Ontario NDP Pushes For Pharmacare Now While Premier Moves In Opposite Direction

A Statement from the Ontario New Democratic Party

Posted April 28th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park –  For 14 years, the Liberals have had the power to make sure everyone in Ontario could afford their medicine, but instead, the Wynne government has only moved in the opposite direction – even trying to hike the price of medication for seniors last year.

 The NDP has made a commitment to create Ontario’s first universal Pharmacare program. In question period this past Tuesday, April 25th NDP Health critic France Gélinas asked Premier Kathleen Wynne why she refused to get on board with that plan.

 “Does the premier believe people in Ontario should have universal access to medication?” Gélinas asked.

One in four Ontarians doesn’t take their medication because of cost, and 2.2 million Ontarians have no prescription drug coverage at all. That number is expected to get worse as unstable and non-traditional work grows in Ontario.

‘’Our Pharmacare program would start by covering the 125 most common drugs – medications like asthma inhalers, birth control and blood pressure medication,’’ said Gélinas. The cost is estimated by the NDP and experts not to exceed $475 million – or one-third of one per cent of the provincial budget.

 “When I think of the people who leave their doctor’s office with a prescription that they’ll never be able to fill, it’s clear to me we can’t afford not to do this,” said Gélinas.

“When I think of the number of patients who end up in our already-overcrowded hospitals because they couldn’t afford to take their medication, I know we can’t afford to wait for a national Pharmacare plan. And when I think of the stress families face as costs pile up – costs like housing, hydro and medication –  while Premier Wynne watches; I know this should be a priority.

 “We need to deliver lower cost, less stress and better health to Ontario families. We need this Pharmacare plan, now.”

Audio:  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19807208/Q2_Gelinas_04-25-17.mp3

Video:  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19807208/Q2_Gelinas_04-25-17.mp4

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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