We've had six years of cuts and tax hikes but medical card savings may be the final straw
The local and European elections were mid-term protest votes by an electorate fatigued by six years of austerity. The public is now an anti-austerity alliance, in a sense. The largest single issue voters mentioned when answering exit polls was the review of discretionary medical cards by the HSE.
This Government has never been able to control health spending. Even as other areas of government expenditure were cut, the Department of Health's budget required supplementary budgets for each year this Government has been in office.
You can view this outcome in two ways. One way is to say, 'look, the health service is under incredible pressure to do more with less, and if it overruns its budgets then so be it'.