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CALGARY Canada’s health care system is a “ponzi scheme” that could force future generations to pay massively in extra taxes to sustain it, states a University of Calgary think tank.
Unless Canadians solidly embrace preventative, lower cost practises, the grandkids of today’s more numerous baby boomers will be left paying bills worth thousands of dollars a year in extra taxes to prop up health care, said Dr. Herb Emery.
“I don’t like to use the term ‘ponzi scheme’ but that is what it amounts to,” said Emery, whose study ‘Can We Avoid a Sick Fiscal Future’ was released Wednesday by the U of C’s School of Public Policy.
Future taxpayers expected to support their elders’ health care along with their own will rebel, and in fact already are, said Emery.
“If we keep going the way we are, we are going to have a debt of $1.4 trillion in today’s lump sum value . it’s unlikely the Canadians of the future are going to agree to pay for this deal,” he said.
The grandchildren of those born in 1965 would pay at least $2,500 a year on top of their normal health care levies to keep the system afloat,
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“We’re effectively asking the generation in university today to pay double what the baby boomers are,” he said.
And despite its energy riches, said Emery, Alberta’s no better off than other provinces.
If Alberta had saved half its oil and gas revenues since the mid 1990s, it’d have a nest egg of $55 billion by 2015 to draw on but instead is spending its savings to cover yearly deficits,
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cards against humanity game, Alberta has missed a huge opportunity we’re now in the same boat as every other province,” he said.
As hugely dinging future generations unrealistic, Canadians must get serious about preventative lifestyles and less costly approaches like home care, said Emery.