Saturday, March 28, 2009

BC Medical Services Plan

What does it cost the government of BC to operate MSP? Why do we bother having it?

I suggest that the provincial government would save money by getting rid of the MSP system and simply covering all the provincial healthcare costs through general revenues. It costs money to send out bills and collect the money for the public. I fail to see how it would not be more cost effective to not have it all.

There will still be a need for CareCards, as it has to be clear who gets covered in BC by the provicial government. Not everyone in BC using healthcare has their costs paid for by the provincial government.


Quimby said...

The NDP missed the boat when talking to the business lobby, last week. They should be consulting business on whether the MSP premiums should be kept or would they prefer to see the equivalent in revenue come from the tax base, even if it meant a small increase in the corporate tax rate (0.5- 1%)?

The fact is that business carries the burden of the MSP. As those whom are not covered by their employer get reduced or no cost coverage.

Sacha said...

I believe the theory was to link health care costs to money that the public has to pay - MSP raises $1.6 billion a year, so it is not a trivial amount at all.

If they were to do it all through sales taxes, for example, they would have to raise the PST another 2-3%.

Since the MSP rate is so visible, it takes a lot of political capital to raise it. If it was going to accomplish the task of linking to the healthcare system, it should have automatic provisions to raise the rate whenever government decides to spend more on health.