Seanad debates

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Commencement Matters

Universal Health Insurance

Photo of Paul BradfordPaul Bradford (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister for his reply. I note he has not yet outlined any timetable. However, I know a lot of work remains to be undertaken.

A concept of health insurance is obviously at the core of the Minister's thinking. The Minister outlined in his reply that he has taken steps to make health insurance more affordable. That is debatable. One such step was the introduction of the new levy, as a result of which younger people have been almost forced to take out health insurance. How does this tie in with the concept of the universal health insurance philosophy? Are we now trying to bring about universal health insurance by forcing everybody, by way of financial penalty or levy, to take out private health insurance with the current set of providers? How does this tie in with the Minister's longer term philosophy of a more generic national scheme? I presume it is the Minister's expectation that, with the new levy system, the percentage being covered by current private health insurance providers will increase substantially over the next number of years. Is the Minister using this as a partial solution to provide overall universal health insurance?


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