Dougie cuts OHIP+ within hours of becoming premier

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MapleInTheEye
Dougie cuts OHIP+ within hours of becoming premier

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pcs-announce-changes-to-ohip-1.47...

Within hours of his premiership, he is already cutting a key program from the previous government. Someone should tell the government that the problem with prescription drugs, and why they cost too much, is because there isn't a pharmacare program to negotiate the prices from the government, and the government is the only agency large enough and with the gravitas to make the prices go down.

The problem isn't that we should save money by excluding those who are eligible for private coverage, it is to expand it to 100% public coverage for everyone. We're in for a 4 year crap show.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Why would Dougie want the prices to go down?  Lowering the prices would help keep the poor alive, which is, to any member of the Ford family, "gravy"-and that "gravy" means to him, as it meant to his unlamented brother, anything that made live survivable for those left out by his capitalist friends, and anything that supported any objectives other than making a small handful of wealthy Ontarians even wealthier.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Why would Ford take it upon himself to make OHIP+ into universal pharmacare?  Wouldn't that the the job of the federal government, like the rest of our socialized health care system?

Really, it's not like OHIP+ was in any way universal, or heading in that direction.  The provincial government seem to have very deliberately chosen a group that's mostly healthy to give free medication to.

It IS kind of perverse that a young person who may or may not need any prescription medication can potentially have it courtesy of the government AND courtesy of their parents' benefit plan, but a senior who is much more likely to need medication and no longer has employment benefits pays out of pocket like before. 

To whatever degree the government (provincial OR federal) has some money to spend on drugs, wouldn't triage protocol suggest spending that money where it's most needed?  It's really not clear how free Ritalin for a teen whose parents both have a drug plan through their employer constitutes that "most needed".

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Obviously, programs like OHIP would go away once Pharmacare was established.

MapleInTheEye

Kids are generally healthy, but there are many that still have chronic problems like allergies or need asthma inhalers, it isn't like there aren't sick kids. To underplay OHIP+ is to give into the voices that say we shouldn't have pharmacare.

Besides, he just created a red tape nightmare. He isn't doing away with the program entirely, and apparently OHIP+ is supposed to still imburse payments for what private insurance doesn't cover. Since most private plans only pay a percentage (rarely is it 100%) then that means the parent pays 50 or 70% with their employer plan, then they submit to OHIP for reimbursement for the remaining 50% or 70%. The administrative red tape alone will eat up a lot of cost savings.

Conservatives never think these things through. Talk about legislation that required no thought, hours after the election announcing such a hairbrained policy.

robbie_dee

If I was an employer buying private insurance coverage for my employees and I knew that if a drug was included in the coverage I buy, insurance would have to pay for it, but if it was not included, OHIP+ would pay for it, the first thing I would do is ask the insurer how much I could save in premiums if it  excluded those drugs from coverage. The market will likely adapt to eliminate even the modest savings to the public purse (after the aforementioned red tape costs) in the long run.

gadar

Doug puts brakes on anti scalping law. Just helping out old friends, probably knows some of them from his dealing days.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/anti-scalping-tickets-law-ontario-...

Paladin1

gadar wrote:

Doug puts brakes on anti scalping law. Just helping out old friends, probably knows some of them from his dealing days.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/anti-scalping-tickets-law-ontario-...

 

Quote:

But price caps are not the solution, argues Erin Benjamin, executive director of Music Canada Live, a lobby group representing the live music industry.

"They've just been shown over and over again not to work," Benjamin said, pointing to a report released last month by the U.S. Government Accountability Office that examined various anti-scalping strategies.

"If the priority is to decrease fraud and to keep fans and consumers safe, that's not the answer," Benjamin said  

"When a lot of people want one thing it drives the price up and people are interested in making money off ticket sales. What's to stop the guy on Kijiji from selling that $100 ticket for $500? It's really hard to enforce. And it makes it makes it really easy to dupe fans."

 

Quote:
Price caps. Several states cap the price at which tickets can be resold. But according to some state government studies, the caps generally are not effective because they are difficult to enforce.

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-347

 

 

So, the Liberals tried to introduce this without apparently doing their homework (which took 13 seconds) and Ford is putting a hold on it to evaluate the proposed law and it's actual impact. 

MegB

The OHIP pharmacare exception is just a shot across the bow. It won't reap any significant savings. If anything, the administrative cost will negate whatever is saved, or even cost the province money. Conservative business as usual - make cuts that are ideological with no thought to actual dollars saved, or even a nod to fiscal responsibility.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If Ford declared that the province would still kindly offer to pay the bill that private insurers were already getting their wallet out for, wouldn't some call that "corporate welfare"?

Think about it.  The government paying for something that private insurers already expect to pay for.  What's the progressive part about them getting to keep their profits in their pocket while the government says "your money's no good here!  This one's on the taxpayer!"

robbie_dee

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If Ford declared that the province would still kindly offer to pay the bill that private insurers were already getting their wallet out for, wouldn't some call that "corporate welfare"?

Think about it.  The government paying for something that private insurers already expect to pay for.  What's the progressive part about them getting to keep their profits in their pocket while the government says "your money's no good here!  This one's on the taxpayer!"

That’s the premise of a universal system, though. And as I pointed out above, it’s not like the coverage set forth in these policies are carved in stone. Next time they are up for renewal, presumably, the private insurer will exclude from coverage whatever the govt has expressed willingness to pay for.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That’s the premise of a universal system, though.

OK.  But this one isn't universal.  Or else where's my free metoprolol?

Theoretically, if a teen needed metoprolol, there could be a three-way arm wrestle between that teen's father's workplace coverage, that teen's mother's workplace coverage and OHIP+ to decide who gets the honour of paying.

Meanwhile, with neither parental coverage, employer coverage, nor "universal" coverage, I pay out of pocket. 

How do you define "universal", robbie?

WWWTT

At this point, to me it sounds like to opc government is making symbolic cuts. Signaling there is more to come

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think his campaign was meant to signal there's more to come.

Sean in Ottawa

MegB wrote:

The OHIP pharmacare exception is just a shot across the bow. It won't reap any significant savings. If anything, the administrative cost will negate whatever is saved, or even cost the province money. Conservative business as usual - make cuts that are ideological with no thought to actual dollars saved, or even a nod to fiscal responsibility.

If you think of the point of what universality means it becomes very clear. In his first move he is taking the benefit away from those who have the greatest ability to defend it. Then he can chip away at the benefit for those who need it without having any skin in the game from those with more political power.

I think you are correct that this is just a shot across the bow and the real moves will come later on this program.

bekayne