CBC: Advisory council calls for $15B universal, single-payer pharmacare plan

FriskyCanuck

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,890
Toronto, Canada
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pharmacare-hoskins-recommendations-final-report-1.5171517

An advisory council appointed by the Liberal government is recommending the establishment of a universal, single-payer public pharmacare system.

The council's 171-page report, released Wednesday, calls for the creation of a new drug agency that would draft a national list of prescription medicines that would be covered by the taxpayer, beginning with an initial list of common and essential drugs, by Jan. 1, 2022.

The council recommends that initial list be expanded to a comprehensive plan by Jan. 2, 2027. When fully implemented, the total cost would be $15 billion a year.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, a former Ontario health minister and chair of the advisory council, acknowledged there are "significant incremental costs" to building pharmacare, but he noted that those costs are already being picked up by Canadians.
The council proposes a $2 co-payment for common drugs and $5 for less common ones. The fee would be waived for Canadians on social assistance or with low incomes.

The council spent the last year studying various pharmacare models and hearing from more than 32,000 Canadians and organizations sharing their views online and through letters, written submissions and meetings across the country.

Hoskins said it's time to show "courage and boldness" and to do "some nation building" on a project that would benefit Canadians in "unimaginable ways."
"This is our generation's national project: better access to the medicines we need, improved health outcomes and a fairer and more sustainable prescription medicine system," he said.

"Let's complete the unfinished business of universal health care. That can be our promise and our legacy to each other and to all future generations."

Once fully implemented, the report predicts the amount spent on prescription drugs in Canada would drop by roughly $5 billion a year.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canadians will be skeptical of any plan designed by a cabinet minister from former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne's "disastrous" government.

"I don't believe anybody thinks that when Liberals announce multi-billion dollar spending programs that they're going to save money," he said. "The fact of the matter is, they've been making this promise since 1997 and in the dying days of a scandal-plagued government, they're trying to bring this forward."

He said a Conservative government would take steps to lower drug prices and improve access for those who can't afford it, addressing "gaps" in the system.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said the government will carefully review the report and its recommendations, and looks forward to working with the provinces and territories and other stakeholders as it considers "next steps."

"Our government remains committed to implementing national pharmacare in a manner that is affordable for Canadians and their families, employers, and governments," she said in a statement.

"We know that our existing patchwork of drug coverage is not working well, leading to poorer health for some and higher costs for us all. We have to do better. Canadians should never have to choose between paying for prescription drugs and putting food on the table."

Answering reporters' questions Wednesday, Petipas Taylor said there will be more details in the Liberal election campaign platform, but suggested it might not "all happen at once." She noted that medicare itself began with a few provinces more than 50 years ago.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce chief economist Trevin Stratton said Canadians want governments to provide coverage to people who are underinsured or uninsured, and really need it.

"Canadian employers urge the government to carefully reflect on the millions of Canadians who would lose access to medications they have under their current plans and consider the impact of a single-payer system on federal finances," he said in a statement.

"With this report, the advisory council has sidestepped its responsibility to find an affordable way for governments to raise the revenue needed to fund the $15 billion annual cost of its proposed approach."

Stratton rejected the report's prediction that businesses would save $750 per employee each year, and said a single-payer plan likely would result in higher deficits and taxes.
Link to full report:
A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All
Final Report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare
 

Kernel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,390
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canadians will be skeptical of any plan designed by a cabinet minister from former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne's "disastrous" government.

"I don't believe anybody thinks that when Liberals announce multi-billion dollar spending programs that they're going to save money," he said. "The fact of the matter is, they've been making this promise since 1997 and in the dying days of a scandal-plagued government, they're trying to bring this forward."

He said a Conservative government would take steps to lower drug prices and improve access for those who can't afford it, addressing "gaps" in the system
.

Hey go fuck yourself Scheer. You won't do shit all, you're more likely to sell off our healthcare system like your buddy Ford.

