more MSP

When I posted this story last week, I started by saying it needed more press. Well it made it to the front page of the Sun, but it seems to read like a good news story. The province saving money be “recovering health care costs”. What’s wrong with that?

I mentioned my concern that the Province could sue if you have an accident, to cover your medical costs. Not sue you (you are insured), but sue anyone who might be “at fault”. Of course they don’t have to prove the person is at fault, just make a compelling enough case that your insurance company pays them off to go away (“settles out of court”). If the person being sued has insurance. Anyone who has heard the frightening stories of tort-law craziness in the States should be looking at this.

I know what you are saying: if it is someone’s fault, they should pay! I explained in my earlier post how that person may be someone who you wouldn’t hold at fault, but the government might. My “exaggerated” examples were the company that runs a Mountain Bike Park that you like to use but where you crashed, or your grandmother if you slip and fall on her porch while shovelling it. I thought they were slightly silly examples that effectively made the “skinny end of the wedge” argument.

In fact, look at the story from the Sun:

“…a slip and-fall incident resulted in a $63,000 recovery and a mountain bike accident resulted in a $53,000 recovery. “

Yikes! They were way ahead of me. My exaggeration has failed to anticipate reality!

Do you have a business where the public may enter your store? Do you coach a softball team? Do you volunteer in a cycling organization? Sell bicycles? Manufacture or sell any product that might hurt someone if used incorrectly? Ever leave your house?

You should be very concerned about this.

2 comments on “more MSP

  1. Yes, I have a business.
    And it includes dealing with the public.

    I am forced by law to be properly licensed, insured and in addition have hefty liability insurance policy, which does not preclude me from taking all preventative measures to ensure the safety of the uninsured public.

    It’s not a “good news” story to you because you ride around on a bike, with out any licensing or insurance on public roads shared with pedestrians. The public is not mandated to have life insurance from accidents in public or private spaces.

    Travel much ? When you travel abroad, or even to the states, do you buy travelers insurance ? Why?

  2. You make my point, Anon.

    Because of this law, the amount of tax you pay to fund the medical system will be reduced slightly (they have recovered $6 Million in two years; Provincial spending on health care those two years was about $30 Billion, source: The Govt of BC ., so expect a tax reduction of 0.02%. Of course, much of that “reduction” will be eaten up by lawyers (paid by MSP) and court costs (paid by taxpayers, but not by MSP).

    The pernicious part of this is that your liability insurance rates are undoubtedly going to have to go up, no matter how safe you make your business. There is one more liability your insurance company is taking on (the potential health care costs of every customer that walks in your door or uses your products) and they won’t take it on for free. If you think liability insurance is “hefty” now, it just got heftier.

    To answer your rhetorical question, I am travelling to the Grand Canyon next week, and will be insured. My experience buying travellers medical insurance is that there are rates based on where you are going. Travelling to Europe or Australia or southeast Asia you pay one rate, travel to the United States you pay a much larger rate. In fact, even a stopover in the USA leads to higher insurance rates if your trip is to another country. Why?

    Because in the USA, the medical system is run for profit, and the court system is run by tort lawyers. I just hate to see Canada heading that way.

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