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Fiscal Policy and Pharmacare in Canada

What are the potential benefits to a public option?

May 30, 2018

Good morning austerity readers. This week we feature a presentation from Dr. Marc-André Gagnon (Carleton University) on the labour market and health benefits of a national pharmacare plan. Dr. Gagnon demonstrates how Canada's current approach to pharmacare - despite the creation of an 'Advisory Council' - is a patchwork of coverage which is both inefficient and inequitable. Marc-André shows how private and household expenditures, as well as drug costs, could be reduced while increasing coverage through a public option. His argument is a reminder that a surplus (or lower deficit) somewhere is a (bigger) deficit somewhere else in the economy: while Canadian governments may 'save' by spending less on pharmacare, the result is an overall more expensive system borne by individuals and business.

You can find the presentation on our Research Page under 'Spending, Reform, & Marketization'. We will post the full paper from Marc-André in the coming weeks!   

To learn more about Marc-André, see his profile at Carleton University:

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