Sunday 26 February 2017

Straight-talking Leo must come clean on UHI cost

Sara Burke

Sara Burke

Health Minister Leo Varadkar
Health Minister Leo Varadkar

Health minister Leo Varadkar is known for his straight-talking. But he is not being totally candid in relation to the cost of his own government's Universal Health Insurance (UHI) policy. He is choosing not to publish detailed costings presented to him on May 21, 2015, which shows the Government's model is overly expensive.

The ESRI costings, seen by the Irish Independent, reveal that Government's flagship health project of UHI as promised in the Programme for Government would cost between 3.5pc and 10.7pc more than the current system.

Critically, they find that the main drivers of the high costs would be the insurance companies' profits and the fact that there would be multiple payers for healthcare in the form of competing health insurance companies.

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