Improving Health Care Access Through Fiscal Policy

The Conference Board of Canada, March 24, 2016
Recorded Webinar
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Many Canadians continue to struggle with out-of-pocket health expenses, such as prescription drugs and dental care. One potential solution is to leverage health-related tax policies, to improve access to health care services, products, and programs, particularly for lower-income Canadians. But would it be enough?

New research from the Conference Board examines the efficiency and equity of current and proposed health-related tax policy. Join researcher Alexandru Dobrescu as he details the findings of Tax Policies in Canadian Health Care: Do They Incentivize Utilization? In this session, Alexandru will examine usage patterns of some current and proposed tax policies as well as the role of federal and provincial governments in ensuring equitable and timely access to the health care system for Canadians. Alexandru will also analyze the current Medical Expense Tax Credit and Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, and explore the Refundable Health Tax Credit proposed by the Advisory Panel on Health Innovation, as well as a hypothetical medical expense tax deduction. The webinar will conclude with a discussion of the implications of making employee benefits taxable, and the lessons learned from examining current and proposed tax policies.

Webinar Highlights

This 60 minute webinar will discuss:

  • The un-insured and under-insured gaps in the Canadian health care system.
  • Usage patterns of the current Medical Expense Tax Credit and Children’s Fitness Tax Credit.
  • A hypothetical medical expense deduction instead of a tax credit.
  • The impact of a proposed Refundable Health Tax Credit.
  • The implications of making employer-paid benefits taxable in Canada.

About Alexandru

Photo of Alexandru DobrescuAlexandru Dobrescu is a Research Associate/Analyst for the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC). He provides research support and quantitative analysis to CASHC projects. Before joining the Board, Alexandru worked with a health care start-up creating technology-based smoking cessation tools capable of compiling datasets on smoking behaviour. Alexandru obtained a M.A. in economics from McGill University, where his graduate research focussed on the relationship between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and fluctuations in economic cycles.

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