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This week, the political nightmare Doug Ford plunged into office. He quickly made his mark on Ontario. Disregarding Ford’s ignorance not understanding the difference between immigrants and refugees. We will focus on privatizing OHIP+.
What is OHIP+?
In Ontario, children have pharma coverage until 18 years old. There is no pharma coverage again until you turn 65 or on government aid programs such as ODSP (Ontario Disabilities Support Program). This massive gap in the middle where 18-to-64-year-olds only have coverage through their employer, which is becoming scarcer each year. An astonishing 30% of Canadians do not fill their prescriptions because they cannot afford to.
OHIP+ covers individuals between the ages of 18 to 25. The purpose is to help young adults in school and to enter the workforce. It is common when entering the workforce to have low wages and lack of benefits such as pharmacare. The federal government is working on a national pharmacare plan to cover all Canadians and permanent residents.
So why privatize?
The idea of private companies being more effective than the government is absurd. Just remember the last time you called Rogers or Bell or your bank. You waited on hold for 30 minutes to be transferred to another department and wait another 30 minutes.
A privatized OHIP+ will have less buying power. Right now, the Ontario government is the largest buyer of pharmaceuticals in Canada because we cover all children, seniors, and young adults. Privatizing OHIP+ would decrease the buying power of Ontario and the private company running OHIP+. This situation would lead to higher drug prices for everyone.
The private company running OHIP+ would not want a national pharmacare plan because it cuts them out. The national pharmacare plan would lead to a lawsuit from the private company. This litigation affects everyone across Canada and could disturb the implementation of the national pharmacare plan.
Thanks Ford for another great idea!