‘Very fair and balanced changes’


After the Liberals demanded to see evidence, Jason Kenney points to numbers to defend cuts to health care for refugees.

Between Jan. 17 and Dec. 31, 2011, 8,819 Mexicans racked up nearly $7 million in health care costs under the Interim Federal Health Program. Some 6,749 Hungarians charged more than $4.4 million, while 4,583 Columbians racked up more than $2.6 million in costs. Meanwhile, 3,790 Americans received more than $1.4 million in free health care. Jamaican claimants round out the top five with 809 health care users receiving more than $808,000 worth of health services … 

According to Immigration and Refugee Board figures, last year 83 per cent of Mexican refugee applications were rejected, abandoned or withdrawn. The same could be said for 91 per cent of Hungarian claims, 98 per cent of American claims, 63 per cent of Columbian claims and 62 per cent of Jamaican claims.

Previous coverage of this issue and the protests around it herehereherehereherehereherehere,herehereherehere and here.


‘Very fair and balanced changes’

  1. Do his numbers mention what portion of those costs were on things that aren’t covered for Canadians? Remember that the supposed “better coverage” is what has the Freepers all up in arms.

    Based on the numbers above, if Kenney is actually supplying the difference in costs between full health coverage and the reduced coverage refugees will now be receiving, reducing the coverage will save the government ~$13.3 million per year.

    Also: 3790 Americans? Is he confusing tourists who happened to get sick/injured with refugees?

    • 3790 Americans? Is he confusing tourists who happened to get sick/injured with refugees?
      I doubt it. Tourists who happen to get sick or injured while in Canada don’t have access to any Canadian benefits whatsoever, do they? Of course, Canadian hospitals/doctors would treat said patients, but I presume that in the case of tourists a bill arrives eventually, either to their insurance company, or to them, if they’re not insured.

      • Yes, a tourist gets a bill as soon as treatment is rendered at the hospital. Believe it not, so do Canadian citizens who have no healthcare coverage.

      • It’s just my cute way of questioning the veracity of Kenney’s numbers. I knew there were a few hig-profile cases of conscientious objectors, but I never imagined the numbers were that high (3789 if you discount Mr. Quaid).

    • I don’t believe that he would be confusing tourists from the US with refugees. Didn’t Randy Quaid claim refugee status? What about members of the US armed forces who fled to Canada rather than be deployed overseas….I believe they claim refugee status as well. I am sure there are other Americans that do too.

  2. Doing the math: last year 1392 Mexican refugee applications were accepted (17 per cent), along with 607 Hungarian claims (9 per cent), 74 American claims (2 per cent), 1695 Columbian claims (37 per cent) and 307 Jamaican claims (38 per cent).

    Assuming we can’t deny healthcare to the unsuccessful claims without also denying the successful ones, that works out to about $1500 per valid Columbian, $2000 per valid Jamaican, $7,000 per valid Mexican refugee, $10,000 per valid Hungarian, $200,000 per valid American.

  3. To be fair, the Liberals asked to see the studies on which the policy decision was supposedly based. What Kenny has supplied in response are a statement of the total costs of the program vis a vis the top 5 sources of refugee claims. So he’s not actually supplying what was asked for.
    Also, we’re still not comparing apples to apples – the cuts only affect some services and classes of claimants. Some of the refugees and costs associated with the numbers Kenney provided will continue to be covered.