Big News! Pharmacare Act Expected to Pass in Parliament Today

Big News! Pharmacare Act Expected to Pass in Parliament Today

OTTAWA — Passing and implementing Bill C-64: An Act Respecting Pharmacare, will lay the groundwork for the most significant expansion to our public health care system since the creation of national Medicare over fifty years ago. The legislation sets up a framework for universal, single-payer, first-dollar drug coverage for all Canadians, beginning with coverage of contraceptives and diabetes medication and equipment. 

“Passing a national Pharmacare Act is a big deal! This could only be achieved with the hard work of so many Canadians and Albertans who have never stopped fighting for universal Pharmacare, and a minority government that was finally willing to listen and co-operate,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “It’s thanks in large part to the tens of thousands of Albertans who signed our postcards and letters, sent emails to their MPs, lobbied, rallied, attended townhalls, and so much more. We’re glad to see the federal government is keeping their promise and moving forward with this historic program that will be crucial to the health and wellbeing of so many families in Alberta and across the country.” 

Once passed by the House of Commons, Bill C-64 will head to the Senate for review, and on to Royal Assent, after which negotiations with provinces will need to occur. Unfortunately, the Alberta government has previously stated they intend to opt out of any national Pharmacare program. They did so even before any details of the program or legislation had been publicly announced. 

“We currently pay some of the highest drug costs in the world, and so many people here are struggling to afford the medications that they need. Study after study has reiterated that moving to a national, single-payer Pharmacare plan would save governments, employers, Albertans, and our provincial health care systems billions of dollars per year. And Albertans have repeatedly made clear that this is a program they want to be a part of,” said Gallaway. “Now that we’re finally seeing this legislation and program set to move forward, we hope that the Alberta government will reconsider their previous stance, and join onto what would be a moneysaving and lifesaving program for so many Albertans.” 

Friends of Medicare's executive director, Chris Gallaway, will be on Parliament Hill today to meet with parliamentarians, and to watch the final debate and vote on the Third Reading of Bill C-64, An Act Respecting Pharmacare, which is expected to occur this evening.


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