Montreal, January 12, 2022 – Following the Legault government’s announcement regarding the possible introduction of an additional health tax for unvaccinated individuals, Miguel Ouellette, Director of Operations and Economist at the MEI, had some thoughts on the matter.
“The CAQ government’s idea to modulate contributions to the health care system based on certain individual characteristics is not completely far-fetched. After all, it is the very foundation of the principle of insurance. However, in its current form, this kind of contribution seems superficial and ill-advised,” says Mr. Ouellette.
Instead of an arbitrary punitive objective, it should be based on risk
“The contribution of unvaccinated individuals should not be determined based on an arbitrary punitive measure, but instead according to actuarial calculations of risk, as a private insurer would. And to be consistent, billing based on risk would have to be applied broadly to other cases, for example to smokers or to people who take part in extreme sports,” adds Mr. Ouellette.
Certain characteristics of this method of funding health care based on the payment of insurance premiums exist elsewhere in the world. These premiums should among other things replace taxes levied for the current health care system.
“It has been demonstrated in several European countries like Switzerland that it is entirely possible to maintain universal coverage of medically required care while using funding based on insurance. All that’s needed is for the premiums of the less fortunate to be subsidized by taxpayers as a function of their income level,” explains Mr. Ouellette.
* * *
The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.
Josée Morissette, Senior Advisor, Media Relations