Feds must help 4.4 million people left out of new dental program
The report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives titled, “Missing Teeth: Who’s left out of Canada’s dental care plan,” raises alarming questions about barriers imposed by the federal government’s new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP).
The Canadian Health Coalition has been raising concerns that the CDCP’s income cut-off will leave out unfairly many of the 12.9 million Canadians without dental coverage because the program does not mirror Canadian Medicare which provides universal coverage for everyone.
The report’s author, economist David Macdonald, calculated this gap for the first time. When fully implemented in 2025, he found the CDCP will benefit 9.8 million people but will leave another 4.4 million out of the system due to the income restriction.
Successful applicants must have a household income of less than $90,000 per year and no private insurance of their own. This is the first time a major health program imposes a mean test upon Canadians.
The study shows that this program, the largest expansion of public health care in a generation, will bring dental care to many – but not everyone who needs it. The means test puts a third of people who otherwise qualify out of reach of public dental coverage.
Macdonald estimated that the cost of extending the Canadian Dental Care Program to include those without insurance, regardless of income, is $1.45 billion on top of the $3.3 billion presently budgeted for the 2025-26 year.
Budget 2024 is an opportunity for the federal government to remove the barrier preventing those who need dental coverage by committing an additional $1.45 billion to public dental care. A family should not be left behind simply because two working people earn a modest $45,000 per year.
Read the report –