Canadians Fear Boomers Will Cripple Health System

A Canadian Medical Association poll, released on August 23, 1020, reveals that 75% of Canadian respondents fear that growing health costs will result in significant tax hikes and an inability of seniors to afford health care as they age. Furthermore, approximately 80% of respondents believe that aging baby boomers will cause reduced access and lower quality care in Canada. However, Canadians, particularly those born after 1966, are willing to buy private health insurance as a supplement to public health care. Of course, as the youngest and healthiest cohort of the public insurance pool this would do little to fix the problem of growing costs. To cover those costs, respondents born after 1966 said they would prefer going into debt and using retirement savings to pay for health care for their parents and themselves. A growing alternative that many Canadians are turning to is home health care for preventative care and treatment.

What we see...is a refreshing acknowledgement of reality. Canadians are not giving up on medicare but they're recognizing that medicare needs to be transformed to deal with current realities, demographic and otherwise. [Canadians] are being extremely realistic about the limits of medicare and so-called free health care" --Anne Doig, president, Canadian Medical Association
The CMA argues that the current system is unsustainable and cannot meet the future needs of aging baby boomers. Canadian health care costs in 2009 are estimated to be $183 billion according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The report recommends significant changes to make health care most patient-centric such as a universal prescription drug plan, a charter of patient rights, an independent body to monitor health care spending and monetary incentives for hospitals and doctors to see more patients. Dr. Doig expressed concern that the baby boomers would be used as a scapegoat for rising health care costs.
I worry that the blaming will happen. We don't want intergenerational tensions, we want intergenerational fairness.
The poll is conducted annually by the CMA and this year Ipsos Reid polled 3,483 Canadians to answer questions about their views on the future of Canadian health care and to award the various levels of government in managing the system for the report. The scores have been relatively stable: 41% of respondents gave the federal government an A or B (versus 40% from 2009) and 41% of respondents have their provincial government an A or B (versus 42% from 2009).

Source: "Most fear boomers will cripple health system" The Globe and Mail, August 23, 2010 (A5)

Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon) and Hamilton.

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