Kenney’s Insulin Pump Debacle

On May 2, the Kenney government announced it would avail diabetic Albertans of newer, more technologically advanced insulin pumps. Then 10 days later it announced it was “pausing” this decision to allow for more consultation.

The decision and its reversal happened so quickly it was like a snippet of time-lapse photography; it allowed us to see the Kenney government’s machinations as it tried to push diabetic Albertans out of the free Insulin Pump Therapy Program (IPTP) run by Alberta Health Services in order to save $9 million/year (that’s less than one-third the annual cost of the War Room).    

The two Jasons–Kenney and Copping

The life and death of an ill-conceived policy decision*  

May 2: The whiz-bang announcement

Health Minister Copping announced that diabetic Albertans would have access to newer, more technologically advanced insulin pumps through their government-sponsored health benefit plans. Yippee!

Then the fine print:

The IPTP which provides diabetic Albertans with free insulin pumps and other supplies would be cancelled on August 1. Albertans needing insulin pumps/supplies will have to go through employer-sponsored or private plans, or “transfer” to Alberta Blue Cross. Depending on the plan, they’ll pay extra premiums and/or co-payments. But there’s a bright side, low-income Albertan will continue to receive pumps at no cost from…well…somewhere.   

May 3 onwards: The public outcry

Diabetic Albertans, their families and friends, and the NDP Opposition pointed out that many companies’ health benefit plans don’t cover insulin pumps. (NOTE: Companies typically renegotiate their health benefit plans in the fall. Plan changes go into effect on Jan 1 the following year. That leaves a 4-month gap in coverage).   

Alberta Blue Cross is an insurance plan. Albertans who used to receive free insulin pumps/supplies would now be required to pay premiums, deductions and copays. If they miss too many premiums their insurance would be cancelled. (Note: the Blue Cross website says coverage starts on the first of the month four months after the application is made unless exceptions are made so, someone who applied for coverage on May 3 may have to wait Sept 1 for coverage).

The premiums, deductions, and copays are not trivial. One Albertan said the elimination of IPTP would cost her around $400 in co-pays each quarter, plus an additional $1,500 to $2,250 to replace her insulin pump when the time comes.

The Opposition demands an explanation and an apology:

 NDP health critic Dave Shepherd challenged Kenney to show his work to assure Albertans his expectation that they’d be just fine was well founded and to admit his mistake and apologize.

The cocky refusal

Kenney spouted a string of meaningless statistics—eg. Alberta Blue Cross nongroup coverage is only $63/month (this is an additional $756/year for Albertans who are getting their insulin pumps for free)—and assured the Opposition that the government had done consultation (he didn’t say with whom).   

Later, Education Minister LaGrange said the government had been consulting and communicating with diabetic Albertans for years and numerous Albertans wrote in to ask for more options and more equity in benefits with non-pump users (whatever the heck that means).

Enter Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada was quoted in Copping’s press release as supporting the government’s efforts. Eight days later it published an open letter to the government retracting its support. It had been flooded by calls and emails from concerned Albertans and now opposed the government’s plan to “impose cost-saving measures on the backs of those currently enrolled in the IPTP.”  

May 12, 2022: The face-saving retreat

Health Minister Copping announced the government was pausing its decision to cancel the IPTP so it could reach out to the 4000 people in the program to ensure no one was left behind. He would also set up town hall meetings for further consultation. Apparently, the only consultation the government undertook was with a clinical advisory committee.

He also apologised for the confusion.

Seems to me the only ones who were confused were Kenney and LaGrange who didn’t know how many consultation meetings had taken place and Copping who told the Legislature that the cost of the IPTP was $50 million when the press release pegged it at $20 million.

What just happened here?

So as we observed the life and death of the new insulin pump technology plan, we’ve learned that the Kenney government:

  • Will attack diabetic Albertans to eliminate a piece of Alberta’s public health care system and save itself a measly $9 million/year.
  • Will say its decision is founded on years of public consultation when this isn’t true.
  • Will pretend a free public health program is essentially the same as one that requires Albertans to pay premiums, deductions and copays.
  • Will draft a press release so confusing that those who support it publicly retract their support.

We also learned that a small group of Albertans can stop the government for dismantling our public healthcare system.

This is an invaluable lesson.

