Friday, May 15, 2009

Canada vs. America: Health Care, Taxes

One of my favourite writers is Amy Alkon, based out of Los Angeles. In the comments of this recent piece, her and some others delved into the cost of health care in America. Here's the comment I left:

This idea that health care insurance costs are out of control in the U.S. is pure fantasy IMO.

Amy is 45 and pays $300 per month.

I'm a year younger and pay $52 per month here in Canuckistan. I don't have a personal doctor because when my last one moved away it has become exceedingly impossible to find one who will take patients (and I live in a very urban area!). So if I get sick my alternatives are to go to a clinic or go to the Emergency at the local hospital. From anecdotal evidence from friends, I know that the wait each time will be in the order of 2 - 6 hours. Is that the "great" health care system you Americans are looking for?

Getting back to cost, here's a calculator to determine what Canadians pay in income tax. Plus, in BC we pay 12% sales tax (5% federal + 7% provincial) on most everything we buy.

How does our income & consumption tax compare with where you live?


David in North Burnaby BC said...

Just a small correction, Robert, because GST is calculated on the purchase including PST the total is higher than 12%.
You just have to love that taxes on taxes thing, so canerdian.

Pelalusa said...

I wasn't aware that GST was also charged on the PST.

Ummm, I just checked a purchase I made at London Drugs this morning for $5.99. The taxes charged were:

PST: $0.42 (7%)
GST: $0.30 (5%)

If what you're saying is true then I would have paid GST on $5.99 + $0.42 = $6.41. 5% of $6.41 is $0.32

I think you need to double-check your facts.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

I stand corrected, Robert, but surely it was not always so? I'm sure I remember when Lyin' Muldoon brought in the GST part of the uproar was over just this, but I have no memory of it being changed. Strange, but then perhaps its False Memory Syndrome.