Why do we pay PAP ministers millions of dollars for Medishield Life when you can get it free from SDP?

January 31, 2015
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The Medishield Life Bill that was just passed in Parliament contained some really good points. What’s interesting is its uncanny resemblance to the SDP’s National Healthcare Plan published in 2012.$CUT$

Question: Why do PAP Ministers demand that they be paid millions of dollars (and then appoint a committee to do the work) when you can get similar results for free from the SDP?

It is noteworthy that while PM Lee Hsien Loong says that the opposition has not articulated an alternative plan, the Government implements ideas that the SDP proposed.

On risk-pooling

SDP: The individual contribution to the National Health Investment Fund works as in an insurance system, where individual risks are pooled.

PAP: Everyone shares in the national risk pool and plays a part supporting pooled healthcare costs.

On universal healthcare

SDP: Everything we discuss about healthcare reform must spring from and be underpinned by this fundamental principle of universal, affordable coverage.

PAP: The extension of lifelong, universal coverage and better benefits for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.

On coverage of pre-existing illnesses

SDP: Under the current system a large number of pre-existing illnesses are excluded.

PAP: MediShield Life will provide universal and basic coverage for all, including for those with pre-existing conditions.

On catastrophic illnesses

SDP: For a long time, Singaporeans know that healthcare is extremely expensive and many, if not most, find it unaffordable – especially if one, or one’s loved one, meets with a catastrophic or chronic illness.

PAP: Singaporeans do worry about “catastrophic” bills — bills so large as to cause financial stress to them or their families.

On helping the elderly

SDP: For home care for the non-ambulant chronic or elderly sick, most of the organisations currently charge the families whatever fees not recovered from MOH subsidies based on the means test.

PAP: Given that premiums increase with age, many Singaporeans felt that it was necessary to look at ways to help the elderly cope with premiums.

On out-of-pocket payment

SDP: There will be instances when the out-of-pocket payment by an individual can reach quite substantial amounts.

PAP: We have examined the impact of MediShield Life in reducing out-of-pocket payment.

But despite all this, the SDP still cannot support the current bill. We’ll explain why in our next post.