*Alberta Hansard, May 5, 2022 starting at p 1192, May 9, 2022 starting at p 1204, May 12, 2022 starting at p 1390

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46 Responses to Kenney’s Insulin Pump Debacle

  1. mikegklein says:

    Healthcare budget effectiveness is only so when the healthcare it supports is effective. Healthcare effectiveness must start the government decision-making process. Cost efficiency cannot be met when what incurs the cost is not effective. In fact, cost without effectiveness is 100% waste. This stuff is actually quite simple.

    • I agree Mike. I’ve spoken with many physicians who say preventative healthcare is a critical component of effective healthcare, particularly when you’re dealing with chronic disease. This was a bone-headed decision and I’m glad the UCP reversed course, but one has to wonder what made them think this was a good idea in the first place. Perhaps it was a test case: the government tried to replace the IPTP with an insurance backed plan that would (except in the most extreme cases) require the public to pay some of the cost for healthcare they’d previously received for free.
      PS I note your comment appeared twice. If I delete one, I may end up deleting both so I’ll just leave it up.

  2. mikegklein says:

    Thank you for your spotlight Susan.

    Healthcare budget effectiveness is only so when the healthcare it supports is effective. Healthcare effectiveness must start the government decision-making process. Cost efficiency cannot be met when what incurs the cost is not effective. In fact, cost without effectiveness is 100% waste. This stuff is actually quite simple.

    Mike

    >

  3. rubennelson says:

    Thank you, again, Susan,
    Again, in this endeavour, Kenny has shown his true colours. First, as any narcissist, he listens only to his own voice. All the balather about his concern for Alberta marks his willingness to use Alberta to feed his ego. Second, as I see him, he wants to turn Alberta into the Alabama of Canada — a place that values money above all else. The real costs to persons, communities or the environment is simply discounted. Put simply: he is unfit to govern us or any other place. Sadly, in our culture, we are afraid of assessing the person. Preston Manning is a champion of this point of view. So we only consider actions and policies. Accordingly, the Kenney of this world are free to roam among us and wrack havoc. Only after the destruction is obvious do the media awaken to the fact that the person was inherently destructive. I grieve for Alberta.

    • Ruben: I agree with your characterization of Kenney and would add one more point.
      The man isn’t smart. When pressed to back up his assertion that “the vast majority” of the 4000 Albertans receiving pumps/supplies through IPTP will continue to receive coverage, he said: 30% are in a government plan (which would be the IPTP which he’s eliminating, right?) and 60% have private coverage (which costs more in deductibles and co-pays) and it ‘only” costs an additional $756/year under Blue Cross (which is $756/year more than they’re paying now). How does any of this support his claim that the vast majority of the 4000 will be just fine.
      Incidentally, I’ve noticed when Kenney starts to spew statistics, he’s trying to distract us because he doesn’t have a cogent argument.
      Your point on the media is very well taken. They’re paid to dig into these policies, the public replies on them to do their jobs.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. The UCP is definitely acting in an irresponsible manner, and tries to backtrack, when the backlash happens. It is justified backlash. Diabetics need proper medical care to help them live as normal of a life as possible. If they don’t get that medical care, including things they need to help the disease be kept under control, this could be fatal. The UCP only sees things in terms of dollars, not in human dignity. Ralph Klein is the mentor of the UCP, and he was the same way. Like Ralph Klein, the UCP has done major financial blunders, that lost billions of dollars, and both Ralph Klein and the UCP took it out on those who are the least able to defend themselves, under the guise of senseless cutbacks. I’ll share some more music. A well known British singer, Eric Burdon, turned 81, on May 11. This is Eric Burdon and The Animals doing a version of an old song, The House Of The Rising Sun. It is from 1964. Bob Dylan also covered this on his debut album in 1962. When Bob Dylan heard Eric Burdon and The Animals cover this, it gave him the impetus to go electric. I have this in my music collection. I also saw Eric Burdon and The Animals live in 2008. This song has no known author.

    • Dwayne, the irony (stupidity?) here is that cancelling the IPTP won’t necessarily achieve the government’s objective which, according to Copping was to save money. Diabetics who can’t afford to pay for the pumps/supplies they used to receive for free will become sicker and need to access doctors and hospitals more frequently than they did in the past. It was an extremely short sighted decision with very little upside. I mean, really, saving $9 million this year, on the backs of diabetic Albertans. How callous can you get?
      PS thanks for the music clips. I’ll listen to them now.

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my next song pick. It is from Eric Burdon and War, and is a group composition, Spill The Wine. It is from 1970. I also have this in my music collection. This is a live performance on Beat Club, in 1970.

