What do Andrew Coyne, the Green party, and the Conference Board of Canada have in common? They’re all onto a relatively simple idea that could help solve a significant conundrum being discussed in Ottawa right now: the high toll poverty is taking on the health of Canadians.

According to the CMA, people living in poverty are almost twice as likely to be hospitalized. They experience higher rates of disability, mental illness, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Poverty is making them sick.

But there’s more: poverty is putting an incredible strain on our health-care system and taxpayers’ dollars. Studies have estimated as much as 20 per cent, or $41 billion, of total health-care spending in Canada can be attributed to income disparities.