Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Friday, April 23, 2004

Equality under the Charter non-existent in Alberta 

This was received at Ralph's World editorial desk a couple of days ago signed Stephen - a disillusioned Alberta senior. It chronicles his interaction with the Alberta Connects website concerning Health Care Premiums.

On April 16th, this disillusioned senior logged onto the Alberta Connects website AlbertaConnects@gov.ab.ca and posed the following question: "When is it our government's intentions to eliminate Health Care Premiums for all Alberta seniors regardless of income?"

Alberta Health and Wellness a few days later responded as follows:

"Thank you for contacting Alberta Connects. You inquired as to why Alberta charges health care insurance. While other provinces have implemented alternate methods to generate revenue for health care, Albertans share the cost of the Alberta Health insurance program, through payments of premiums. These premiums not only support a part of the program costs, but also raise individual's awareness of the overall cost of providing health care in this province. As a senior citizen and a resident of Alberta, a registrant is entitled to premium-free Blue Cross when they turn 65 and their date of birth is validated. However, senior citizens are required to pay Alberta Health Insurance premiums. Lower income seniors may be eligible to have their premiums eliminated or reduced as determined by the Alberta Seniors Benefit program."

As this senior did not get a direct response to his question posed on Alberta Connects, he replied as follows:

"Thank you for your response. Actually, I would have been surprised if you had sent anything different from what the Seniors' Minister keeps repeating and repeating.

It is sad that this province, blessed with resource revenues for countless years, the envy of all other provincial jurisdictions, continues to be one of only two provinces where premiums are required to be paid. We all know that nothing comes free, but in a province that has been in a debt-free financial position for a number of years, our MLAs under their current leadership should be ashamed of themselves for not eliminating this regressive tax.

It seems that it is all right for public sector workers who received the highest increases in salaries during the six year period l996 - 2002, averaging 45%, with public sector workers in other jurisdictions receiving 18.6% in Saskatchewan and less in the remaining provinces would have their Health Care Premiums costs subsidized by our tax dollars. Likewise our MLAs whose incomes are double or treble and more the incomes of many seniors and other Albertans, have their Health Care Premiums paid for in part by our tax dollars, and the rest of us have to pay full Health Care Premiums, and that is considered by our MLAs as all right.

All the rest of us can only say 'SHAME'.

By all means, please share these comments with the MLAs of our Party. It seems that neither they nor the public sector workers seemed concerned with this horrible inequity in this great province of ours. And, further explanations as provided in response to our request only verifies the well orchestrated response we always receive, no matter how we plead for equity by our government.

Stephen - a disillusioned Alberta senior

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?