No date set for Liberals’ fix to seniors’ pharmacare

Click to play video: 'No fix yet to new seniors’ pharmacare program' No fix yet to new seniors’ pharmacare program
WATCH ABOVE: The McNeil Government is inching slowly towards a fix to the new seniors Pharmacare program it announced in January. Global’s Legislative Reporter Marieke Walsh reports – Feb 17, 2016

A rework of the new seniors’ pharmacare program won’t be announced today, says Premier Stephen McNeil.

Government officials met with the nine groups that make up the seniors advisory council in Halifax Wednesday, but McNeil says the meeting is to provide an update rather than present the groups with a fix to the changes announced in January.

“We’ve made no decision but we do want to talk to them about a go forward position,” McNeil said.

The government says the goal of the changes was to make the program more affordable for low income seniors and charge higher income seniors a bit more to offset the costs. However, since the changes were rolled out, the government has been criticized for unfairly disadvantaging seniors who are in couples and going too far in raising costs for seniors in higher income brackets.

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The government also came under fire for saying the changes were revenue neutral when it appears they might not be.

Following the meeting with the advisory council, Deputy Minister Simon d’Entremont said the government needs a few more days to hammer out the changes to the new program. However, he couldn’t say whether that means the changes will be announced this week or next.

“We were expecting to have some answer to what was going to happen, so we were a little surprised,” CARP Nova Scotia Chair Bill VanGorder said.

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