96.5% of local elected municipal leaders say that federal and provincial downloading of costs onto local governments is a problem for their community.1 A new story about downloading is the one emerging through the national pharmacare conversation launched by Canadian Doctors for Medicare.1
Why? There is no universal plan to cover the costs of prescription drugs in Canada and this gap is filled by multiple drug plans in every province, including multiple private sector plans for public sector employees. The cost of prescription drugs to local governments across Canada adds up to roughly $500 million every year.2
$500 million is the cost of private insurance coverage for prescription drugs that municipal governments are covering. Statistics Canada records show that two thirds of 600,000 local government employees are covered by private health insurance paid for by the cities, towns, and districts that they work for.3 Essentially these costs are covered by property taxes.