November 18th, 2020
New Democrats make universal pharmacare for all closer to reality
OTTAWA - Today, New Democrats are calling on the government to support their legislation and finally deliver a universal, single-payer, public pharmacare program for all Canadians.
"This pandemic has taught us that we are better - we are stronger - when we take care of each other. Over the past months, we've seen just how important it is to have the health care services we need when we need them," said NDP Leader, Jagmeet Singh. "Our pharmacare plan will mean a healthier Canada where no one has to make the impossible choice between the medicine they need and other essentials, like rent and food."
Right now, millions of families cannot afford to take the medications they need because they have no drug coverage. The number of uninsured people forced to skip their medications is growing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and as more people work on contract, are self-employed, or have jobs that just don't come with health benefits. And too many seniors are putting their health at risk because they don't have drug coverage and can't afford to pay out-of-pocket for their medications.
Today, Canada is the only wealthy country in the world with a universal health care system that lacks universal prescription insurance coverage and Canadians pay the third highest prices for prescription drugs in the world.
"For more than two decades, the Liberals have been promising affordable drug coverage for Canadians. But at every step, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government have not matched their promises with real action to help people. This is an opportunity for them to work with us to deliver an important service Canadians are depending on," said NDP House Leader, Peter Julian. "Our plan will guarantee that every Canadian can get the medication they need."
New Democrats' Bill C-213, which would create a Pharmacare Act, is supported by the Liberal government's own Hoskins Report and is supported by reports from the parliamentary committees on Health and Finance.