Looking out the window it's nothing short of heavenly. The sun dances and the Tantalus range beams majestic alpine splendor right to my heart. All the while the dog tries every adorable trick in the book to make me go for a ride. A fraction of my surroundings could inspire a million breathtaking tales, all the while I think: "Finally I'll write about something other than BC Liberal nastiness." Alas, as the dog fetches my riding shorts, the phone rings and I'm left there for the next 6 hours trying to figure out what happened to my Pharmacare and what kind of a jackass assumes I'm making $320,000 a year!?
As I read John French's article on the subject, I couldn't help but think of Garfield getting shoes thrown at him on the fence. Well I've got a big ol' boot and I'm ready to swing. John's de-fence was the system is good depending on your political leanings, so those who didn't know about the change have no one to blame but themselves. Hog wash.
A mom wanders the grocery isle wondering how to stretch $40 between 3 kids and a recently laid off husband. She has no political leanings, just mouths to feed. Now, through no fault of her own Fair PharmaCare assumes she (and you) makes $320,000 a year making the prescription deductible $10,000 (that's how much you have to pay before getting help).
It's actually illegal in the business world since Rogers introduced "Negative Option Billing." Remember the 100+ channel universe? They automatically signed everyone up for the most expensive package, unless you made an effort to cancel it. There was nothing short of a revolt and legislation was quickly passed to make it illegal. I imagine a younger Gordon Campbell giggling, "That's brilliant! Rogers made only one mistake; they told people they were doing it."
Welcome to the "you're screwed' or "sign up" part. First you must pick: Online "Maze" or "Phone Gauntlet!" Get Forms, sign forms, send forms, wait 6 to 8 weeks. How you'll afford rent and groceries for that time is none of their concern. It's actually a brilliant snake in the grass tactic. To safely reach cut-off, you would have had to make that initial call on February 13th. The ad-campaign started February 24th.
"Ad campaign?!" Yeah, I didn't see any ads either, and when it comes to being "hooked up" to information I'm in the top percent. Radio, internet, newspapers, plus I unfortunately have an extensive prescription diet and both my mother and wife are both registered nurses, yet with all that I didn't find out until the last week in April!
This should have been front page news in both province papers but I suppose it's tough for journalists to reach the front page all the way from the back pocket. Basically you didn't find out about it because they didn't want you to. Now I sincerely hope no one actually needs the program, but unless you have an "S" on your chest, you need to call this number now 1-800-387-4977. For more "info" check: http://www.healthservices.gov.bc.ca/pharme/index.html