'FREE' healthcare funded by compulsory health insurance is 'double taxation' on citizens - which could cost families €3,000 per year in insurance costs, the Dail heard today.
The draft health plans, unveiled by government yesterday, will give huge power to the health insurance companies, Fianna Fail finance spokesman, Michael McGrath, said.
He said the government plans could cost an average family of two adults and two children as much as €3,000 per year in health insurance costs.
The FF TD called for a new system health of care based on need fully funded by the taxpayer.
He also said that spiralling health insurance costs and the reduction in tax relief were forcing to abandon insurance at present - raising serious questions about the realism of the government plans for a new system by 2019.
"You're driving people out of the market. You're pulling in opposite directions," Deputy McGrath said.
Replying for the government Education Minister Ruairi Quinn defended the draft health reform plan. He said since 40pc of people in Ireland had health insurance it was wise to build upon this model.