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Pharmacare not a priority for most Canadians

Getty Images iStockphoto Participants in Léger's survey were asked to name their top two health care priorities. Only 18% responded that the federal government should prioritize creating a new single-payer universal pharmacare program.

As the Liberals and New Democrats negotiate what form the future national pharmacare plan should take, a new poll suggests that this bill is not at the top of the list of priorities for most Canadians.

Participants in Léger's survey were asked to name their top two health care priorities. Only 18% responded that the federal government should prioritize creating a new universal, single-payer pharmacare program.

Increased funding to reduce surgical wait times, building more long-term care facilities, and expanding mental health services have raised significantly more money support, i.e. 36%, 32% and 30% respectively.

“All this comes before the universal single-payer drug insurance plan,” says Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque. It is not at the top of the list of priorities for Canadians. »

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The polling firm Léger conducted the online survey of 1,622 Canadians from Friday to Sunday. Online surveys cannot have a margin of error because they are not considered truly random samples.

As part of their agreement with the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Liberals promised to pass pharmacare legislation that would serve as the basis for a national pharmacare plan by the end of 2023.

The survey shows that 53% of respondents were unaware of the plans of Justin Trudeau's government.

As part of the deal, the New Democrats said they would support the minority government in key votes in the House of Commons in exchange for progress on NDP priorities, such as pharmacare.< /p>

However, the two parties were unable to agree on the wording of the bill before the House of Commons adjourned for the holiday period.< /p>

So they agreed on a new deadline, March 1, for the Liberals to table a bill.

The main sticking point appears to be the NDP's insistence on a universal single-payer system, which was the model recommended by Canada's Advisory Council on the Implementation of a National Health Plan. 'drug insurance in 2019.

Federal Health Minister Mark Holland has also repeatedly spoken about the need for the government to be fiscally prudent.

Not totally closed to the idea

Of those surveyed, only 22% indicated that a new drug plan should replace the basic one they receive from their employer.

44% of respondents favor a plan that would provide coverage to people without drug coverage, seniors, and people earning less than $90,000 a year.

“This is probably due, to some extent, to the fact that two out of three Canadians have private health insurance, either themselves or through their spouse,” says Mr. Bourque.

While there does not appear to be overwhelming support for a national pharmacare plan, there is also no outright opposition to the idea, fact note the Léger representative.

Only 17% of respondents said a new pharmacare plan should not be a priority for the government. Even among respondents who intend to vote for the Conservative Party, opposition to the regime is relatively weak.

“If we look at the Conservatives' electoral base, only 23% of them say they don't want any part of the pharmacare plan,” says Mr. Bourque.

“So if there was some form of pharmacare, I think that would be good news for a majority of Canadians,” he adds.

Voting intentions

Even if the Liberals and New Democrats agree on the wording of a pharmacare bill, there is no guarantee that the government will move forward with a national pharmacare plan. immediate drug coverage.

The bill is essential to secure the support of the NDP and avoid an election before the vote scheduled for 2025.

This is all the more important for the political future of the government since the Conservatives have far surpassed the Liberals in the polls this year.

Léger found in his latest poll that support for Pierre Poilievre's troops has decreased slightly in recent weeks.

Among decided voters, 38% of respondents said they would vote Conservative if a federal election were held at the time of the poll. This is down from 40% of respondents at the end of November.

But the Conservatives maintain a considerable lead over the Liberals (28%) and the New Democrats (18%).

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116