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NDP draws lines on federal dental-care plan: Won’t bend any further, Singh warns

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party was willing to be flexible on the first phase of the Liberal government’s dental-care plan, but in future the New Democrats will bend no further.The government agreed to bring in a federal dental plan for uninsured low- and middle-income families as part of a supply and confidence agreement with the NDP.In exchange for fulfilling its vision for dental care, among other priorities, the NDP agreed not to trigger an election before 2025.

Trudeau to unveil new affordability plan during Liberal caucus retreat The agreement stipulates that the government deliver dental care to children under age 12 who meet the criteria by the end of this year.Singh acknowledged in an interview that the timeline was ambitious, which is why the NDP was amenable to an interim measure. “That flexibility allowed for the government to deliver that in a flexible way.”Rather than launch a full-fledged program, the government opted to deliver cheques directly to qualifying families.

The new benefit provides up to $650 for each eligible child, and is based on their family’s income.To access the money, families with a household income of less than $90,000 need to attest that their child does not have access to private dental coverage, they will have out-of-pocket dental expenses they plan to use the money for, and they will be able to show receipts.The government announced the benefit would be a “first stage,” while a more comprehensive program is developed.Singh said his party agreed to the benefit plan on condition the full program be ready for the next phase of qualifying patients by the end of next year.The program is supposed to extend to all kids under 18, people with disabilities and seniors by the end of.

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