Speaking in the Seanad today about the Government’s proposed new universal health insurance scheme, Senator Ronan Mullen said that suggestions that the proposed scheme be framed on the Dutch healthcare system could prove financially disastrous to hard-pressed Irish families. He said:
“In 2010, a Dutch family with a combined gross income of under €50,000 paid almost €11,500 in health costs. The reality is that the Minister is speculating on the cost of the new system to Irish families. Are we to trust this Minister, who cannot even control the current health budget, who calls a €200 million HSE budget overrun for 2013 a ‘great achievement’?”.
Senator Mullen said there was a real possibility that the health care proposals will end up costing the tax-payer an obscene amount of money in set-up fees alone. He said:
“This type of scheme is a very complicated undertaking. Will we have another Irish Water scenario where the gravy train of public money flows into the pockets of a few in exorbitant consultancy costs? I am not surprised at the level of public unease about these proposals.”
“The fact that the time limit for public consultation is May 28th is surprising given the complexities and the lack of information about how the scheme will work. Nonetheless, I would encourage tax-payers to participate in it to ensure that this new plan doesn’t become another form of hidden taxation on people who are already struggling to make ends meet”, Senator Mullen concluded.