If you live on welfare or disability benefits, you understand what it’s like to do without. If you live in a shelter, you know what it’s like to have no home. If you feed your kids from a food bank, you know the dull ache of hunger.

Marc Hamel is a money manager. What does he know? As it happens, he floored me with knowledge.

Hamel noted that those who live in poverty are sicker more often, and sicker longer, than people who are not poor, and that puts a burden on the health-care system. Here’s a direct quote:

“Someone living in the lowest quintile of income earners will use the health-care system 50 per cent more than the average person. This is as a result of higher stress, poor nutrition, substandard housing and an unstable social environment.”

He said that the cost to the health-care system is somewhere around $3 billon a year.