MSP Fee Replacement Solutions

This month, the NDP Government fulfilled one of its pre-election promises by cutting MSP fees by 50%, with a promise of eliminating them completely within four years.

Currently, the MSP fee is a “flat” fee (ie same rate paid by everyone) and disproportionately affects working class British Columbians. B.C. is the only province in the country that relies on a flat fee to raise revenue for health care.

While cutting MSP fees is a great step, revenue is necessary to pay for essential health care services and other programs–and ideally that would be raised through the tax system.

It is imperative that the government receives significant support for the idea of replacing revenues through the tax system. Big business and anti-tax advocates will be sure to lobby the government for not replacing revenues through progressive means.

Please send a submission to the MSP Task Force by January 31, 2018 at 4 pm. You can modify or use this MSP Word Activist letter. Further information is available in the BC Health Coalition’s submission to the Task Force.

The Task Force’s final report to government is due by March 31, 2018.

Please also use the email tool on the BC Health Coalition website and share it with your friends.

Improving Seniors’ Care in BC

The recent sale of Retirement Concepts’ chain of seniors’ care facilities across Canada to foreign multinational Anbang Insurance has raised red flags for many.

The lack of public process and the speed at which both the federal and provincial governments made their decision is disappointing, considering the serious implications for the level of care provided to seniors in this country.

If, in the future, Canada or the provinces decided to put stronger regulations in place (e.g., stricter training requirements, staffing levels or standards of care in retirement homes), “trade” deals that have been negotiated could allow foreign companies like Anbang to sue Canada for loss of anticipated profits.

We need publicly funded and delivered home and community care, not facilities whose primary purpose is to make a profit.

Use this link to find letter writing points and contact information to advocate for better seniors’ care.

Public Health Care: Solutions for Change

On May 9, British Columbians head to the polls to elect a government that reflects their i-heart-public-health-carevalues. Now is the time, with the election approaching, to make local candidates and their political parties aware of the issues that matter to you, their constituents.

The Comox Valley Council of Canadians invites you to an informative Town Hall on Wednesday, March 15, 7pm, at the Evergreen Seniors Lounge, where a panel of guest speakers will discuss health care issues and changes that could improve our system.

Topics will range from the highly criticized MSP premium being paid by British Columbians to the long wait times, home care and assisted living services. A question and answer period follows the panel’s presentation.

Although the BC Liberal government recently announced a reduction in MSP premiums as part of their 2017 budget, the fee is still a tax that unfairly impacts individuals and families on lower incomes.

Wait times in BC for “elective” surgeries, including joint replacements and cataracts, are some of the longest in Canada. Research reviews show there are public health care solutions that successfully reduce wait times – however, strong leadership from the provincial government is needed to implement these solutions.

Curtailed home care and assisted living services have more BC seniors waiting for residential care than ever before. In addition to the shortage of approximately 6000 long term care beds, 9 out of 10 BC facilities are not meeting the province’s own staffing guidelines.

This election it is imperative that BC’s political parties include strong public health care solutions in their platforms. We can make this happen.

Join us Wednesday, March 15 – 7pm in the Evergreen Seniors Lounge, Florence Filberg Centre – 411 Anderton Ave. Courtenay, as the panel discusses solutions for change and how to improve health care for everyone in BC, not just the few who can afford to pay extra for care.

Support Public Health Care

Sign the federal e-petition for free parking at hospitals and medical clinics

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-492

How much do you know about universal pharmacare? Take the quiz.

http://canadians.org/blog/how-well-do-you-actually-know-universal-pharmacare

Share these links with friends and family.

http://www.bchealthcoalition.ca/what-you-can-do/scrap-msp-premiums

http://www.bchealthcoalition.ca/what-you-can-do/public-solutions-wait-times