As the federal government’s Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare calls for a universal, single-payer system for prescription drug coverage in Canada, a new report from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute – part of its ongoing series on access to and perceptions of health care among those ages 55 and older – finds a significant number of Canadians this age struggling to afford prescription medications.
The first part of this report – which focused on access to doctors and health care services – found one-in-five older Canadians (21%) facing major access issues, and a full majority having at least some trouble getting the care they need in a timely manner.
This second part of the study finds one-in-six Canadians (17%) in the 55-plus age group – a figure that represents upwards of 1.8 million people – say that they or someone else in their household have taken prescription drugs in a way other than prescribed because of cost.
One-in-ten (10%) have decided to simply not fill a prescription because it was too expensive, and a similar number (9%) have decided not to renew one for the same reason. One-in-eight (12%) have taken steps to stretch their prescriptions, such as cutting pills or skipping doses.
Some 17 per cent of Canadians 55 and older have done at least one of these things, and that proportion rises among those who have greater difficulty accessing other aspects of the health care system.
“It’s quite clever, talking about taxes rather than detailing the things that taxes actually pay for. Can I give you a list? Universal free medical care, free public education, heavily subsidized universities, policing, highways, roads, parks, old-age pensions, policing, garbage collection, national defence, and the list goes on.”
t makes for a great headline. “The average Canadian family paid $39,299 in taxes last year, more than housing, food and clothing combined.”
Sounds awful, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what the folks at the Fraser Institute want you to think. The think tank is a pillar of Canada’s libertarian right, whose goal is to erode the welfare state and reduce taxes so that the capitalist system can carry on its merry way.
To do so, they’ve been engaged in a prolonged fight to demonize taxes and government in general and convince Canadians that they’re being gouged by taxes of all kinds. It mirrors the same effort by the right in the U.S. although in Canada, where people generally like their government and think it’s there to help, that’s proven to be a harder sell.
“Taxes, not life’s basic necessities, remain the largest household expense for families across the country,” according to Finn Poschmann, resident scholar at the Fraser Institute, in the recent news release making public The Canadian Consumer Tax Index.
According the institute, the average family spent 44.2 per cent of its income on taxes compared to 36.3 per cent on “basic necessities.” And it says that the tax bill has gone up by 2,246 per cent since 1961.
Bustling Toronto may not be the picture-perfect hamlet in the countryside that many imagine as a dream place to relax in their golden years, but when it comes to practicality, it has a lot going for it. The city shot to the top this year, thanks to its vast network of health care services, robust public transportation and ease of getting around by walking. Small-town living might be attractive in theory, but as we get older, these are some crucial factors to consider.
- Toronto #1
- Ottawa #2
- Burlington #3
- Calgary #84
- Edmonton didn’t make the top 100
If a chaotic concert that nearly failed “defined a generation,” what does that actually mean?
Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation.
It’s perfectly reasonable to wonder why anybody feels the need for another documentary about Woodstock. We’ve already got the film of the same name that was released in 1970, a staggering 224 minutes of dope, drizzle, and dishabille, which won an Oscar and is part of the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.
But there are a few reasons you might want to take a peek at PBS’s new effort, Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation. For instance, its revelation of the novel funding idea of Artie Kornfeld, one of 1969 rock festival’s principal organizers.
Told that construction crews hadn’t been able to get fences built in time and Woodstock would have to be declared a free concert, Kornfeld asked: “Can’t we get a whole bunch of girls and put them in diaphanous gowns and give them collection baskets and send them out into the audience?”
Then there’s the video of that bumper sticker posted on one of the food stands that dotted the perimeter of the concert ground: “DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY,” a full 19 years before Bobby McFerrin’s record drove a nation to homicidal madness.
Oh, and a reminder that rodents were rocking their own Age of Aquarius: A glimpse of the log kept at the medical tents remembered mostly for taking care of the consumers of Woodstock’s infamous brown acid reveals they also had 11 patients suffering from rat bites. I blame Nixon.
Disabled David Gilchrist has had five heart attacks and depends on his scooter to shop.
But he claims so-called phone zombies – people who walk while glued to their phone – make it nigh-on impossible to get around as they bump into him while staring at their screens, with some even blaming the 68-year-old.