Later this month Bill C-213: An Act to Enact the Pharmacare Act will be face its second debate and first vote in Parliament.
At long last, the Government of Canada must take action to complete the unfinished work of medicare. In doing so, it must ensure that the model of pharmacare implemented follows the lead of the Canada Health Act, and is universal, single-payer, comprehensive, and public. The pharmacare plan contemplated by C-213 is the plan that we need. We oppose patchwork approaches that have sometimes been proposed elsewhere. These would leave some Canadian’s behind, generate additional costs, and protect the profits of big pharma over the common good.
It is shocking that today Canada stands as the only high-income country that has a universal healthcare system without universal coverage of prescription drugs. Our incomplete system means that many cannot access the medication they need due to prohibitory costs, or they are forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to manage the expense. This situation has only worsened with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby making the implementation of pharmacare more urgent than ever.
Canadian’s have been promised pharmacare time and again by Liberal Party governments, but today we need action not promises. The debate and vote on C-213 will put each MP’s feet to the fire. Working people will be watching to see who does the right thing in this crucial moment.
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