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Doubts over health insurance plan


The NHSS was meant to be reviewed in 2012

The NHSS was meant to be reviewed in 2012

The NHSS was meant to be reviewed in 2012

Tánaiste Joan Burton has cast serious doubt over the future of the Coalition's controversial Universal Health Insurance plan.

Ms Burton yesterday warned that previous UHI models being considered involved "very high charges" for families and that is of concern for the Labour Party.

"We need to look for a model that is efficient, effective and good value for money for individuals and families," Ms Burton added.

The Tanaiste has in recent days attempted to distance her party from the UHI proposals, which are being developed now by Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

Coalition sources say Mr Varadkar is also cooling towards the idea and is now developing a watered-down proposal which will exclude certain areas such as drugs and primary care.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Varadkar denied that there are differences between him and the Taoiseach over the type of UHI model to pursue.

But Mr Varadkar said a "big bang" approach was not the right way forward and small steps needed to be taken.

"There is a total commitment from both parties in Government that we want to achieve universal health care," Mr Varadkar said.

During the week, the Taoiseach said the Government is fully committed to rolling out UHI.

Irish Independent