Liberals Steal Another Idea From The NDP.... Again. This Time Pharmacare

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Mighty Middle
Liberals Steal Another Idea From The NDP.... Again. This Time Pharmacare

At the NDP convention Jagmeet Singh said one thing they would be pushing in their 2019 election platform is universal Pharmacare

Tomorrow Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins will be appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to lead a new national pharmacare program. Hoskins was instrumental in Ontario's new OHIP+. Hoskins has officially resigned as MPP for St. Pauls and Minister of Health effective immediately.

There is always Dental Care that the NDP can push next!

Sean in Ottawa

Mighty Middle wrote:

At the NDP convention Jagmeet Singh said one thing they would be pushing in their 2019 election platform is universal Pharmacare

Tomorrow Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins will be appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to lead a new national pharmacare program. Hoskins was instrumental in Ontario's new OHIP+. Hoskins has officially resigned as MPP for St. Pauls and Minister of Health effective immediately.

There is always Dental Care that the NDP can push next!

Ahhh no. Let's see how much Liberal pharmacare looks like NDP pharmacare.

By the way this may have been promoted by the NDP but many others have argued for it as well. So it is not a theft from the NDP as much as the NDP may wish that were true. that said I will wait for the details to see if the Liberals really adopt it. I hope they do -- it is a hugely important policy that will save lives and actually save money for Canadians and the health system.

I am okay with Liberals stealing NDP ideas for policy -- I have a problem when they steal them only for their platform and nothing else.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
that said I will wait for the details to see if the Liberals really adopt it.

Wise words.  The term "pharmacare" could be applied to many different plans.

And if the Lib plan is everything the NDP plan is then "huzzah!".  No party has any patent on good ideas, and if the possible success of one party and their good ideas prompts another to try to usurp that success by adopting those good ideas then that's a good thing, isn't it?

mark_alfred

Interesting that Liberals just a few months ago voted down an NDP motion on bringing in pharmacare.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtr7WBWa4lU&feature=youtu.be

mark_alfred

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am okay with Liberals stealing NDP ideas for policy -- I have a problem when they steal them only for their platform and nothing else.

Yeah.  Like how "We will make every vote count" became, "Changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate."

lagatta4

There is dental care in the NHS. Put some teeth in our health system!

Mighty Middle

The issue is already being studied at the federal level. The health committee’s report caps a two-year process begun by a motion from NDP Health Critic Don Davies. An estimate based on 2015 levels carried out by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) at the committee’s request put the bill for a national program at $20.4 billion, and noted that existing provincial drug plans for specific groups like seniors currently pay out $13.1 billion in drug expenses.

After the PBO’s report was released in October last year, Davies moved a motion for the federal government to commence negotiations with the province on implementing a national system, which was defeated. In speaking against it, several Liberal MPs cited the fact that the health committee had yet to draw its conclusions.

Davies says he finds the timing of the establishment of the new advisory council to be “disrespectful.” He also called it “hypocrisy of the highest order,” saying that prime minister Justin Trudeau had promised to “restore the independence of committees and respect the work that they do” after predecessor Stephen Harper’s supposed controlling of those bodies from his office.

Davies cites the provincial example (OHIP +) as cautionary, not precedent-setting. “Eric Hoskins failed to bring universal pharmacare to Ontario as health minister,” he said. “How is he going to do it [for] the rest of Canada?”

If Hoskins’ council reports back in 2019, the Liberals could go into the next election claiming to have made progress on pharmacare, swiping a policy that looks set to be a major NDP platform plank. “This is the history of the Liberal party,” said Davies. “They talk progressively and take NDP good ideas, and then fail to implement on them.”

The Liberals also promised a universal drug plan in its 1997 platform, he noted.

http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/is-ottawa-studying-pharmacare-to-...

Pondering

Macleans is no friend to the NDP. 

Pharmacare is not some new revolutionary idea. Nobody cares who came up with the idea first. No party owns policy. Nobody cares what the Liberals did 20 years ago. Trudeau wasn't the leader then. He isn't responsible for the party's past. 

The consultations are not a study to decide whether or not to move forward. That decision is now made. The consultations are about the details of implementation and you can be sure the Liberals have the basic structure already settled and will be visiting the provinces to get them on board and hammer out the details not to ask them whether or not they want a national pharmacare program. 

