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Universal Pharmacare Within Reach: C.D. Howe Institute

Friday, June 7th, 2019

In “Filling the Gaps: A Prescription for Universal Pharmacare,” Policy Analyst Rosalie Wyonch finds there are ways to close the gaps in prescription drug coverage and protect households from excessive costs when in acute need through the expansion of public insurance… The report investigates current prescription drug insurance in Canadian provinces, evaluates options for achieving universal coverage and estimates their cost.

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Closing the Biggest Money Laundering Loophole

Friday, May 31st, 2019

Unfortunately, Canada’s anti-money-laundering laws are among the weakest of Western liberal democracies. We have no public registry of beneficial ownership and we generally don’t require any beneficial ownership disclosure whatsoever. That makes us doubly attractive to international money launderers… as more countries implement public registries of beneficial ownership, more of the world’s dirty money will be redirected to Canada.

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Needed: A New Pension Paradigm For Canadians

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

… the pension industry must go beyond the tired defined-benefit versus defined-contribution pension debate and focus on the model pension of the future… the authors explain a new pension paradigm that lies between the Classic DB and Classic DC… The common ground would include: Pooling: across multiple employers to reduce risk… Target Benefits: to share risks between sponsors and members… Scale: The optimum asset size would be $1 billion and up… Independent Management Boards

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The Fallacy of Federal Advantage in Delivering Pharmacare

Friday, May 17th, 2019

… the 2019 federal budget proposed the creation of a new Canadian Drug Agency to conduct health technology assessments, negotiate prices and listing terms… That is, the new agency could substantially lower the national drug budget even if the federal and provincial/territorial governments are not able to agree on a single-payer government plan… Prescription drugs are an increasingly large component of total healthcare costs, and should be integrated with other areas of health spending and policies to control it.

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Alternatives for alternative medicines

Friday, May 10th, 2019

… we propose general guiding regulatory principles for CAM products and practitioners. Our paper also provides a framework for governments to structure the regulation of complementary and alternative medicines and develop appropriate institutions, such as a CAM advisory council, to provide independent advice to governments on appropriate standards… although many question the legitimizing CAMs, their growth indicates that consumer demand for them is here to stay.

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Don’t Make Pharmacare Completely Free

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Adjusting per-prescription charges is a logical way for provinces to respond to evidence of over-use and to fiscal pressures that might otherwise cause them to limit coverage in other ways, and in particular through rationing… Optimally, deductibles should be designed to put an income-dependent ceiling on out-of-pocket expenses depending on the individual’s state of health. These payments are not a bug in social insurance programs; they are a key feature that should be part of any universal pharmacare program.

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Fight Against Dirty Money Needs Tougher Measures

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Obstacles to following the dirty money could be reduced by creating a new criminal offence: a false declaration of beneficial ownership, whether made on a public registry or submitted by a customer to a Reporting Entity. Not only would such an offence bring more integrity to the beneficial-ownership information being disclosed; it would also provide a solid base from which law enforcement agencies could conduct investigations of suspicious transactions

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Thumbs up for Ontario’s new Childcare Plan

Friday, April 19th, 2019

The new Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit, initially estimated to cost around $400 million, will incentivize thousands of stay-at-home parents (mostly mothers) to join the workforce, generating additional taxable employment income and boosting tax revenues in the long run. The credit is targeted, mostly, at low- to modest-income families, where gaps from the current childcare expense tax deduction are the greatest… The CARE refundable tax credit will fill this gap, refunding up to 75 percent of the cost.

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What to do about housing?

Friday, March 15th, 2019

A policy that increases supply will lower prices and increase quantities, improving both household debt and affordability… The reality is that plenty of land is earmarked for development, but we often lack the necessary infrastructure. Without water, sewage, and highways, why would a developer build? Getting these infrastructure projects going, in tandem with other levels of government, should be job Number 1.

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US Tax Changes should Trigger Bold Reform in Canada

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

The authors propose a cash-flow tax, or what economists call a tax on economic “rents” which would involve the immediate write-off of all capital expenditures coupled with the elimination of the debt-interest deduction. The idea is to replace the corporate income tax with a tax that applies only to above-normal return on investment and is, therefore, neutral with respect to business investment and financing decisions.

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