11 DECEMBER 2013
The Green Party welcomes the introduction of the New Brunswick Drug Plan to ensure New Brunswickers can afford the drugs they need, when they need them. However, Green Party Leader David Coon expressed concern that the initial phase of the Drug Plan will be too costly for low income New Brunswickers to participate.
"I urge the Minister of Health to enact a regulation as soon as Bill 27 becomes law, to ensure that low income families can obtain a subsidy for premiums and co-payments if they cannot afford them," said David Coon, Green Party Leader.
The provincial government had to abandon its plan to have employers contribute to the New Brunswick Drug Plan in the face of a concerted lobby from business groups which opposed participating in plan at this time. The New Brunswick government had initially proposed that employers would pay 15% of the Drug Plan costs, while participants would pay 63%, with government contributing 22%. Without the participation of employers, plan members will pay 46% and the government will pay 54% of the costs of the plan.
"This is such an important piece of legislation for New Brunswickers, that it should go to the Law Amendments Committee for detailed review," said Coon. "The Legislature must ensure that Bill 27, The Prescription and Drug Insurance Act is the best it can be," said Coon.