  6. Dwayne says:

    Susan: This is my next song pick. It is Jimi Hendrix doing a cover of a Bob Dylan song, All Along The Watchtower. It is from his 1968 album, Electric Ladyland. Former Animals bassist (the late) Chas Chandler, became the producer for Jimi Hendrix. At the point of this album, Chas Chandler severed his ties with Jimi Hendrix, because of so many guests being in the studio, (which has the same name of this album), who were interrupting the work. The (late) Brian Jones, from The Rolling Stones plays percussion as a guest musician here. Another guest musician on this track, is former Traffic member, Dave Mason, on 12 string acoustic guitar. Dave Mason also had his birthday on May 10. He turned 76. Jimi Hendrix and Dave Mason are also in my music collection. The last group to jam with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, was Eric Burdon and War, right before Jimi Hendrix’s death in September of 1970, at age 27. This is a fitting song for the way things are going in Alberta right now.

  7. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. It is from Bob Dylan. The song is License To Kill, from his 1983 album, Infidels. It was produced by Mark Knopfler, from the group Dire Straits. The musicians here are Bob Dylan on vocals, guitar and harmonica. Mark Knopfler is on guitar. Mick Taylor, (who was in the Rolling Stones) is on guitar. Alan Clark is on keyboards. Robert Shakespeare is on bass. Sly Dunbar is on drums. Bob Dylan will turn 81, on May 24. I have also seen him live, and he is part of my music collection. So many artists covered work he did, or composed, from The Animals to Tina Turner. This song also is fitting for what’s going on in Alberta, and in the world, right now.

  8. Sharon says:

    What will the unhinged clown party think of next? It is startling but not surprising what little regard these people, who are usually anti abortion have for the human life. If they were really thinking, they would want to provide all Alberta diabetics with the best possible technology to reduce complications and hospitalization. I am sure their consultations were one sided, just like all the surveys they have come up with. As a spouse of someone who used an insulin pump for 10 years, I can say that it was a game changer.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      I bet you didn’t hear from the UCP while they were “consulting,” did you? But Copping says he’ll set up town-hall meetings. You’ll have to watch for announcements, probably on some official Facebook page. Good luck!

    • Sharon and Mike: the point re: consultations is a good one.
      Kenney and LaGrange implied there was lots of consultation, then Copping admitted he’d only consulted with one group (the clinical advisory committee). Don’t these guys talk or are they just inveterate liars who’ll say whatever pops into their heads when they’re cornered.
      What bothered me the most was their callousness. When NDP MLA Janice Irwin raised the issue in the Assembly, Jason Nixon, Kenney’s right hand man, laughed. It’s unclear from Hansard what he was laughing at, but when Irwin called him on it, he flew into a rage saying the Opposition had engaged in “ridiculous behavior” and were “playing politics.” Well, it wasn’t the NDP who laughed.
      This seems to be the UCP’s default position. When they’re caught doing something sneaky and underhanded, they’ll lie. When they’re caught out, they’ll attack. Then when they’re forced to apologize, Kenney won’t do it, he’ll drag out an underling to do it for him.
      Classic arrogant bully behavior.

  9. Linda says:

    I am not surprised by the diabetes debacle. Keep in mind that the UCP has continued the proud PC tradition of implementing or trying to implement cuts to AISH (Assistance for the Severely Handicapped) when looking for ways to cut expenditures. This even as they hand out literal billions in corporate largesse. The UCP has shown they are a bully government – they will ride roughshod over anyone & especially those who are unable to fight back. Anyone recall the dismantling & removal of long term care patients to other locales as a ‘cost saving measure’? Here is a fact: very elderly people used to a routine do not do well when transplanted. A lot of those elders lost their support systems as they were moved to new locations far from family/friends; lost their long term caregivers since the staff couldn’t relocate with them & as a result of this stress & upset many of the residents met their demise sooner than anticipated. Like within a month or two. Win! Got those old folks who cost so much out of the way…… Your UCP government, working hard to ensure ordinary Albertans don’t have to bear the cost of all those pesky seniors, AISH recipients & now it appears diabetics as well. You might say those people ARE ‘ordinary Albertans’. Not in the UCP’s lexicon!

