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History: 1958-1968 PUBLIC OR PRIVATE? VOLUNTARY OR COMPULSORY? : HOSPITAL CARE FOR CANADIANS, 19481958 CONFLICT AND COMPROMISE: CREATING THE MEDICAL CARE AC, 1958–1968 FROM COST CONTROL TO HEALTH PROMOTION: IMPLEMENTING MEDICARE, 19681978



Opposition from Ontario

Even Ontario objected to federal intrusion in health services. John Robarts, the new leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives, represented a London, Ontario constituency that contained many of the nation’s leading insurance companies. He supported their campaign to have existing prepaid plans form the basis of a national scheme. Recognizing that not all Ontarians could afford coverage, however, his government created the Ontario Medical Services Insurance Plan (OMSIP)to provide for their needs, as well as to extend coverage for other citizens. Although NDP critics in the Ontario legislature labelled this plan “OMSIPID” and the Ontario Liberals condemned it as “Robartscare,” the program did receive support from the OMA. The combination of provincial subsidies for the poor and private insurance for those who could afford it nevertheless left many Canadians vulnerable to catastrophic costs for medical services and hence very interested in a national plan. The Hall Commission had offered an option. What would the provinces require in such a plan?

Photo:  Made-for-Ontario insurance plan

The made-for-Ontario insurance plan that provided assistance for people who had little or no taxable income. Everyone else bought private insurance from a wide range of companies.
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, Associated Medical Services Inc. Fonds 152, Box 48, File 387, 1966

Transcription:
Ontario Medical Services Insurance Plan
OMSIP ... what it means, and what it can do for you

Photo: Really, its such a cheap plan for healthy people. Of course it is, because were going to soak the sick.
Really, its such a cheap plan for healthy people. Of course it is, because were going to soak the sick.

Dating from around 1965, Duncan Macpherson’s response to Ontario’s plan was inspired by John Tenniel’s illustration of the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Premier Robarts, wearing the “insurance industry” hat, helps Dr. Matthew Dymond’s March Hare (the “medical profession”) stuff the “everyman” character into the teapot/plan.
Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1987-38-752, e008440946. © Estate of Duncan Macpherson.



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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010