December 12th, 2023
Bachrach and NDP deliver historic dental care program
Canada's New Democrats have announced the implementation of the NDP’s national dental care program, saving millions of families across Canada $1,300 a year.
OTTAWA: On Monday, New Democrats announced the implementation of the NDP’s national dental care program, which will save millions of families across Canada around $1,300 a year.
“I’m proud that after years of hard work, we’ve managed to force the government’s hand and make public dental care a reality for millions of Canadians,” said MP Taylor Bachrach (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). “Every person in northwest BC deserves to be able to get their teeth fixed without having to worry about the cost, but for a lot of people in our region, that hasn’t been their reality.”
Over a third of Canadians have no dental insurance, and nearly 9 million Canadians avoid the dentist every year because they can’t afford it.
“We know dental health is integral to people’s overall health. In a country like ours, it’s inexcusable that basic dental care has been unaffordable for so many,” said Bachrach. “That’s why this historic program is so significant — it’s going to improve people’s health in a very real way.”
Last year, the NDP started delivering dental care to children under 12 with the interim Canada Dental Benefit. Nearly 370,000 Canadian children received dental care as a result of the program, including 650 children in the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding.
The national program announced on Monday will start by covering 4.5 million seniors, people with disabilities, and children under 18 who don’t have private insurance and make under $90,000. By the end of 2025, it is estimated that 9 million eligible Canadians could benefit from this program. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, an average family would save at least $1,247 per year through the program.
“While the Liberals have dragged their feet on this issue for years and the Conservatives continue to vote against helping families with dental costs, the NDP has never stopped working to help families access the care they need,” said Bachrach. “Uninsured families will no longer have to put off necessary dental work because they can’t afford the costs.”
In the last federal budget, in order to ensure the new dental program can be delivered to people in rural areas like northwest BC, the NDP forced the government to invest $250 million in an Oral Health Access Fund. The fund will address oral health gaps among vulnerable populations and reduce identified barriers to accessing dental care, including in rural and remote communities.
For help signing up for the program, residents can reach out to MP Bachrach’s constituency offices by phone, email or in person.