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Opinion

Prescription for savings: how the feds can make pharmacare work for households and employers

By David Macdonald and Toby Sanger      

We have a historic opportunity to significantly improve our health-care system with the introduction of a national public pharmacare program, and also save billions a year by doing so. But it is important that it be designed properly, and progressively. This would not only be politically appealing, but will also result in a healthier population.

Canada's federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor. The best option for households is if a corporate income tax pays for pharmacare. Then middle-class households save over $600 a year on average, although employers likely wouldn’t be so happy seeing their net costs go up far more than their savings from lower drug insurance premiums. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Recent polling has revealed a growing proportion of Canadians are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at month-end, inching up six percentage points to 46 per cent in the last quarter of 2018. An additional 45 per cent of those surveyed by Ipsos on behalf of insolvency firm MNP Ltd. indicated that, to pay their living and family expenses, they will need to incur more debt.

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