In February 1994, federal the Finance Minister Paul Martin announced he would consider taxing health and dental benefits in the following year’s budget. The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) formed a Task Force on Taxation and quickly voiced its concerns. Then ODA President Dr. Rick Bossin wrote: “If the government decides to tax dental plans, the total dollar amount paid by the insurance industry for dental treatment would be slashed by 40 per cent. . . . Patients would visit the dental office less frequently and optional treatments would be delayed indefinitely. As a result, the oral health of the people of Ontario would suffer. Those most affected include young families with children and elderly citizens who have managed to maintain their teeth for a lifetime.”
In January 1995, the ODA’s Task Force on Taxation committed to work with the Canadian Dental Association, as it launched a national advertising campaign to inform the public. Simultaneously, the ODA began to lobby Ontario’s MPs. As a result of the campaigns, patients and dentists sent more than 200,000 letters to federal MPs demanding an end to the proposal on a health and dental benefits tax. The all-hands-on-deck approach worked, and by the time federal Finance Minister Martin delivered his 1995 budget, any mention of a tax on health and dental benefits was gone.
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