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Federal dental plan
December 13, 2023
5:20 pm
AltaRed
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Alexandre said

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.

So what? Why should the taxpayer be subsidizing family net income at the $90k income level? That is about median family incomes in Canada per StatsCan.

December 14, 2023
7:26 am
Alexandre
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AltaRed said

Alexandre said

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.

So what? Why should the taxpayer be subsidizing family net income at the $90k income level? That is about median family incomes in Canada per StatsCan.  

1. You do realize, hopefully, that no solution will satisfy everyone. Pick any net income number you want, and even if it is zero (i.e., no benefit for virtually anyone at all) - someone would argue against that number.

2. "The basket of services will closely reflect the federal health benefits program for registered First Nations and Inuit people" they say. In my opinion it would be fair to set the same maximum threshold income level for everyone else. If you could find what it is for these two groups, and if it is less than $90K for family income, you'll have a good point. At least, for the fairness of that dental benefit.

December 14, 2023
7:48 am
AltaRed
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I understand there would be no consensus on a number but the intent of such programs supposedly is to assist low income families and individuals. It is perverse to think that almost everyone below family median income (more or less) is tagged as low income.

Pretty soon, it is going to be only the 10 percenters who will be pulling the full weight of that sled. Think of 2 reindeer pulling 10 Santa sleds. Socialism gone amok.

December 14, 2023
8:06 am
Alexandre
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I just ran Canadian tax calculator, the first I could find. For an individual (not married, no dependents) making $90,000 annually in employment income their total tax will be $23,000.

Federal budget allocated $500 per year in dental benefit for that person, on average. To put it differently, that person paid $23,000 in taxes for $500 dental tax credit.

You got it wrong: it is not some other taxpayers subsidizing individual with $90,000 employment income, it is that individual that subsidizes others through his/her taxes. Saying that someone who paid to government coffers $23,000 does not deserve measly $500 back is, indeed, socialist view on taxation gone amok.
The irony of you despising socialism and taking its side simultaneously.

December 14, 2023
8:42 am
AltaRed
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That is perverse logic and you know it. Our tax system is what provides us with everything we have and do nationally on an 'all in' basis, including foreign aid, defense, infrastructure and a hundred other things that we do not necessarily receive back on an quantitative individual basis. The dividing line is not a teeter totter at median income. It has to be a number far less than median income by definition and while I do not know what that number is, it is certainly far less than median income. Maybe it is $50k or $60k. I have no doubt there are studies, StatsCan or otherwise, that have sorted that out to some extent but anyone who thinks they have an entitlement at/near median does not understand Econ101.

Just like OAS should start to be clawed back (not fully clawed back necessarily) at far less than $90k, so should other social programs not be available to those earning at that income level. The system would collapse under its own weight, and is to some extent given the size of our national and provincial deficits.

December 14, 2023
8:45 am
mordko
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None of it is socialism. Socialism is when means of production are owned by the state. In our system the wealth is generated by banks, mining companies, engineering companies, dentists and others. These firms, all these RBCs and Enbridges are privately owned. The wealth private industries generate allows for the government to spend on healthcare, etc.

What we do have is a high welfare system running amok and spending well beyond its means even before the new dental benefits. State collects larger and larger share of wealth, borrows more and more, thus killing incentives to work hard and produce. This new handout is one in a long row of handouts and shouldn’t be considered in isolation. This makes it tempting for highly educated hard working earners to take a step back, work less, retire early and enjoy the benefits rather than work.

We already reached a point when productivity is declining and this is going to accelerate the process. As a result the “pot” available for handouts will continue declining and at some point we’ll hit a crisis when basic services will no longer be available. Basic healthcare among them. But we’ll have very clean teeth.

December 14, 2023
10:19 am
serendipity
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Hopefully you can submit your claim directly to Sun Life vs allowing the dental office to submit electronically.

That way I can use my cash back credit card to pay and NOT allow my dental office to be aware of my family income.

December 14, 2023
11:56 am
Itellyouwutt
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serendipity said
Hopefully you can submit your claim directly to Sun Life vs allowing the dental office to submit electronically.

