Better Fiscal Policy for Health

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Most deaths in low- and middle-income countries are caused by non-communicable diseases such as cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and injuries. Many of these deaths could be avoided by reducing smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and high-sugar diets. Uniquely placed at the intersection of the health policy, research, and finance communities, CGD aims to advance understanding of this problem, the industries that promote these products, and the cost-effectiveness of public policies including pro health excise taxes.

The Task Force for Fiscal Policies for Health, co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg and Lawrence Summers, was convened in 2018 to examine existing evidence and make recommendations on how countries can use excise taxes to raise the prices of harmful products, reduce consumption, save lives, and raise revenues. In addition to providing research and technical support to the Task Force, CGD experts, through research and policy outreach, are focusing on advancing high-level international efforts, including among the international financial institutions, to promote effective pro-fiscal health policies in LMICs. CGD’s efforts aim to strengthen post-COVID-19 pandemic financial resilience via strengthened domestic revenue mobilization and to improve public health by discouraging consumption of harmful products.