July 21, 2024
Federal Health Minister Mark Holland in the House of Commons on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, the day hd tabled Bill C-64, “An act respecting pharmacare.”

There is no ‘pharmacare deal’

Ontario hasn’t ‘opted in’ because there is literally nothing to ‘opt into’

Justin Trudeau’s backroom geniuses want you to see yet another clip of Pierre Poilievre refusing to answer a very insistent reporter’s question in Ottawa. The question, asked during a Thursday press conference was, “Will you dismantle pharmacare?” Poilievre, unable or unwilling to get a word in edgewise, simply walked away rather than answer.

“Pierre Poilievre refused to answer whether he’d cut Liberal pharmacare. Because he will,” the Liberals warned their social media followers.

The Liberals’ and NDP’s “deal on pharmacare,” as CBC News described it, was big news all week. It was a condition of the NDP maintaining its supply-and-confidence agreement with the government (or at least, party leader Jagmeet Singh said it was) so it had major political ramifications (if we assume Singh was actually serious about withdrawing support, which we certainly should not).

“Canada’s pharmacare bill has officially been introduced in Parliament,” Global News announced.

“Deal on pharmacare bill has been reached with Liberals ahead of March deadline, NDP says,” was the Canadian Press headline.

Folks, there is no pharmacare to dismantle. There isn’t even a deal on pharmacare to dismantle — or to walk away from, to abandon or to otherwise disrespect. Almost literally nothing has happened to underpin this news cycle.

What we have is Bill C-64, “An act respecting pharmacare.” Excluding preamble and title page, it is four-and-a-half pages long (two-and-a-quarter really, since it’s bilingual), and it most certainly does not bind the government to implementing a national pharmacare program — which it can’t do on its own anyway, health care being provincial jurisdiction and two of the country’s larger jurisdictions (Quebec, which already provides prescription drug coverage, and Alberta) having already indicated they’re not interested.

Paragraph three sets out the purpose of the bill, which is “to guide efforts to improve … the accessibility and affordability of prescription drugs … in collaboration with the provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples and other partners and stakeholders, with the aim of continuing to work toward the implementation of national universal pharmacare.”

To guide efforts to improve access to prescription drugs … with the aim of continuing to work toward the implementation of national universal pharmacare.

Why don’t we pause here and marvel at how lame that is.

Read It All…

See Also:

Federal pharmacare is a bomb waiting to detonate your coverage

Provinces should reject Trudeau-Singh socialized pharmacare scheme