Cuts in drug coverage are unacceptable

Medication that used to be covered under an employee benefit plan is no longer eligible.

Editor: I have sent the followng letter to Premier Christy Clark.

Welcome to the B.C. government’s  top position: Premier.

How fortunate to be able to come in  after the election and start out the day with a huge raise for your people. It must feel good to be able to rule and preside over the taxes that we are paying to keep you in a higher income bracket than the rest of us.

I went to get my prescription filled on June 28. What a shock it was to find out that neither Blue Cross nor Pharmacare will no longer pay for my medication.

I use asthma medications, and this year when the allergies have been so bad, I almost had to be hospitalized due to the asthma.

Cutting coverage of these drugs was not a great idea. Blood pressure medications? Cutting these is just plain ugly,  because you and your people have surely caused a lot of the high spikes in my blood pressure of late.

Sleeping pills — well I guess I will just stay awake and worry about where the money is coming from to pay my bills, since this was why I got the pills in the first place.

Your predecessor Gordon Campbell took away my job and my $30,000 a year wages. He took 15 per cent off my husband’s wages as well. This year, the Hospital Employees Union finally negotiated a raise, after 10 years.

And then we find this out. In health care facilities, the unions have filed a grievance over implementation of Pharmacare tie-in.

The Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA) is challenging the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) on elements of its implementation of the recently-negotiated Pharmacare tie-in, which links members’ prescription drug coverage to the list of drugs covered by the government’s Pharmacare program.

In negotiating the plan in the last round of collective bargaining, health unions agreed to a list of Pharmacare drugs, based on confirmation that certain specific drugs would continue to be eligible for reimbursement.

But now Pacific Blue Cross is advising some members that they are not covered for these drugs.

HEABC has also advised the FBA that members will be reimbursed for drugs, only to a price limit set up under the Pharmacare program.

The FBA unions did not agree to those restrictions, and have filed an industry-wide policy grievance to challenge them.

The government sure knows how to make us little people feel minute and unimportant.

Thank you from a former low middle-class income human, who is now  a below the poverty line human. By the way, I did not vote for you.

Hanne Reid,

Aldergrove

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