Rising health costs to hurt provinces: report

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OTTAWA – A new report is warning that the net debt of the country’s provinces, territories and municipalities is on an unsustainable path with health spending set to accelerate along with the aging population.

The parliamentary budget office estimates the net debt of these subnational governments will climb above 200 per cent of the gross domestic product in 75 years unless steps are taken to ease the burden — such as increasing federal health transfers.

The federal budget watchdog says by contrast, Ottawa’s books are on a sustainable path and that its net debt is set to be eliminated in 35 years.

The annual report comes out less than a week after Canada’s premiers urged Ottawa to boost federal health-care funding so that it covers at least 25 per cent of all health spending by the provinces and territories.

The document says the provinces, territories and cities can get back on a sustainable trajectory by adding a total of $28 billion to their bottom lines this year through options such as higher federal transfers, reduced program spending or increased revenues.

The analysis also found recent policy changes such as the increased universal child care benefit and the expanded limit on tax-free savings accounts will have little impact on the federal government’s bottom line over the long term.

In its fiscal sustainability report, the budget office also said the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan would be able to cover the rising costs associated with more and more Canadians expected to retire in the coming years.

1 COMMENT

  1. It is depressing to read an article about rising health costs, then turn around and read another article about all the smoking bans.

    Maybe the country should focus attention on the actual leading causes of health issues, mainly those that are diet related. The cost of care due to diabetes and heart disease are becoming the leading cause of health issues, which are issues created by bad food choices.

    It’s disturbing to hear people complain about secondhand smoke and how much it affects them and their children, and then watch these people head into McDonalds for their family dinner.

    Understand that this is hurting people much more than a little smoke. Being overweight hurts health a lot more than secondhand smoke inhalation.

    If the country really wants to lower health care costs, then the emphasis needs to shift toward awareness of what’s healthy to EAT. I think most people make bad choices because they just don’t KNOW how bad the choices they’re making really are.

    Everyone should watch these documentaries:
    Food Matters
    Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
    Forks Over Knives
    Hungry for Change

    These are all in Netflix.
    Then maybe the government interest will be to create a community garden and increase education on food awareness. Realize that smoking cigarettes doesn’t affect everyone nearly as much as the food that goes in the body.

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