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Pharmacare? No one mentioned taxation or tough fiscal choices

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Can we stop pretending everything should be free?

Former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins has just painted an idyllic picture of medicines for all, at no cost to the poor and vulnerable, and minimal cost to everyone else.

Tasked by the federal Liberals to assess the need for pharmacare and make recommendations, Hoskins went big. He detailed a hobbled, unfair and needlessly costly system of today, and urged Ottawa to instead adopt a universal, single-payer system with the federal government in charge.

But in his lengthy news conference on Thursday, he danced around how to pay for his pharmacare recommendations, studiously avoiding much mention of taxation or tough fiscal choices.

"There is a cost to universal pharmacare and we understand that governments have fiscal limits. But universal single-payer, public pharmacare can save billions by lowering the price we pay for prescription medicines and by avoiding the greater costs that accumulate when a manageable condition becomes a serious health condition," the advisory council states in the introduction to its report.

It may well be that pharmacare would mean savings for Canada overall. What........

© Peterborough Examiner