KAMLOOPS — Earlier this week, the Canadian Federation of Taxpayers released a statement, revealing the province’s Medical Services Plan is owed nearly a half billion dollars in late payments, a result of a system BC Director for the Federation called “hopelessly flawed.” Yesterday, premier Christy Clark called the BC MSP “antiquated,” “old,” and said the way it’s payed for “doesn’t make a whole ton of sense”. Changes to MSP are on the way, but some critics wonder if those changes will do enough for those struggling to make monthly payments.
Rick Turner of the Kamloops Health Coalition thinks it’s time for a change, when it comes to MSP premiums in British Columbia. “Unfortunately, what we’re hearing from the Premier’s office… is they're going to maintain the tax,” said Turner. “There’ll be some changes… but the tax will still be there. It’ll still be the case [that] they ought to get rid of it, just like they have everywhere else in Canada.”
BC Health Minister Terry Lake says the government understands why some may not agree with the current MSP premiums, but noted it’s a complex issue to undertake. “Premiums are something that some people are in favour of. Others would like it put into taxes.There’s a lot of debate around that, and government is listening,” Lake said in an interview, earlier today.
According to a release from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, there are more than 850,000 overdue MSP accounts in the province, which owe more than $450 million dollars in back payments. Since 2001, those premiums have doubled; BC families now pay $150 dollars per month, regardless of their income.
Turner says that flat payment rate has a far greater effect on those who at lower end of the income scale. “This is a lot harder on young families, for example, who are just starting out,” said Turner. “They’re paying as much on their MSP premiums as a millionaire is. It’s a really regressive tax.”
The government has promised changes to the MSP are on the way, but we’ll have to wait until the provincial budget is revealed next Tuesday to find out what those changes will be.
Head of Sun Rivers says golf course sale still on track
KAMLOOPS — Rick Siemens, CEO of Sun Rivers Ltd. Partnership, says he wants to set the record...
READ MORE +
Gord Downie 'like a Terry Fox in the modern day,' says doctor
TORONTO — Gord Downie's openness about his diagnosis with terminal brain cancer will leave a...
READ MORE +
Kamloops thrift store distributing 'kindness kits' to the homeless, seniors
KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops thrift shop has come up with a unique way to help out the city's homeless and...
READ MORE +
Join the Discussion
We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.