    • Linda, this is such an astute comment.
      Seems to me the UCP thought it had found another small group it could push around with impunity. They’ve already run roughshod over the 20,000 Albertans living in long term care and the 70,000 Albertans on AISH, who needs to worry about the reaction of a puny 4000 Albertans on IPTP?
      What they forgot was this 4000 is a subset of a much larger number. 386,000 Albertans have diabetes and they weren’t prepared to let the UCP dismantle a critical government program.
      Furthermore, diabetes crosses party lines. No amount of ideology (cost savings! choice!) was going to make the UCP’s decision palatable.

  10. Carlos says:

    Has there been any implementation by this government that was not a debacle and where they have not backed out of?
    I do not remember. They are so concerned about meeting statistical numbers or surpass them that do not even know what they are implementing and then when the wave against is monstrous they back off and go check something else to cut. That is the UCP strategy – cut and burn.
    In a couple of days we will have their annual major show and this time it will be around another rigged election that will bring some more scandals and more internal party fighting for the top crown. Either way we either continue Jason Kenney’s Alberta Great again or some else like Shandro or Madu or Lagrange or Salvage and we are back in the black hole. We will know soon enough.

    • Carlos, the UCP government has implemented some hard core conservative policies (like cutting the corporate tax rate, fighting the federal carbon tax, etc) with impunity. Likely because these policies fit with the conservative ideology that many Albertans still believe in. However you’re right, when their policies cross party lines, (eg mining the eastern slopes, attacking doctors and other healthcare professionals in the middle of a pandemic), then the UCP has had to backtrack. It’s as if Albertans will accept whatever Kenney proposes until they realize it negatively impacts them. It’s only when they personally feel the pain that they complain, then the offensive policy is “paused” and (hopefully) goes away somewhere to die.
      It’s exhausting living under this wretched government.
      Hopefully this will change next spring.

  11. lungta mtn says:

    Possible relevant info pertaining to the post.
    https://pressprogress.ca/jason-kenney-quietly-cut-his-energy-war-rooms-funding-by-two-thirds-using-a-sneaky-accounting-trick/
    I hesitate to comment further but as i have no repertoire of musical spam
    which surely belongs on a different site , let simple facts suffice.
    (possibly just give dwayne your email)

    • Sharon says:

      So do we believe that Steve Allen only wanted to be paid $1? The accounting of this Posse is astounding. Good thing they work for the government because they wouldn’t last in the private sector.

      • Sharon, perhaps Steve Allan was embarrassed to be associated with an inquiry that included “research” from the likes of Tammy Nemeth who claimed a transnational progressive movement was attempting to overthrow modern western industrial capitalist society by infiltrating the United Nations, the World Bank, universities and corporations. (Sorry that was sarcastic).
        The whole thing was a breach of the rules of procedural fairness, a colossal waste of time and money, and yielded only one decent finding, namely that the War Room was a joke.
        But it was one of Kenney’s promises made, promises delivered. The fact that it was utterly useless appears to be beside the point.

    • Lungta mtn: I remember when Kenney announced this cut last May. Lori Williams, a political scientist, said it would have been hard for Kenney to justify keeping the War Room at full budget when he was cutting everything from healthcare to education due to low oil revenues and high covid expenditures.
      I must admit I’m shocked that funding earmarked to reduce carbon emissions was diverted to fund the governments lobby group whose sole purpose is to increase Alberta’s carbon footprint but gaining more support for the energy sector.
      Here’s the link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-canadian-energy-centre-budget-cut-pandemic-covid-19-1.5515559

  12. Bernadine Blasetti says:

    The fact that the Kenny gov’t gives and then takes away so readily is horrible. My diabetic friends recently said they could not afford to pay for insulin pumps and I was appalled that it was not covered by Alberta Health. And then this debacle occurred and another one and on and on. And some Albertan’s want them to continue governing? Insane!

    • Bernadine, a friend of mine was door knocking for the NDP the other day. She met someone who was a staunch UCP supporter who said this debacle was the last straw and they would never vote for the UCP again. I suspect many UCP MLAs got similar messages from their supporters which led Kenney to “pause” it 10 days after he announced it.
      I just wish the whole thing had transpired a month ago, it might have caused quite a few Kenney supporters to vote against him in his leadership review.

  13. GoinFawr says:

    “9 million dollars that wouldn’t go towards making things easier for oil companies, or benefit a private insurance group like Vital Partners? Outrageous! Not to mention Chump Change!” – said an unidentified spokesperson

    • GoinFawr: unidentified spokesperson has a point. He must be talking to that other unidentified spokesperson who said these oil companies and private insurance companies need all the help they can get, let the people buy their own blankety-blank insulin pumps.

