The NDP is calling on Premier Christy Clark to eliminate MSP (Medical Services Plan) premium collection and follow the system adopted by many other provinces.
John Horgan, the NDP party leader, is calling for the needed funds to be drawn from income tax instead. “I’m hopeful that they will completely review the MSP process, integrate it into the tax system as every other province has done, rather than making a regressive play where someone making $35,000 gets the same cost as someone making $3 million,” he said.
By doing that, Horgan suggests a more fair system would be created – where those making more money would contribute more to medical than those with more modest incomes.
Halfmoon Bay resident Jef Keighley agrees. “Currently BC MSP premiums are the most regressive tax in BC. Where a person earning $25,000 per year pays exactly the same as a person earning $250,000 per year. This is patently unfair.”
There is a more equitable way to fund our public healthcare system. “A fair way to fund our public healthcare system is to take the full annual cost divided by the number of tax payers in the province to arrive at an equal premium that would be added to gross income across the board. Then adjust the allowable deductions for lower income people to effectively eliminate any additional tax burden on them and allow the progressive structure of the tax system to shift a greater share of healthcare cost onto those who can most afford to pay, Keighley said.”
For those who do not have any earnings for various reasons, their share of the health care costs will be equally shared across the board. “Which is effectively what we are already doing,” Keighley adds. “It would be simple and effective and would be seen as fair. It would also reduce the cost of administering MSP by eliminating the premium collection and accounting process and allow the very efficient MSP staff to focus on payments to healthcare providers.”
More than 60,000 people have signed an online petition to abolish MSP.