Wayne Stetski in Question Period. Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services

MP Stetski calls for national pharmacare program

WAYNE STETSKI, MP Kootenay Columbia

On Monday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) announced Medicine for All – the NDP Plan for Pharmacare. New Democrats will create a national pharmacare program that provides universal, public, comprehensive coverage to everyone in Canada.

The NDP’s plan will be targeted to begin in 2020 and will roll out immediately to cover everyone in Canada with the same benefits no matter where they live. The approach will deliver enormous cost savings to governments, business, individuals and families – and it will go a long way to controlling the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs in Canada’s healthcare system.

“We’ve heard in our constituency offices stories of seniors taking half doses of their medications, people risking anaphylactic reactions instead of purchasing Epi-Pens, and families waiting until payday to fill prescriptions,” said Kootenay–Columbia MP Wayne Stetski. Stetski also noted many residents of the region face other out of pocket health-related expenses because they often need to travel to larger urban centres to access care then later attempt to recoup some costs when filing their taxes.

“A national pharmacare program will make life more affordable for everyone, and will make good on the promise of Canada as a country where your bank account doesn’t determine the quality of your health care – something we can all be proud of,” added Davies. “It’s time for a government that has the courage to take on wealthy pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and makes medication more affordable for people. New Democrats have the courage to get it done.”

In addition to providing coverage for Canadians who are currently uninsured, the plan would save families that currently do have private drug coverage an average of more than $500 per year, and even more for families that do not have private drug coverage. The plan would also save employers approximately $600 per employee with extended health benefits.

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