Saturday, September 17, 2016

This Fiscal Year In Clarkland: You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two...

...To Bring In $2.5 Billion Dollars.

Never mind that 4 percent MSP increase removal for 2017 thingy that the Clarklandians have bamboozled the Lotuslandian proMedia into focussing on over the past few news cycles (Ooooooh! Look! Shiny!!!)...

Because Dermod Travis of Integrity BC has instead noted the fee-for service gouging that has been going on during the entirety of the years of Clarklandia:

Moving out from individuals to the entirety of the British Columbian citizenry, the prediction by Cookie Dough Mike and his minions is that MSP will bring in a collectively regressive $2,549,000,000 this fiscal year (see pg 127).


First: No other government in Canada hauls in money in this completely non-progressive way.

Second: Take away that $2.5B gouge/regressive pretend-it's-not-a-tax and Cookie Dough's new prediction of a $1.9B surplus is completely gone.

Assuming, of course, I still know how to do the new anti-Clarklandian math which is based on fee-for-service subtraction.


Given all that, should we be surprised that the good Ms. Clark is suddenly running around (again) saying that she is going to reform things (for absolute sure this time) because she says "I really don't like the way MSP works."

And, even more so, should we be surprised that proMedia organs like the CBC play this codswallop straight-up?


For those not from BC, those premiums above are monthly...Annual fees are $900 for individuals and $1,800 for families.



Norm Farrell said...

There's another type of taxation hidden away. Many prescription benefit plans pay a percentage of the price listed by the Government, not a percentage of the drug's actual cost. By setting the listed price below actual market prices, government (and insurers) shift huge sums back to the patient. On a sample I tracked, the differences ranged from 2-7 %. While that may seem trivial, province wide it results in millions of dollars of extra expenses imposed on patients.

How long before ICBC does something similar? You insure for replacement cost of your $25,000 Toyota but the insurance company decides it will only recognize the car's price to be $24,000 if it is lost.

RossK said...

Didn't know about this Norm.

Are not many of these deals pre-negotiated so that both the vendors and the government agree upon a price?


Norm Farrell said...

Each pharmacy can set its own price. For example, generic spironolactone, an almost 60 year old drug that is on the WHO's List of Essential Medicines is priced by Government at 13.62¢ per 25mg. Its price ranges up to 24¢ at drug stores near my home according to Pharmacy Compass.

Maximum dispensing fee is set at $10 by BC Government. It is more at many pharmacies.

When it became clear that BC's generic prices were the highest in Canada, the Liberal took action. They issued numerous press releases claiming BC residents would pay lower prices due to actions taken by government. Media gave wide coverage to the press releases but did very little to examine the real effects.

Some insurance plans will reimburse actual costs but those covered by Pharmacare and many insurance plans are reimbursed according to the Least Cost Alternative drug prices.

People with the ability to shop around can get the lowest prices on prescription drugs but others - often the most vulnerable - are out of pocket.

RossK said...


More governance by press release rather than sound policy.

Thanks Norm.


Anonymous said...

$2.5 billion does not represent the total take of the government resulting from charging MSP premiums. Regardless of whether that $2.5 billion is paid by individuals or by their business or employer, that represents real dollars into the treasury.

This is an assumption:

If 50 percent of individuals have their MSP premiums paid by their business or employer, 50 percent of the $2.5 billion appears as a taxable benefit on their T4-slips. The amounts appearing on T4-slips equals $1.25 billion.

Now MSP premiums paid on behalf of an individual is a taxable benefit and income tax is paid at the highest marginal tax rate by that individual. Assuming an average British Columbia marginal tax on net income for affected individuals as 15 percent, 15% of $1.25 billion is paid as income tax to the provincial government. That equals $187 million in additional government revenue totaling $2.6875 billion. I doubt the income tax generated from MSP as a taxable benefit is segregated as MSP revenue. For affected individuals, this is double taxation.

RossK, you have more figures available at your fingertips with respect to stats on MSP and marginal tax rates. It would be interesting to see a detailed analysis. Or tell me I am completely off base.

RossK said...


A most excellent point you make.

Do suppose this 'bonus' revenue is one of the reasons our fine Premier says that dealing with all this gouge-driven egregiosity is so 'complicated'?


Anonymous said...

Is it,in BC, that the multimillion-dollar extravaganza of our electoral Circus Maximus is part of the smokescreen that covers the ongoing devastation of pay to play politics(IE possibly real estate-bill40/Site C/Massey/LNG?) and 100 billion dollar contractual obligations.furthering the state of public caveat emptor cognitive dissonance and reported by some media ,deep in debt,and sometimes trades at 2 cents a share?Panem et Circenses for everyone.?

Norm Farrell said...

Good point made above about federal and provincial income taxes collected on the portion of medical premiums paid by employers.

In BC, marginal tax rates for most in BC are between 20% and 48%. For people who have employers paying half the cost of family medical coverage, the result may be up to $432 a year in extra income tax.

Liberals don't factor that into comparisons of tax rates in different provinces.

RossK said...

Thanks for that Norm.


Anonymous said...

P3 bc party the pay to play party

Anonymous said...

Of BC royalties-These are “economic rents” and the people of BC are being reamed for the privilege of developing their dirt. Remember that a non-renewing natural resource owned by the people of BC It’s depleting nature needs to be reflected in the revenue being received for their development,not pay to play and risk deferral