Stabile, M., & N-Marandi, S. (2010). Fatal Flaws: Assessing Quebec’s Failed Health Deductible Proposal. C.D. Howe Institute: Working Paper. Retrieved from: http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Working_Paper_Stabile.pdf.
Public healthcare spending growth in Quebec has long outpaced the growth in gross domestic product. If the trend is left unaltered, healthcare spending could account for two- thirds of program spending within 20 years. In this context, the Government of Quebec proposed reforms in its 2010/11 provincial budget in an effort to bring in revenue in the form of a health deductible — a $25 charge per medical visit. The objectives of the deductible were both to raise revenue and to inform citizens of the costs of their use of healthcare services.
In this Working Paper we evaluate the revenue generating potential vis-à-vis the distributional effects of the proposed health deductible. Our findings suggest that the revenue potential from the proposed $25 deductible was small, representing less than 1 percent of the $27 billion public healthcare budget in Quebec. Charging patients for care also results in a reduction in the use of healthcare services. Including savings to the government from this reduced utilization would have raised the net revenue of the proposal to approximately 1.5 percent of the public healthcare budget.