That way I can use my cash back credit card to pay and NOT allow my dental office to be aware of my family income.  

If you are enrolled you will get a physical card (similar to your health card), which would be presented at the dental office. The dental office would then bill Sun Life directly.

The dental office will not know your specific annual income. But they will know that your income is under/over $70k and up to $90k depending on how much coverage you are entitled to.

December 14, 2023
11:59 am
Itellyouwutt
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December 14, 2023
12:53 pm
serendipity
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Itellyouwutt said

If you are enrolled you will get a physical card (similar to your health card), which would be presented at the dental office. The dental office would then bill Sun Life directly.

The dental office will not know your specific annual income. But they will know that your income is under/over $70k and up to $90k depending on how much coverage you are entitled to.  

Right and the % reveals income. And that is a privacy issue as far as I am concerned.

If I had a company plan … ok .. that’s what the company offers and has no relationship to income.

When I was on a company plan it was with Sun Life and we were supposed to submit paper claims, as directed by our employer, but they overlooked the electronically sent ones. In this case I am ok to move back to paper.

Sun Life still accepts paper.

December 14, 2023
1:46 pm
Loonie
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If you are THAT worried about your dentist having a vague idea of your income, then don't subscribe to the plan.
Much ado about very little.

December 14, 2023
3:42 pm
Itellyouwutt
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Loonie said
If you are THAT worried about your dentist having a vague idea of your income, then don't subscribe to the plan.
Much ado about very little.  

Yeah...and really, if a dentist for some perverse reason really wanted to know how much a patient made, it wouldn't be that difficult by looking at their job title, employer, etc.

But I can't imagine any (mentally healthy) dentist doing something like this.

The only thing I can see here is some dentists gold plating some services because they will be covered by insurance. But this isn't something exclusive to dentists. MDs do it as well. Heck, some vets are notorious for it...I remember once many years ago casually mentioning to my vet that I had insurance for my cat, and she instantly perked up and the whole dynamic changed. I ended up switching vets because it was so odious.

December 15, 2023
6:35 am
Alexandre
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AltaRed said
That is perverse logic and you know it. Our tax system is what provides us with everything we have

Yes, assuming no budget deficit, it is taxpayers who pay in the way of taxes to the government for running the country, for its social programs and everything else. Those who pay more subsidize those who pay less or not pay at all.

The question becomes, do those who pay more deserve thanks and occasional break, or should we take more of "tax the rich, make them dry" attitude towards them.

Both opinions have their merits. But one must be consistent in how they approach this topic.

I have no problem with capitalist tax system. I have no problem with difference in opinions. What I have problem with is someone who despises socialism yet takes "tax the rich" stance at the same paragraph.

December 15, 2023
6:39 am
Alexandre
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mordko said
None of it is socialism ... State collects larger and larger share of wealth, borrows more and more, thus killing incentives to work hard and produce.

Right, just like someone recently said here: people prefer to work 40 hours and collect government benefits instead of working 60 hours and losing them.

What kind of society it is, where people are not incentivized to work themselves to death? Not true capitalism, that's for sure.

December 15, 2023
7:09 am
mordko
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Alexandre said

mordko said
None of it is socialism ... State collects larger and larger share of wealth, borrows more and more, thus killing incentives to work hard and produce.

Right, just like someone recently said here: people prefer to work 40 hours and collect government benefits instead of working 60 hours and losing them.

What kind of society it is, where people are not incentivized to work themselves to death? Not true capitalism, that's for sure.  

Its capitalism, of course. High welfare capitalism. You’ll know its true socialism when the supermarket shelves are completely empty.

That said, 3 millions of Ontarians will be without a family doctor in a couple of years and the numbers are growing superfast - across Canada. Not socialism but many of us will soon get a feel for what its like.

Life expectancy is now decreasing so “not working ourselves to death” is starting to bear fruit. What’s really important though is that before death peoples teeth are cleaned for free.

December 15, 2023
7:32 am
Alexandre
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mordko said

You’ll know its true socialism when the supermarket shelves are completely empty.

