Copper fastening the two tier health system in this country

Leo-VaradkarIn a statement, People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, has reiterated his condemnation of Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, for waging a campaign of fear on those who do not have private health insurance. Today 30th April is the deadline for people to sign up for private health insurance and avoid a “late signup fee”.  The Lifetime Community Rating will penalise people, over 34 years of age, who miss the deadline.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The actions by the Minister are quite frankly a scandal. He is engaging in scare tactics and acting like a henchman of the private health insurance companies. This is absolutely disgraceful; the Minister for Health who is responsible for the public health system in this country is acting as a tout for private health insurers. The Minister is copper fastening the two tier health system that has emerged in this country.

“The Lifetime Community Rating scheme discriminates against older people. People who are over the age of 34 will pay a 2% penalty if they sign up late, a 50 year old will pay 32% and people over 69 will pay 70%. This is a campaign of fear which is being waged by the Minister for Health in the name of private health insurers. 

“Private health insurance is outrageously over priced as it is in this country. Some of the most basic plans range from 394 to just under 1,500 per year. How are people on low incomes or struggling with mortgage arrears and property taxes, supposed to pay these fees? Instead of trying to promote private health insurers the Minister should concentrate on improving the public health system, which has continued to be a basket case under his watch.

“I am calling for the Minister for Health to make a statement explaining to the people of this country why he is waging a campaign of fear upon the population”.