing. Point being, now, have good dental care with minimal time in the “chair”.

At this point my dentists office has no idea what my income is.

BUT with this new plan I can see some loss of privacy as I now expose my income, within a range, to the dental office as they now know the my approximate family income and if misused can be detrimental to my current dental expenses.

Dentists aren’t government paid family doctors, they are in business for profit.

Any comments or corrections?

December 13, 2023
12:07 pm
Loonie
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You may be a bit too worried, but make valid points.
The feds have farmed this out to SunLife, much as they do at Veterans Affairs who farm it all out to Blue Cross.
It would be much better if administered directly, like the provincial health plans. I don't see any need to give the insurance companies a cut. I have to deal with Veterans Affairs system regularly, and it's a royal PITA, regularly requiring extra levels of appeals which VA re-evaluates and usually does pay.
Don't tell me the insurance companies are more efficient. The bureaucracy required to deal with everything Blue Cross rejects adds considerably to the cost. Insurance company only wants the low-hanging fruit, the easy money; government has to deal with the rest.
We are almost constantly in some level of appeal over some drug or other WHICH HAS BEEN PRESCRIBED BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN - which ought to be enough. And our veteran doesn't even have a complicated set of issues. It's so complex that I can't imagine how elderly veterans could cope if they didn't have someone doing the grunt work for them. My veteran is 102 years old.

Good luck with the dental plan.

December 13, 2023
12:40 pm
RetirEd
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mordko: I repeat - low waiting-times in uninsured countries are false. They don't include INFINITE waiting times for those who get no care. Averaging in infinity leaves an average of infinity, far longer than most Canadians ever wait. (Of course, some do die or pay privately before making it to the top of the list.)

Those other stats you mention are less important compared to waiting times and health outcomes.

smayer97: I most certainly don't agree with the expansion or promotion of MAID. It's the birth rate that we need to reduce, gradually and with care as the demographics could leave us a productive-worker shortage. I place little significant value on human lives that don't exist. It's selfish to want to have more people born just for personal gain.

A very dear long-time friend in palliative care tried to invoke MAID to preserve her family funds despite them all begging her not to. She passed away without it being processed two months ago. I never wished for a moment that she would go earlier.

The "fetal-body-parts" canard is well discussed at:

http://www.snopes.com/fact-che.....ssue-sales

There was lots of litigation on the part of the faked/edited videos and court cases.

As for who accesses abortion services, it's the poor and those who have little control over their lives who get unwanted pregnancies because of lack of access or funds for contraception, or inability to avoid conception due to one's circumstances. (rape, incest, un-cooperative partners, human trafficking, sex while impaired, etc.)

savemoresaveoften: Tax deductions are worthless to low-income and elderly patients (full disclosure: like me!). Doing it that way subsidizes the wealthiest, and they likely can afford insurance. Medical expenses ARE currently tax-deductible - but only to a minuscule proportion that depends on their percentage of income and one's tax rate. How many of us have ever qualified for a medical-expenses deduction?

The new announced plan DOES have cut-off and co-pay caps. They're not as ridiculous as an annual income of $40K, though. That's below rent and food levels for most Canadians. Times have changed.

Serindipity: The "suggested fee guides" do not govern what dentists charge. They govern what most insurance policies are willing to pay. Dentists are free to charge more if patients are willing to pay.

Oh, and family doctors ARE in business for profit; they are operated as small businesses, except for the rare few who are on salary at clinics or hospitals. Medicare pays doctors on a fee schedule.

Before medicare, it was traditional for doctors to do expect to do some free or low-cost care on their own option, and of course they didn't always get paid by their patients.

With Canadian medicare, their compensation for service is limited by government fee scales BUT they ALWAYS get paid if in accordance with medicare rules. (Yes, I know some doctors do more than the procedure caps.) The downside is that cash-minded doctors stick to non-covered services for that reason: no charity patients and unregulated billing. They are lost to the medical system for the rest of us.

RetirEd

December 13, 2023
2:09 pm
savemoresaveoften
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RetirEd said
savemoresaveoften: Tax deductions are worthless to low-income and elderly patients (full disclosure: like me!). Doing it that way subsidizes the wealthiest, and they likely can afford insurance. Medical expenses ARE currently tax-deductible - but only to a minuscule proportion that depends on their percentage of income and one's tax rate. How many of us have ever qualified for a medical-expenses deduction?

Elderly patients that are also low income are already enjoy a very generous dose of subsidies/payout by the government. The question is where does this end ? I think the cutoff for this is set at $90k ? That is way too generous in my mind. If the design is to help the poor, the cutoff should be much lower.
Also if they just let dentists charge what current insurance guidelines are, that is just 100% wrong. Every dentist i know of has 2 sets of prices: with insurance is X, without insurance 1/2 of X.... The current insurance guidelines are 100% driven by how much corporate dental plans are willing to pay as premium ultimately, but that needs to be revised as well.

December 13, 2023
2:25 pm
Alexandre
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savemoresaveoften said
I think the cutoff for this is set at $90k ? That is way too generous in my mind. If

This is family net income. For married couple, each will need to be at just $45K to lose dental benefit, which is quite close to your proposed $40K per person.

You do realize, hopefully, that no solution will satisfy everyone. If by some magic they scrap current plan and replace it with your ideas instead, someone else will criticize them. Their opinion is as valuable as yours.

Also, here is interesting gem I have found in media provided federal dental coverage description:

The basket of services will closely reflect the federal health benefits program for registered First Nations and Inuit people, Health Canada officials said in a briefing.

Is there anyone willing to argue that Canadian citizens are less worthy than First Nations and Inuit people, when it comes to federal benefits?

December 13, 2023
4:48 pm
mordko
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RetirEd said
mordko: I repeat - low waiting-times in uninsured countries are false. They don't include INFINITE waiting times for those who get no care. Averaging in infinity leaves an average of infinity, far longer than most Canadians ever wait. (Of course, some do die or pay privately before making it to the top of the list.)

Those other stats you mention are less important compared to waiting times and health outcomes.
  

FYI, “universal coverage” means that all these other countries which are doing far better than Canada in healthcare do not in fact have anyone who is “uninsured”.

Most developed countries have universal coverage (maybe all except the US?). The only unique thing about Canada is that private healthcare is made illegal, which makes no sense except to ideologues.

Unlike our healthcare system with a huge chunk of Canadians (20%?) unable to get a family doctor, our dental care is good and efficient and isn’t broken. Yet. So lets mess with that and spend the money we don’t have.

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