May 3rd, 2017

NDP: Wynne Liberals ignore millions of Ontarians needing pharmacare

NDP Finance Critic John Vanthof says the Liberal budget is failing millions of Ontarians who desperately need access to medication. 

“Tracey from Newmarket saw the NDP pharmacare announcement on TV and called us to tell us her story and what pharmacare would mean to her. She spent two years without benefits, first taking care of an ill relative and then working part-time without benefits. She has diabetes and high-cholesterol,” said Vanthof this morning during question period. “Her prescriptions cost $300 per month. Paying for these medications put her into credit card debt that she’s still struggling to pay off.”

Vanthof, the MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane, contrasted the NDP universal Pharmacare plan with the new drug program being offered by the Wynne Liberals that would cut off access to medication on a recipient’s 25th birthday.

“New Democrats have a universal pharmacare plan that will give drug coverage to 14 million Ontarians. Under this plan, no diabetic or HIV patient will celebrate their 25th birthday knowing they have lost their drug coverage. Under this plan, people with asthma or high blood pressure receiving social assistance can enter the workforce knowing they won’t lose their drug coverage,” explained Vanthof. “Tracey is older than 24. Our Universal Pharmacare plan would cover Tracey.” 

Vanthof urged the government to adopt a universal pharmacare program that would help struggling Ontarians of all ages, asking:

“Can the Acting Premier tell the 2.2 million Ontarians with no drug coverage why the Liberals are refusing to introduce a universal pharmacare program and ensure their access to the medications they need?”