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Trudeau said he wants universal pharmacare but the NDP bill would have imposed rules on provinces.
The government is promising a plan to create one million jobs.
The NDP leader says his party is ready for an election, “but it’s not our goal.”
Prescription drug policy in Canada ought to be the interest of Canadians, not company profits.
Pharmacare is expected to be an election issue in 2019.
His decision to privatize much of the OHIP+ program is neither progressive nor fiscally responsible.
It is time for change: what has gotten Canadian health systems to their present state will not be sufficient to get them where they need to go for the future.
It's a unique opportunity to send Canadians a clear message about the kind of health care system they believe their party must build for Canada's future.
It's not only hard work that gets us to where we want to go, it's also an optimistic vision of how we will improve our lives and communities once we get there.
"What is the plan to hold government operations spending essentially flat for five years?"
By ignoring the rehabilitation needs of our patients with disabilities, this national discussion fails them.
Canadians will pay — either with their pocket books or with their health.
Canadian negotiators must be ready to deflect the tired rhetoric of U.S. trade negotiators and the pharmaceutical industry lobby.
Ontario has been the site of dueling pharmacare proposals and Canadians are the victors. At the end of April, the opposition NDP promised universal drug coverage for a list of essential medicines. Not to be outdone, the ruling Liberal party announced universal coverage for all drugs on the provincial formulary for youth under 25 years of age. Most health policy experts praised both proposals, myself included.
Canada has the second-highest drug costs in the world after the United States, and drugs represent the fastest growing category of health expenditure. The Trudeau government's trade deal with Europe will only add to the problem. Pharmacare is a health issue, a class issue and an issue of fairness.
Canada is an outlier for not having a universal program for prescription drugs for children and for allowing wide inter-provincial variation in how public drug plans serve children. This means that many families can't afford to pay for the essential medicines that their children need to get healthy, stay healthy and grow up healthy.
A recent conference in Toronto addressed whether Australia has anything to teach Canada about how Canadian medicare might evolve. There are a number of areas where Australia's experience might prove helpful. The first is the public funding of pharmaceuticals.
The Ontario Liberals have just announced a pharmacare plan targeted at youths aged 25 and under which will provide full coverage for a wide range of prescription drugs. This is welcome news, to be sure. But we must ensure that policies enacted today carry forward to the longer-term goal of equitable and cost-effective health care.