QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath has introduced a motion at Queen’s Park to give all Ontarians pharmacare and dental care now, regardless of age, income, job status or health status.
“I love Ontario, and I want everyone to be able to build their best life, right here,” said Horwath. “But too many people in Ontario are being forced to go without the care they need because Kathleen Wynne has let them down. No one should ever have to leave the doctor’s office with a prescription they can’t afford to fill. No one should ever have to put off getting their little ones’ teeth checked, or cavity filled, because money is tight that month.
“When I am premier, I will implement universal drug coverage for everyone, and dental care for everyone. Today, I’m asking the legislature to get moving on these important plans, now.”
4.5 million people do not have access to dental care in Ontario today. 2.2 million do not have drug coverage.
“One in four Ontarians haven’t been taking their prescription medicine because of the cost. And many more cut their pills in half to make the bottle last longer,” said Horwath. “Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals have had 15 years to fix this. Wynne could have helped self-employed people get the care they need. She could have helped small business owners provide benefits for their workers. She could have started universal pharmacare and dental care programs. She chose not to.”
Horwath’s Dental care for Everyone plan will publicly fund dental coverage for millions of people, including those on social assistance and seniors who don’t have retirement benefits; and will ensure that every worker, including part-time, contract and temporary workers, have workplace dental plans. Her universal pharmacare plan is a drug plan that will cover everyone, regardless of age, income or job status. These two plans together will help alleviate the hospital overcrowding and hallway medicine crisis. Other commitments from Horwath to ease the hospital crowding crisis include funding hospitals at minimum to the rate of inflation, population growth and to meet the unique needs of communities; and taking action to address the 32,000-person wait list for long-term care, which often leaves people to wait in hospitals.