Essay about Tax Incentives For Health Promotion

1106 Words Nov 7th, 2015 null Page
Tax Incentives for Health Promotion
Health promotion is an evolving approach to individual health that focuses on a proactive approach to health behaviours and not a reaction to illness. In light of the rising rates of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and respiratory disease in Canada, new strategies for chronic disease prevention are required. Addressing the common denominators of chronic disease (tobacco and alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet) is at the forefront of health promotion strategies. Canadians are the benefactors of a universal, publicly funded health care system that provides care to all individuals across their lifespan, including those who neglect their health. Accordingly, health promotion has a two-fold mandate: to improve individual quality of life by encouraging healthy behaviours (and discouraging unhealthy behaviours) and to reduce healthcare costs in the long term. Governments offer tax incentives as a personal financial catalyst to accomplish those goals. Advocates of tax incentives believe that incentives directed toward reducing chronic disease are an important component of the universal health care model. Opponents, however, claim that financial incentives offered in isolation of a larger context are ineffective. Although the government has the authority to legislate health promotion through tax incentives, the universal nature of tax incentives does not address the persistent nature of chronic disease, create lasting…

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