Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath unveiled a provincial dental care plan over the weekend.
Horwath, who is expected to reveal the full NDP election platform soon, said that under her public dental care plan, everyone will have dental coverage in the province.
“In Ontario, one in three working people don’t have a workplace benefits plan – including those working in the gig economy,” said Horwath.
Seniors and those on social assistance are also left without coverage, she added.
“That means millions of people are not covered for basic dental care. It means they have to live in pain, deal with the lifelong damage of going without dental care, or rack up credit card bills to see a dentist,” Horwath said in a release. “It’s time to help people be healthier, and make life more affordable in Ontario.”
My plan, along with our universal Pharmacare for Everyone plan will mean lower cost and better health for Ontarians.
Visit our website for more information, and spread the word:https://t.co/Azh7PGlGjm
This is change for the better.#Change4Better
— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) March 17, 2018
According to the Ontario NDP, Horwath’s structure will cover about 4.5 million people who don’t have dental benefits, and the program would be fully implemented by the end of her first term as premier.
The investment would be the largest in dental care in the province’s history at $1.2 billion.
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) commended the NDP for their announcement and new dental plan.
“Too often, Ontarians end up in emergency wards because they can’t afford the dental care they need,” said OFL President Chris Buckley in a statement. “This bold plan will benefit the overall health and well-being of all Ontarians and should put a smile on everyone’s face.”
Horwath also plans to take student debt away from graduates, details of which will be revealed with her full platform.
“No one should have to live in pain, just because they can’t afford the dental care that the need. No one should go years without a trip to the dentist because they’re a part-time worker, or retired, or because their job simply doesn’t come with benefits,” said Horwath at her dental plan announcement on Saturday.
“We can help people be healthier and make life more affordable in our province.”