As Canadians, we are proud of our universal healthcare system, which provides publicly-funded essential doctor and hospital care based on need and not ability to pay. Unfortunately, our health system falls short when it comes to prescription medication.
A universal pharmacare program would not only help the working poor, the uninsured and the sick, it would enable Canadian businesses to remain competitive.
Prescription drug prices in Canada are among the highest in the world, mostly because our myriad private drug plans dilute Canada’d potential purchasing power.
Millions of Canadians are without drug coverage and one in 10 Canadians cannot afford to fill their prescriptions.
The Prentice government announced that it will restore the use of healthcare taxes so that Albertans can directly contribute to the healthcare system. On the surface, levying up to $1000 per person earning over $50,000 per year to contribute approximately $0.5 billion over two years towards an $18 billion medical treatment system sounds reasonable.
In many countries, bereaved families get condolence cards and flowers. In the U.S., the survivors are also deluged with hospital bills and insurance paperwork. That paperwork isn’t merely an insult. It costs U.S. society a fortune.
The Liberal government of New Brunswick appears to be stepping back from the brink of mandatory prescription drug insurance. And so they should.