Liberals seek to offset the cost of the drug plan with higher tobacco taxes and the 2024 budget.


Pharmaceutical programs, tobacco companies and budgets.

The federal government hopes its latest effort to discourage Canadians from smoking, contained in the federal budget presented Tuesday, will generate $ 1.7 billion in new revenue.

This increase in cash flow coincides with the launch of a new $1.5 billion medicines project that offers universal coverage for contraceptive and diabetes medicines.

Both programs were considered new health measures in the budget presented Tuesday in the House of Commons by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Health Minister Mark Holland announced the launch of a new pharmaceutical program in February, following tense negotiations with the New Democrats.

The NDP urged the government to ban several categories of drugs, while the Liberals lowered costs, citing a “ challenging fiscal framework .”

The Netherlands was reticent to share the cost of the deep-sea program and said the price would likely change based on negotiations with the provinces and territories.

As it stands , the government plans to spend $59 million next year and increase annual spending to $477 million by 2027.

“Free contraceptives are fundamental to a woman’s right to control her own body. This is a fundamental right of women”, said Freeland in her statement on the budget.

“It’s a fundamental human right .”

The new costs will be entirely offset by renewed efforts budgeted to discourage people from smoking and vaping.

The tax increase comes a month after the Netherlands practically declared war on tobacco and nicotine companies that market products to children last month , during a press conference outside Parliament.

“In any dark corner where the tobacco industry crawls and crawls to come after our children, wherever they go, any gap they think they can find, they will find me like an iron wall,” he said on the station .

The government plans to increase the peculiar excise tax on a pack of cigarettes by $4 from Wednesday, which, in addition to the automatic inflation increase of $1.49, the Liberals hope will generate $ 1.36 billion of dollars over five years.

The tax on vaping products will increase 12% in July and generate $310 million over five years.

The cost of excise taxes is often passed on to consumers through higher prices, a common – and profitable – strategy that governments use to encourage smokers to quit.

“Lured by seductive marketing , millennials and Gen Z are picking up new forms of old bad habits, smoking cigarettes almost as often as baby boomers smoked cigarettes,” the budget document says.

Canada’s tobacco strategy .

The goal of Canada’s tobacco strategy is to reduce the smoking rate to less than five percent by 2035.

In 2022, the smoking rate among people aged 15 and over was 10.9 percent, and the vaping rate among youth in that questionnaire was 30 percent.

Although the pharmaceutical program is by far the biggest new health care promise in the budget, liberals are still on clear track to spend $13 billion over five years on a new dental program for uninsured families on low and moderate incomes. , and promised the provinces billions to shore up their struggling health systems.

Conservative health critic Stephen Ellis said the Liberals’ prescription drug program “is really about preserving the costly coalition” and their deal to delay a federal election .

He spoke out against the program during the second reading of the government’s pharmaceutical care legislation in the House on Tuesday.

Supply and credit with the NDP.

These were all conditions of the supply and credit deal with the NDP, which sees the New Democrats base the Liberal minority on key parliamentary votes, including the budget.

Tuesday’s spending bill also announced efforts to execute the last remaining health-related promise to the NDP: long-term care legislation.

Long-term care, as a health service, falls under provincial jurisdiction and there are a variety of rules across the country that govern how homes should be designed, operated and maintained.

The pandemic has cast a powerful spotlight on nursing homes across the country that have been devastated by COVID-19 outbreaks.

Freeland’s budget commits to introducing a bill that would enshrine national standards for long-term care homes in law, but leave it up to provinces and territories to decide whether to adopt them.

& reproduction 2024 The Canadian Press

Source: globalnews