As much as we Canadians love to brag about our 'free' health care system, deep down we know it's not really free. But how much are we actually paying for it?

A new analysis by the Fraser Institute has put a dollar figure on how much of our money actually goes towards funding our health care system. According to the data:

  • A typical Canadian family of four, with a household income of $138,008, can expect $12,935 of their paid taxes (around $55,000 a year) to go towards health care.
  • A single Canadian adult, with an income of $44,348, can expect $4,640 of his or her paid taxes (around $19,800 a year) to go towards health care.

The Fraser Institute considered multiple taxes in their calculations, including property taxes, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums, and motor vehicle license fees. The health care portion of taxes paid per family was also considered to be in proportion to the tax revenues used by the government for health care.

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Most Canadians don't realize they are spending those amounts on medical services because they aren't directly billed by their doctors, nor is there an explicit 'health care tax.'

But the analysis shows a clear rise in costs for health care compared to the past two decades, with a 68.5 per cent increase for Canadian families of four and a 119.4 per cent increase for single Canadians since 1997.

Bacchus Barua, a senior economist at the Fraser Institute, told CTV News that the analysis hopes to “help us have a better discussion about whether we actually get value for the money that we’re spending.”

Source: CTV News

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