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LETTER: Langley letter writer argues for national pharmaceutical program

National pharmacare should be an election issue, he argues

Dear Editor,

Universal pharmacare must be an election priority. We are the only country with health care but no prescription medication coverage, costing families more than is spent on doctors. A universal single-payer pharmacare plan would not only save money but lives as well.

By negotiating drug prices for the country as a whole (“bulk buying”) we could significantly lower prices for medications.

There is also the added savings from the removal of federal tax subsidies for private insurance plans and the reduction of federal medical tax credits.

Big Pharma and Big Insurance reap huge profits off of the inefficiencies of the current system, and are pushing for a fill-in-the-gaps plan meaning that most people would have to continue relying on workplace drug plans, which vary dramatically, depending on where you work. High-risk, high-cost patients would be pushed out of private plans and “dumped” onto public plans.

In a fill-in-the-gaps system, without the negotiating power of single payer “bulk buying”, the government would be forced to fill in the gaps by paying for medication at any price that Big Pharma sets.

Just as an example of savings: For people with diabetes, heart disease and chronic respiratory problems alone, universal single-payer pharmacare would result in 220,000 fewer emergency room visits and 90,000 fewer hospital stays every year.

Now is the time!

Garry Storsley, Langley

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