3. It Will Improve Health Status

It stands to reason that if we reduce mortality, we also improve people's disease state. On a personal—and, yes, anecdotal—note, I've seen this in action. When I finished my undergraduate degree I, like a big boy, dutifully went down to Blue Cross to get drug coverage. Made sense. Seemed simple.

It was then that I learned what a pre-existing condition was. As I had severe asthma, I was simply unable to buy coverage, at any cost. So, I went from being a stable asthmatic with coverage from the student plan at university to uncontrolled in no time flat. Between graduation and the end of that summer I ended up in the ER multiple times, when I had not been there in years.

In Body Count:The human cost of financial barriers to prescription medications, the authors found that "70,000 older Canadians (55+) suffer avoidable deterioration in their health status every year, and as many as 12,000 Canadians with cardiovascular disease aged 40+ require overnight hospitalization" as a direct result of not having drug coverage.