CLHIA warns against Trudeau's pharmacare plan

CLHIA raises concerns over the proposed pharmacare, impacting 27 million Canadians

CLHIA warns against Trudeau's pharmacare plan

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has issued a stark warning about the Trudeau government's pharmacare proposal, as reported by Newswire Canada.  

CLHIA represents entities that provide drug and supplementary health benefits to over 27 million individuals. This warning highlights significant concerns with the proposed changes to the nation's pharmacare system. 

In a detailed statement by Stephen Frank, the president and CEO of CLHIA, the association outlined its apprehensions, directly addressing the potential financial and coverage implications for Canadians.   

Frank's statement reads, “For the last six years, Canada's life and health insurers have told the federal government that we believe all Canadians should be able to access the drugs they've been prescribed.” 

“We have told the government that the way to improve drug coverage is to build on the workplace plans that millions of working people and their families value and rely on, by providing targeted benefits to the relatively small number of Canadians who lack public or private drug coverage now,” he added.   

However, Frank expressed profound dissatisfaction with the government's current direction, saying, “But the plan announced today will not do that. Instead, it will spend billions of dollars unnecessarily on drugs for people who already have coverage.” 

He criticized the proposed shift towards a government-managed program, arguing that it would lead to a more “burdensome and expensive" system over time and endanger the workplace benefit plans upon which 27 million Canadians depend, potentially making life "less affordable for millions of families.”   

Highlighting a critical difference in coverage between private and public plans, Frank noted, “Private insurance plans offer coverage for nearly twice as many drugs as even the best public plan.” 

He expressed concern over the government's role in selecting which drugs are covered, which could limit Canadians' access to necessary medications.  

Frank concluded, “We believe the right approach is to support existing benefit plans that are working well, and to target federal investment towards those who don't have coverage today, not those who already do.”   

Through this statement, CLHIA has made clear its stance on the federal pharmacare plan, advocating for an approach that builds on the strengths of the current system rather than overhauling it in favor of a new, potentially less effective government-run program.