You mean, like on that photo taken in August 2023.

PXL_20230827_133747295.MP_.jpg

If text is too small to read, it starts with "We are experiencing supply challenges..."

December 15, 2023
8:49 am
mordko
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No, I mean permanently and everywhere, except for a few “no mortals allowed” shops exclusive to government officials and their favourite bureaucrats responsible for cleaning teeth.

December 15, 2023
4:47 pm
Alexandre
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mordko said
... shelves are completely empty ... permanently and everywhere ... 

OK, I'll bite. The year is 1975. How do Soviet people living in big cities, working 8 hours a day at factories, feed themselves every day? By photosynthesis?

December 15, 2023
5:05 pm
mordko
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Alexandre said

mordko said
... shelves are completely empty ... permanently and everywhere ... 

OK, I'll bite. The year is 1975. How do Soviet people living in big cities, working 8 hours a day at factories, feed themselves every day? By photosynthesis?  

Semolina porridge every day. Lots. Bread was available. Milk too. With lineups but available. Grew own veg, including people in the cities. Professors stored sacks of potatoes for winter. Work canteens. Disgusting but food. Burgers used to be filled with garlic to hide the fact meat was off. Connections (a type of corruption called “blat”). With blat you could get rare cans of sardines from under the counter. Sometimes blat would get you even more prized tushenka (spam) or sgushenka (condensed milk). And for a kilogram of sausages you’d get a friend for life.

People who worked in the shops were kings and queens. Everyone wanted to be their friend. Occasionally disgusting blue chickens would appear in shops. One would queue for an hour or two and sometimes there would be enough for you. Feeding a family was tough. Used to take trips to Moscow for vacation especially to buy food. Moscow had more than the province. It was tough.

Fruit was rare. Oranges were a once a year thing which were brought to the city for new year as gifts for children. I didn’t see a banana until I was an adult. Apples were more accessible. Vegetables could be bought privately (not in shops) but prices were unaffordable other than every now and then. No starvation since late 50s but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Dental care was free, of course. You could see it when Soviets smiled.

December 15, 2023
10:08 pm
RetirEd
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savemoresaveoften: As Alexandre noted, the proposed federal $90K cutoff is per family, not per person. And for elderly patients, even with all the subsidies/payouts they MAY qualify for, dental expenses can easily dwarf them and the $500 benefit. A single bridge cost me a sudden $4,000 this year, a cleaning $250, an extraction $212.

I have never had or spoken to a dentist that charges half-price for uninsured patients. They use the fee guides, though SOME will knock 10% off for the elderly. (Two told me they dropped that discount because of COVID-19 patients not coming in.) I don't know for sure what they charge the insured, though. It was back in 1991 that I was briefly covered by an employer dental plan, and at the time the charge was strictly at the fee guide level.

mordko: The USA, which boasts of "lower waiting times," had 16+% uninsured citizens before the Affordable Care Act, which made a HUGE difference. I found this:

http://www.statista.com/topics.....-insurance

Caveat: some of the uninsured, in some states, can get minimal care at charity or public emergency rooms. Medicare (elderly) patients are already included in the "insured" category.

WHO statistics indicate that the most generous AND fair universal medical plans are found in the countries with the lowest income inequality. Those places don't motivate their richest to get out of their health plans. (The Scientific American reporting is behind a paywall. I get the hard-copy magazine.)

Canadians have a hard time finding family doctors, but they still have coverage. The unlimited fees for non-covered services and higher pay rates for specialists make family practice unappealing to new graduates.

High-income Canadians are not motivated to "step back" from work: they get far more from each quantum of work than almost all other Canadians and are still greatly motivated. Remember that our top tax bracket, in my youth, was 80%!

It's the people working for peanuts who are less motivated to put in the extra effort.

AltaRed: Not all Canadians will be using all their $500 credit.

"Just like OAS should start to be clawed back (not fully clawed back necessarily) at far less than $90k, so should other social programs not be available to those earning at that income level."

It is. The clawback begins at $70K, a measly $35K minus taxes and child-raising per person in a two-parent family.

RetirEd

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