Prescription for a broken health care system can’t be more politics

Posted on November 13, 2022 in Health Debates

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Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos arrived promising an increase in health care transfers to the provinces in return for agreement on national health care indicators and creation of a health care data system. Duclos left Vancouver blaming premiers for undercutting the work of their health ministers by issuing a statement that the Vancouver meeting was a failure, even as the meeting was ongoing.

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Child & Family

We know better, so why aren’t we doing better in supporting the health of children and youth in care?

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The complex health and social issues faced by children and youth in care call for a comprehensive cross-sector collaborative approach to health care… children and youth with child welfare involvement are at risk of bearing a heavier burden of illness than their counterparts who do not have child welfare involvement, as a result of an inequitable system of health-care provision that fails to address their unique circumstances. 


Most older Canadians want to age at home. Why are we making it so hard for them?

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We know that home and community-based care is less expensive and more adaptable. There is living proof to that in countries such as Denmark. And since nearly all of us older Canadians say it’s our preferred option, why can’t our governments invest in delivering this kind of care? … Let’s make that possible by using our resources properly and humanely.


Education

Payouts to parents are a sorry replacement for investing in Ontario’s schools

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The Ontario Ministry of Education has chosen to spend $365 million in one-time, nontargeted $200 payouts to parents across the province. This money will not address any of the challenges in Ontario’s schools and could be better used for targeted, in-classroom supports proven to be effective.


Why doesn’t Canada let schools provide child care?

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Canada’s policy-makers could take lessons from other countries who have streamlined early learning and child care within their schools.  Instead, they are putting up roadblocks, preventing provinces and territories from using federal child-care dollars to transform schools into one-stop centres for young children… Schools are publicly owned, eliminating the need for costly land and facility acquisition. Operating and oversight mechanisms are already in place. 


Employment

 Ottawa Should Soften Bite Of Benefit Clawbacks For Low-Income Families

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… the “participation” tax rate (PTR)… is the cumulative effect of all taxes and loss of fiscal benefits on the entire prospective earnings from work. For a stay-at-home parent, it represents the financial penalty paid out of the total income derived from getting a job… The paper recommends the federal government: Implement “benefit shields”… Allow income averaging… [and] Replace the federal childcare expense tax deduction with a refundable credit


By the numbers: Here’s the living wage in 10 Ontario regions

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In Ontario, the minimum wage is now $15.50 per hour, having risen from $15 in October. According to the OLWN, in 2021, the highest living wage was $22.08 for residents in Toronto… “It doesn’t account for debt repayment or saving for education… “we’re talking about the barest living wage for workers to thrive, to have a family, to participate in our society”


Equality

More than 2%: A vision for feminist philanthropy

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This is where feminist philanthropy has a fresh opportunity to shine. It can fill gendered investment gaps and serve as a key part of the solution we activate today. Imagine what would happen if that 2% of charitable giving toward domestic gender equality and justice transformed to 10%. Imagine if it rose to parity, up to 50%.


How the Indian Act’s ‘blackout period’ denied Indigenous Peoples their legal rights

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In 1927, the federal government introduced Section 141 into the Indian Act. It banned the solicitation or collection of funds to pursue a legal claim on behalf of an Indigenous person or group without the permission of the Department of Indian Affairs… Section 141 was introduced specifically to limit the ability of Indigenous peoples to act within the legal system… it applied to “every person” Indian and non-Indian alike.


Health

The pandemic worsened access to medicine for close to 1 in 5 people

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Percentages of people reporting not having prescription insurance to cover medication cost was higher among immigrants (29%) relative to non-immigrants (17%) and among racialized persons (29%) relative to non-racialized and non-Indigenous persons (17%)… The new findings should instill added urgency in the federal government which has promised to make progress on a national universal pharmacare program


Prescription for a broken health care system can’t be more politics

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Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos arrived promising an increase in health care transfers to the provinces in return for agreement on national health care indicators and creation of a health care data system. Duclos left Vancouver blaming premiers for undercutting the work of their health ministers by issuing a statement that the Vancouver meeting was a failure, even as the meeting was ongoing.


Inclusion

Don’t delay federal disability benefit

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Ten per cent of able-bodied working age adults live below the poverty line, compared with 14 per cent of those with mild disabilities and 28 per cent of those whose disabilities are severe… The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance highlights other problems with the bill… It doesn’t detail “the size of the benefit, when it will start, how much if any will it be increased due to inflation, and who is eligible for it.”


It’s good the government has promised a Canada Disability Benefit. Here’s how to fix the flawed bill

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The CDB shouldn’t be restricted to “working age” people. The bill should set a mandatory minimum CDB amount, indexed to inflation, and a mandatory start date for paying it… The bill must set specifics on things like eligibility, requirements that cabinet’s regulations can clarify but can’t contradict… It should require that none of the benefit will be clawed back by federal, provincial or territorial programs.


Social Security

Doug Ford’s math on social assistance doesn’t add up — and doesn’t solve the problem of legislated poverty for people on ODSP

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… none of the increases noted above come anywhere close enough to lift people on ODSP to a livable income, especially in the face of rampant inflation, years of stagnated rates and various “clawback” rules that reduce other sources of income… Doubling ODSP rates wouldn’t just mean more money in the pockets of clients — it would mean more money spent in local communities. It would mean reduced reliance on food banks and other public supports.


What a new food-bank reports tells us about deep poverty

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“We are failing people every step of the way”… Policy-makers have a selection of choices before them to slow or halt that cascade… but they boil down to this: either give people access to more money to buy food or help the charitable sector, like food banks, with more resources to bridge the gap. Right now, Yalnizyan adds, “the governments are doing none of the above.” 


Governance

Preventing use of the notwithstanding clause is a bad idea — and unnecessary

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Questions that could be asked of the Supreme Court include: When can section 33 be used? How does the word “notwithstanding” in Sec. 33 relate to the words “notwithstanding anything” in Sec. 28’s equal rights guarantee? How can the clause be amended? … Rather than stoking a constitutional crisis through disallowance, this reference would allow the federal government to de-escalate tensions and, most importantly, clarify the scope of the notwithstanding clause.


Why voting for municipal action on affordable housing is in everyone’s interest

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Many people with mental illness and addictions, older adults, people with disabilities and victims of violence can only maintain housing with help. Encampments are a symptom of inadequate supportive housing. And demonstration projects have shown that supportive housing for high-need clients is cost effective, reducing service use in other sectors like hospitals, emergency services, policing and the criminal justice system. But this type of supported housing is woefully undersupplied.