Canada Revises Its Healthcare System

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Canada has made changes to its universal health care system to try to cut back on soaring costs.

Reuters has reported some changes include a possible new health care tax. And one unpopular idea has Canadians making payments for medical visits that were once free.

Most Canadians do not want any changes to their free health care. Some analysts predict health care will make up 70 percent of the Canadian government's budget in 12 years.

"Our objective is to preserve the quality healthcare system we have and indeed to enhance it. But there are difficult decisions ahead and we will continue to make them," Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told Reuters.

Economists warn that if health care costs keep growing, they will eventually crowd out all other government programs.

"There's got to be some change to the status quo whether it happens in three years or 10 years," said Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

"We can't continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services," he added. "At some stage we're going to hit a breaking point."

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