Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis’ refusal to state clearly what the PLP would do to fund National Health Insurance (NHI) if elected continues a pattern of waffling.
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has proposed a two percent salary reduction to fund the scheme.
Davis told The Nassau Guardian he would “instinctively” repeal the tax if elected, but left the door open for keeping the tax in place.
Speaking outside the Ministry of Health, Sands said, “To listen to the leader of the opposition waffle in his inimitable way, in his characteristic way, to say something but say nothing at the same time and so anybody listening to that interview or reading the substance would say ‘what did he just say?’”
It is estimated that employees will pay two percent of their salaries to a maximum of $42 per month, with the employer paying the remainder of the premium.
The scheme is expected to cost $100 million per year, according to Sands.
“I find it interesting and somewhat disingenuous that the Progressive Liberal Party, which would’ve promulgated an NHI plan and then interestingly refused to say how you could pay for it except to say we may have to do this, we may have to do that, we may have to do the next thing,” the minister said.
On Tuesday, Davis claimed that under the PLP’s plan, a tax would not have been necessary.
However, former Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez foreshadowed a tax, declaring at one point that taxes would be better than death.
The Christie administration introduced the enrollment and primary care phase of NHI on May 1, 2017.
It did so with no public insurer in place and no known means of funding the program.
The former government originally committed $24 million to catastrophic care, but soon said it recognized the need to increase it to as much as $30 million.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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