Re: “MSP premiums should be axed,” Feb. 1.
The editorial sure perked me up over my first morning cup of coffee. Congratulations on your progressive and timely comment on an issue affecting all British Columbians. And thanks to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for the release of its report designed to help trigger this debate.
Progressive, because you correctly point out that our province is the only one in the country still attempting to fund part of the ever-growing health-care budget through the imposition of highly regressive monthly premiums. Premiums of almost $1,500 a year for a senior couple or a couple on fixed income or those existing on wages barely above the poverty line present a true hardship, while for the wealthy, such premiums are a drop in the bucket. Family premiums are even higher. All other provinces fund their health care through progressive income taxes, so why not us?
Timely, since we are heading into a provincial election and can shortly expect political parties to roll out their platforms designed to encourage us to choose them at the ballot box. What better way, then, for these platforms to demonstrate tangible concern for regular folks and families than a promise to scrap these unfair MSP premiums once and for all?
A progressive tax system is supposed to be based on one’s ability to pay. Across-the-board monthly premiums that are exactly the same for someone with an income of $31,000 as for someone making $301,000 have no place in a society claiming to be both fair and just.
John L. Fryer
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