Dental care: costs can be almost double what was promised PBO

Ottawa –

The congressional budget official said the cost of a new dental program for uninsured low- and middle-income Canadians could be nearly double the federal government’s original estimate.

The program is a key element of the Liberal government’s agreement with the NDP to prevent an election until 2025.

The Liberals have promised to provide coverage by the end of the year for children living in a household with income under $90,000 and will expand next year to include seniors and living with disabilities.

The government’s 2022 budget shows the scheme will cost $5.3 billion over the next five years.

But in a note on legislative costs, the PBO said the costs could reach nearly $9 billion.

The government has just over six months to launch a brand new program, but it appears to be still in the planning consultation phase.

This Canadian Press report was first published on June 16, 2022.

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