  14. Jerrymacgp says:

    Insulin pump therapy gives people with Type I Diabetes better quality of life and better control of their disease than traditional intermittent insulin injections. It more closely mimics the function of a healthy human pancreas. The result is fewer costly hospitalizations for diabetic emergencies, fewer complications and lower overall costs to the health care system. Why anyone would think it prudent to tinker with this is completely bizarre and unknowable.

    I had some small involvement with the initial implementation of this programme back in 2012. AHS was responsible for designating certain diabetes education clinics as “approving clinics” for the programme: individuals needing a pump needed to attend training and be signed off by one of those clinics in order to qualify for the pump to be covered. There were strict criteria put in place. At the time, I was a team lead for the AHS North Zone portfolio responsible for the Grande Prairie Diabetes Clinic — which became a designated approving clinic for adults, but not for children, the only one in North Zone — and so sat in on a number of Zone- and provincial-level meetings when all of this was set up, and works with clinic staff to get them ready. At the time, Alberta Blue Cross was set up as the payment mechanism for pumps, even for those individuals without Blue Cross coverage. AHS’ role was on the education, monitoring and certification side. I don’t know if that’s still the case.

    • Jerrymacgp: thanks for this very helpful background. From what I’ve read the IPTP is still under the umbrella of AHS (although I don’t know how involved AHS is at this point).
      The fact that neither AHS nor any endocrinologists specializing in the field of diabetes offered a glowing quote in the press release was telling.
      Furthermore, it’s unclear to me what Diabetes Canada was told about the cancellation of IPTP because their quote in the press release indicates they thought this would improve Albertans access to diabetes supplies, meds and devices. They don’t appear to have been aware that the cost of these improvements had shifted from the government to diabetic Albertans. Something is not right here.

  15. Leila Keith says:

    What a shame! We need to get rid of Kenney who clearly does not have the average albertan in mind…diabetics don’t vote for this idiot!

    • Leila, I couldn’t agree more!

    • GoinFawr says:

      Well, Leila, the little carbuncle imploded under the weight of his own purulence, so it looks like it’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ on the getting rid of Kenney front. Unfortunately that’s still only a victory in the ‘Dubya’ kinda way, because the UCP are still there, and they somehow have even worse on hand to replace their last disaster as leader, as we will soon be finding out.

  16. Dave says:

    Well no one ever really believed Kenney and crew were very compassionate. More recently, not that many believed they were that competent either. So I suppose this just confirms what many people already believe about and expect from this UCP government.

    However, perhaps I should add out of touch to my list as well. Dismissing or ignoring having to to hundreds of dollars for Blue Cross coverage in order to get what was previously provided by the government is not a good response. Maybe the Premier and his health minister are well enough remunerated that this cost is not significant, but it can be to many lower income Albertans and unfortunately having serious health issues like this often does tend to negatively affect income.

    It seems just a few years ago Kenney was travelling across the province in a big blue truck, in an effort to connect with and appear to be in touch with regular Albertans. How things have changed.

    • Dave, yesterday was the biggest change of all.
      51.4% vote yes in Kenney’s leadership review. It squeaks across Kenney’s ridiculously low threshold of 50%+1, but Kenney does the right thing and says he’s stepping down. Then today he announces there will be no interim leader, he’s staying on until a new leader is elected.
      This is going to be interesting because as the deposed-but-still-premier he’s a lame duck, and yet he has the power to make all sorts of decisions and throw his weight around.
      This guy will cling to power at all costs. I predict even more chaos within the UCP.

      • GoinFawr says:

        stepping down is just about the only right thing Kenney has done since being elected to office, and I mean any office he’s ever held.

        Have King, T.Lich, Barber, Rex Murphy, MPP Randy Hillier or a jarred Hitler’s brain been nominated as candidates for the UCP leadership race yet?

  17. Carlos says:

    Well I have to announce the fall of Jason Kenney – Please go back to Ottawa and fight Poilievre because both should disappear.
    Jason says he is very proud of the work his team has done – obviously his standards are way below what I even believed he had.
    Good Riddance and please do not come back under any circumstances
    Now get ready for the UCP major circus

    • Linda says:

      Carlos, have to say I for one was somewhat surprised by Kenney’s resigning, as earlier comments made by him indicated he’d stick around if all he got was ‘50% plus 1’. Now the jockeying for power begins & given the history of some of the possible contenders the UCP may well see the UCP breaking up with various factions returning to their roots. So possibly a revival of a PC party, a Wild Rose party, an Alberta Party etc. At best I see an uneasy alliance with the prize of re-election dangled like a juicy carrot for this bunch of donkeys. Hopefully Albertans won’t be fooled into thinking the UCP deserves a second chance given the abysmal track record to date.

