Michael to Ball: Insist Trudeau reject Harper health transfer formula
On Friday, the country’s premiers will meet with the Prime Minister; part of that discussion will be the money Ottawa transfers to the provinces for health care. Today in the House of Assembly, NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) asked the province’s premier to take a stand against the changes in health care transfers which will have an enormously detrimental effect on this province’s health care budget.
“The federal government has decided to adopt the Harper government’s plan to slash annual increases in federal health transfers, costing the province half a billion dollars over 10 years,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.
“I ask the Premier, what steps has he taken to date to stop this serious cut in our health funding formula?”
The changes brought in by Harper, and endorsed by Trudeau, will cost this province an estimated $491 million over the next 10 years; some observers believe that number could be higher if the current economic situation continues, as the transfers will be based on population numbers and GDP.
“The previous Conservative government devised a new formula for health transfers slated to start in 2017 which means provinces will receive an amount corresponding only to its population with no consideration of factors such as age and population density,” Michael said.
“Does the premier accept this unfair formula and the drastic impact it will have on Newfoundland and Labrador, and, if not, what’s he doing about it?”
Michael wants the Premier to publicly demand the Prime Minister stop the cut to federal health transfers and negotiate a new arrangement.