The NDP sounds so whiney when they say “They talk progressively and take NDP good ideas, and then fail to implement on them.”

His example could be PR, but people, other than NDPers, don't much care about PR. This is not a citizen driven issue it's a party driven issue. It's not a significant vote driver. 

This will play out like the "Trudeau has no policy" attack. As soon as he had policy it was an empty criticism. 

The Liberals will be implementing Pharmacare either right before the next election or timed to happen shortly thereafter, like Kelowna and national daycare. Anyone who remembers 2005 will vote Liberal, not that many will remember. Maude Barlow will. 

Pharmacare will be promoted as a measure that fights inequality. If I am correct basic income will also be presented as part of the fight against inequality for the 2023 election.

The NDP has one angle left. Exposing the mechanisms that are increasing inequality revealing both Pharmacare and Basic Income as great programs but intended paper over the real problem, growing inequality that be mitigated but not solved by social programs. 

Mighty Middle

Pondering wrote:

Macleans is no friend to the NDP.

Which is why I limited it to Don Davies comments, as the text is his criticizim of  the Liberals lack of action on Phramacare.

Sean in Ottawa

I don't have a problem giving credit to the Liberals when they do something good. It is not whiney to criticize them for soliciting votes with promises championed by opposing parties and then not doing them. While not illegal it is disgusting.

I agree no party owns pharmacare -- or any other policy. But they own their promises and when they break them they need to be called out. When there is a pattern of this, that needs to be called out.

Lots of nice talk is so 2015. Now they have to back that up with policy that actually does what their rhetoric says.

I am a huge fan of pharmacare. If they do it I will praise them for it. Before the last election I praised Trudeau for promises to Indigenous people even as I opposed him on so many other issues. I am not happy that he is breaking these promises and I would be happy if they are kept in the budget today.

Mighty Middle

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Before the last election I praised Trudeau for promises to Indigenous people even as I opposed him on so many other issues. I am not happy that he is breaking these promises and I would be happy if they are kept in the budget today.

Charlie Angus just tweeted

The budget says Canada will commit $233 million a year to address the huge shortfalls in the Indigenous child welfare system. This is progress. Thank you Cindy Blackstock for pushing government to respect Human Rights ruling. Thank you Minister Jane Philpott

https://twitter.com/CharlieAngusNDP/status/968596029527416832

UPDATE

Jagmeet Singh just weighed in tweeting

The millions of Canadians who can’t afford their prescription drugs don’t need another study, They need their leaders to find the courage to act. There is four years of financial planning in this #budget2018 and not a single dollar set aside for implementing #pharmacare

https://twitter.com/theJagmeetSingh/status/968605690641207297

mark_alfred

The Macleans article says that the Health Committee has been working on pharmacare for two years, and were about to publish a report, when suddenly the PMO decides to set up a redundant "advisory council" to be chaired by Hoskins.  It's completely disrespectful to the committee.  This disrespect of committees and centralized control from the PMO's office is reminiscent of Harper.  The Liberals promised that in THIS TERM they would make prescription drugs more affordable.  They're just stalling.

Mighty Middle

mark_alfred wrote:

They're just stalling.

So Justin Trudeau can get a second term by putting this in their 2019 platform.

In Jagmeet Singh press conference he calls the budget a "Fantasy"

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

The Macleans article says that the Health Committee has been working on pharmacare for two years, and were about to publish a report, when suddenly the PMO decides to set up a redundant "advisory council" to be chaired by Hoskins.  

It isn't stalling it's moving ahead. The Health Committee was studying Pharmacare to prepare a report on Pharmacare. The advisory committee is the beginning of negotiations with the provinces because the Liberals want to implement Pharmacare not just study it some more. 

If it doesn't happen then the NDP should criticize them harshly but until then the NDP is setting itself up to look foolish. Between now and the next election the nuts and bolts will be worked out with the provinces. By the time the election is here the agreement with the provinces will have been made. 

I can't even say that I hope I am wrong because we do need pharmacare. 

Sean in Ottawa

There is significant money for improvements in Indigenous health and social services. There is also an extremely important investment in science, early career scientists. This investment will make a difference.

I hope the pharmacare promises get done. I don't think there is cause to delay as this is urgently needed both for the healthcare system and the individuals who depend on it.

The measure for pay equity look positive as well as are investment in gender equity for scientists and researchers.