      • Carlos says:

        You are right Linda and as far as the UCP party, I will be more than happy seeing it broken in as many pieces as possible. Clearly all together they are a disaster and so it is time to stay away and not interfering in our lives.

      • Guy says:

        Linda, I had a similar reaction as you did to Kenney’s announcement. To resort to a tired cliche, ‘You could have knocked me over with a feather’ when I heard that Kenney resigned when the vote count was revealed. After apparently receiving enough support to clear the bar for victory, that he himself had set at such a pitifully low level, he then declined to step over it. To me it seems totally out of character with everything else that he has done since he has been in office.

        The only explanation that I can think of for this is that Kenney’s true backers, who may or may not be citizens of Alberta but certainly do not represent the best interest of the majority of citizens of Alberta, decided that the next provincial election would be unwinnable with Kenney as leader and instructed him to step down if he did not receive a convincing majority vote. Better, for them as they see it, to regroup behind a new leader and use the remaining time before the next election to attempt to win back the voters that Kenney had so clearly alienated.

        Truly, I don’t quite know how to feel about this result. The next provincial election is what matters most now, but until then I will take some small satisfaction in knowing that Kenney was wrong when he declared that last summer would be the ‘Best Summer Ever’ in Alberta. I have to believe that this upcoming summer will be infinitely better since Kenney will no longer be Premier. It’s kinda like shootin’ fish in a barr’l as us (okay, maybe only some of us) Albertans like to say.

    • Dwayne says:

      Carlos: I think an analogy would be like alkaline batteries. When their power is diminished, and there is very little power left, they are disposed of. Then they must be replaced.

  18. Linda says:

    Guy, I too don’t know what to think. I guess all we can do is continue to watch our very own made in Alberta soap opera:) I read Braid’s columns regarding possible contenders for both the interim & prospective new leader of the UCP. Apparently Kenney may have stepped down as premier but that does not eliminate him from taking another run at the position under UCP rules. I never knew our tax dollars would be used to provide entertainment in addition to the usual government services. Possibly said service could be eliminated when next they are searching for ways to reduce expenditures.

  19. Carlos says:

    This is a good article about Jason Kenney – finally someone remembers not just the pandemic but the rest of his circus

    https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/jason-kenney-through-a-glass-darkly

  20. GoinFawr says:

    Since Kenney has had to step down after turning the UCP monster he created into an even more horrible grotesque that will have to be shoved back down through the hell portal from which UCP types conjure up their misanthropic policies… since then, what does that mean is actually left of his ‘UCP’? Ans. NOTHING

    Sure, they might appoint/elect a new ‘UCP’ leader before the next provincial election, but since the party was created by Kenney, his stepping down as premier means it (last election notwithstanding) has now utterly failed and needs rebuilding from the ground up. But this year has shown just how really loony ‘the base’ actually expect their pols to be, and KENNEY didn’t come even close.

    No, from now on the UCP will be looking to places like Coutts for their candidates.

  21. Sylvia aspin says:

    I am a mother of a juvenile diabetic. He was diagnosed at seven and now he is 12 we count on his insulin pump every day to keep him alive. I was on the Townhall meeting last Thursday many people got kicked off or didn’t receive the phone call. It was not with the Ministry of health it was with two insurance brokers. All of our questions weren’t answered except for that I’m looking at my families costs going from zero to $1700 a year to access insulin pump therapy.

    There’s no indication from the communication that we’ve had as a diabetic community with that representatives from the Ministry of health that there will be any change to the plan. They apologized for the confusion it still means that my family in order to meet my families medical needs will have to have three medical benefit policies. Last year my out-of-pocket expenses were $6000. This year I can expect to see an additional $2000 added onto my out of cost yearly expenses to keep my children alive and productive members of society.

    • Sylvia thank you for sharing your story. The Health minister promised in the Legislature to reach out to EVERY Alberta impacted by his insulin pump decision. It’s clear that this was another empty promise.
      Events are moving so quickly that it’s easy to lose track of these important stories. I really hope the press and the NDP opposition stay on this one because this is just wrong.

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