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

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Health Care Premiums - An Open Letter to Premier Klein 

Dear Premier Klein and all Caucus members,

The obvious solution to the health care premiums fiasco continues to elude our government as caucus members were not prepared to eliminate this regressive tax, notwithstanding that surpluses are being enjoyed in the billions.

Caucus members decided they could garner support from a lot of seniors during the upcoming elections by dangling the proverbial carrot - the return of but one of the universal senior support programs they eliminated 10 years ago. All they did was exacerbate a problem and continue with the inequitable treatment of Albertans in this area.

In refusing to eliminate the health-care premiums tax completely, one would have thought our elected officials would have learned something from the federal government's solution during the governance of the Mulroney years when a reasonable indexed threshold figure, eliminating payment of the Old Age Security pension plan was introduced when an individual's taxable income exceeded such threshold figure. Canadians have accepted the threshold figure introduced as they were convinced that when such a threshold figure had been passed, those affected could well continue living comfortably without receiving the old age security pension.

On a number of occasions it was suggested that our government introduce a program using an indexed figure of approximately $50 thousand (similar to the initial federal threshold figure) to apply to all individual's based on their taxable incomes.

Those Albertans, including seniors, whose taxable incomes exceeded such indexed threshold figure would have to pay full health care premiums, whereas all other Albertans whose taxable incomes had not reached that indexed threshold figure would be exempt from paying any premiums.

Albertans and seniors as a whole would have accepted such a program. Our government can still introduce such a program if the will is there by you Mr. Premier and by caucus members to introduce a more equitable solution.

Would you Mr. Premier and caucus members support the suggestion enunciated in this letter or better still, eliminate Health Care Premiums altogether so that it can be recognized that all Albertans will be treated equally instead of a continued perpetuation of a discriminatory system?

Your response Mr. Premier will as this letter be introduced on the Ralphsworld.blogspot.com website.

Yours respectfully,

S.Michael Marlowe,

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