Of the working population in Windsor-Essex, 17,580 are considered working poor. These are families and individuals who are contributing to the productivity and prosperity of our economy but who are forced to put their health second. The majority of the working poor population do not have employer-paid medical benefits and are left with the rising cost of dental and other health expenses.
Though commendable, the provincial poverty reduction strategy’s commitment to provide dental benefits to low-income adults by 2025 is a long wait for a dental checkup for many hardworking Ontarians and an unacceptable wait for those who are living with pain and infection and who need services now.
This budget should commit to the implementation of public dental benefits for all low-income adults by 2018. Too many Ontarians do not have access to essential extended health benefits.
It is encouraging to see the Ontario government take leadership toward a universal pharmacare plan. All Ontarians deserve to be healthy and we strongly support further efforts toward this goal.
The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction applauded the first five-year poverty reduction strategy that was unanimously supported by all three parties in 2009. Through bold initiatives like the Ontario child benefit, that strategy meant 47,000 Ontario children were lifted out of poverty, even during a deep economic downturn. Read the full article published in the Windsor Star >>