Sunday 18 March 2018

A disgraceful attack on society's most defenceless

An across-the-board €50 annual medical card levy would hurt society's most vulnerable members yet again, believes Celia Larkin

Ever get that sense of deja vu? You know, that funny feeling you get that somehow you've seen all this before? Well, guess what? You have. No, you're not going mad. Yes, there has been a change of Government.

And no, you're not going to wake up and find that it's all been a bad dream (more's the pity). The Government, or more precisely the new Government, is talking about putting a levy on the medical card. We're not talking a few pence. We're not talking about a levy on some medical card holders. We're talking about an across-the-board levy of €50 per annum. Reminds one of the old definition of madness as the practice of repeatedly doing the same thing while somehow expecting a different result.

Of all the things to lash such an across-the-board levy on. The medical card. It's outrageous. Not only is it outrageous, but it makes you wonder if the Government learned anything from the painful public experience of the previous administration. You would have thought nobody could forget the sight of elderly folk marching, limping and being wheeled towards the Dail back in 2008 to protest against losing their medical cards. Yet somehow, long before its first year is completed, this administration is ready to strike -- again -- against the most vulnerable, financially and health wise.

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