"Canadian employers urge the government to carefully reflect on the millions of Canadians who would lose access to medications they have under their current plans and consider the impact of a single-payer system on federal finances," he said in a statement.

"With this report, the advisory council has sidestepped its responsibility to find an affordable way for governments to raise the revenue needed to fund the $15 billion annual cost of its proposed approach."
"Please don't raise our taxes."

We've also limited our employee drug coverage recently. Mine did anyway but a lot did.
 

DJ_Lae

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,499
Edmonton
$15 billion sounds...suspiciously cheap. There was just under $40 billion of total drug expenses in Canada last year, and more than $25B of that was private. And $18 billion of the private cost was from prescribed drugs.

I guess if there is a fee per prescription borne by the customer, but still. There are already about $14 billion of public drug programs in place (more if you count those not funded through the health system, ie seniors and low income). They'd have to go hard in on forcing generics to help push costs down - currently name brand medications account for 70% of drug costs but only 23% of public claims. And you could only drop that so far, as newer medications aren't going to have generic alternatives.

I dunno. A nation-wide pharmacare plan sounds like a good idea - and it's kind of weird we don't already have one. That and goddamn dentists.
 

CaviarMeths

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,661
Western Canada
It continues to baffle me what qualities Conservative voters saw in Scheer to elect him leader of the party. He's a complete non-entity with no personality, substance, or policy. Would be like if Ben Carson won the Republican primary in 2016.
 

Kitschy Kitty

Member
Oct 25, 2017
428
It continues to baffle me what qualities Conservative voters saw in Scheer to elect him leader of the party. He's a complete non-entity with no personality, substance, or policy. Would be like if Ben Carson won the Republican primary in 2016.
He appears relatively competent politically compared to some of the outsiders in the race and isn't overtly a giant racist compared to the #2 person in the conservative leadership race, so that's about it. A good ol' farm boy who will dog whistle whatever the radicals want while maintaining a pleasant demeanor and plausible deniability to the extreme fringe elements of the party. Can we even call the 49% of people who voted for Maxime a fringe part of the party at this point though...
 

Moppeh

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,158
Good.

It continues to baffle me what qualities Conservative voters saw in Scheer to elect him leader of the party. He's a complete non-entity with no personality, substance, or policy. Would be like if Ben Carson won the Republican primary in 2016.
He's the closest they have to a Harper clone, I guess.
 

DJ_Lae

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,499
Edmonton
It continues to baffle me what qualities Conservative voters saw in Scheer to elect him leader of the party. He's a complete non-entity with no personality, substance, or policy. Would be like if Ben Carson won the Republican primary in 2016.
His smirk is offputting, too. Yeah, I know it's just his face, but that paired with his smarmy attitude makes everything out of his mouth come across incredibly insincere. Scheer seems to find everyone distasteful while still being amazed those chuckleheads voted him leader and doesn't bother to hide any of it.
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
23,165
What is the current existing system in place? This is something I would've assumed was already present.
 

Popstar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
393
What is the current existing system in place? This is something I would've assumed was already present.
There's no national system at present.

Prescription drug insurance coverage

Under the Canada Health Act, prescription drugs administered in Canadian hospitals are provided at no cost to the patient. Outside of the hospital setting, provincial and territorial governments are responsible for the administration of their own publicly-funded drug plans. The public drug plans determine what prescriptions drugs are listed and under what conditions for their eligible recipients.

Most Canadians have some access to insurance coverage for prescription drugs through a patchwork of public and/or private insurance plans. The federal, provincial and territorial governments offer varying levels of coverage and decide who is covered and what the patient and plan pays.The publicly-funded drug programs generally provide drug plan coverage for those most in need, based on age, income, and medical condition. Many Canadians and their family members have drug coverage linked to employment and some Canadians may have no effective drug coverage and pay the full cost of prescription drugs.
 

TemplaerDude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,200
It could be twice that cost and I'd say let's do it. The benefits far out weigh that price. Of course ethat shit head Scheer is against it, he's an idiot.