Parental leave is interesting but childcare not addressed

mark_alfred

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/968663255701860353

Jagmeet Singh implores the Liberals to please take the NDP's pharmacare idea and implement it, rather than screwing around as they're currently doing.

Don Davies, NDP Health Critic wrote:

We've had royal commissions, peer-reviewed studies, a Senate report, a PBO costing, and soon we'll have the final report of the Health Committee's 2 year consultation on implementing #PharmacareForAll. Canadians don't need another study, we need action.

Mighty Middle

Jagmeet Singh said in his presser this is not pharmacare. This is just a study, which does nothing to help people with prescription drugs. He said we don't need another study, we action NOW!

mark_alfred

Yes.  And it's a broken promise if the Liberals don't take action now and put it off till next term.  From their 2015 platform:

Liberal 2015 Platform wrote:

We will also develop a pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation, and will improve access to necessary prescription medications. We will join with provincial and territorial governments to buy drugs in bulk, reducing the cost Canadian governments pay for these drugs, and making them more affordable for Canadians.

mark_alfred

Morneau says free pharmacare won't be for everyone.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/morneau-says-free-pharmacare-won-t-be-fo...

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

Morneau says free pharmacare won't be for everyone.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/morneau-says-free-pharmacare-won-t-be-fo...

That's not pharmacare then. The whole point is to have a single payer system not "fill in the gaps". He didn't even promise to cover seniors or say if there will be a compulsory insurance fee to belong to the system.

The upside is he didn't steal the NDP's idea, just the word. "Pharmacare strategy" is double speak. I am positive what they are doing is not what the committee report is going to recommend. Singh will be able to dismiss this non-plan.

Mighty Middle

Maybe it will be income based, like the child care benefit. If you have benefits from your company, you don't qualify. But if you don't have benefits, you do qualify for pharmacare.

Sean in Ottawa

Mighty Middle wrote:

Maybe it will be income based, like the child care benefit. If you have benefits from your company, you don't qualify. But if you don't have benefits, you do qualify for pharmacare.

Still as Pondering points out this is not single payer and it lacks the base to be successful. Also this would make the benefit worthless and so it woudl be given up in favour of someting else. It would be a silly policy.

I suspect that the Liberals do not want to make the upfront investment into Pharmacare until they know the economic context which means not until there is certainty with NAFTA. This is not an indefensible position if they were to be direct about it. But the suggestion that more studying is required is not really honest.

Pondering

 Morneau is emphasizing that it is a Pharmacare strategy not a Pharmacare plan because he is being challenged. People are saying that isn't Pharmacare.  It is double speak and people will identify it as such. Very bad move to get people's hopes up then disappoint. 

This is similar to Mulcair's 15$ a hour federal minium wage with the severe limitation in small print. 

This is a great opening for Singh and I am sure he will take it. This is the type of big topic that people switch votes for. When the news came that pharmacare was coming I had mixed feelings because I want Singh to do well. Even so I felt it was a topic like legalizing cannabis, that it would be such a great thing it would even be worth another term for the Liberals. 

Now I found out they didn't really mean pharmacare. What a huge disappointment. This alone will not turn voters to the NDP. The economy is still the main issue and voters still favor stability. Even so it gives Singh a terrific opportunity to voice the frustration of the people. It fits his main theme of inequality. It's a very high profile issue. Canadians are very loyal to medicare and see pharmacare as an extention of that. Morneau is looking slicker by the minute. That's two issues the NDP can use in non-attack ads that focus on policy. First, the get used to precarious employment clip, second this clip of him saying it's a pharmacare strategy not a pharmacare plan

Mighty Middle

NDP Pundit Tom Parkin

“If Morneau is too timid to create a universal system (perhaps in fear of what Apotex and other Liberal funders will say?) he should just move over and let Jagmeet Singh get the job done”

https://twitter.com/Tom_Parkin_/status/969195039334260737

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If Morneau is too timid to create a universal system (perhaps in fear of what Apotex and other Liberal funders will say?) he should just move over and let Jagmeet Singh get the job done

Singh would become the Finance Minister??

And geez, what would those donors say if Morneau tagged Singh and stepped off?

Also, Apotex made its fortune selling generic drugs.  Would they really be averse to being a primary supplier to the government?  If universal pharmacare were done sensibly, we'd be collectively buying all the generics we can.  The complainers would be "patent holders" not "Liberal donors".