Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saskatchewan: $5 Health Plan

Time Magazine
Monday, January 06, 1947

In Saskatchewan last week taxpayers poured into municipal offices and queued up before wickets to fork over their $5. They were getting under the wire with payment of the new head tax levied by the CCF for the first Government-controlled hospitalization plan in North America. Maximum tax: $30 a family a year. Those who failed to pay faced a 10% surtax and a $25 fine. All told, the CCF collected about $2,000,000. That, plus the $1,000,000 coming from other Government revenue, was considerably short of the $4,500,000 a year the plan is expected to cost.

On a doctor's recommendation, paid-up members will be admitted to any Saskatchewan hospital ward for at least 21 days, and will get free meals, drugs, X rays and blood tests. The Government will pay the hospital $4.50 a day for ward patients, or the same amount toward the cost of a private room.

The hospitalization plan is the CCF's second major step toward socialized medicine. On Jan. 1, 1945, it instituted free hospital and medical care for some 25,000 old-age pensioners, the blind, orphans, those receiving mothers' allowance and all their dependents. Now Saskatchewan hopes to work out a Government plan to pay medical bills too.

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