MK Adatto slams Litzman over proposal to raise health taxes

By
December 23, 2010 04:03

UTJ MK's plan to add geriatric nursing care to the basket of health services would require a 0.5% tax increase.

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YA’ACOV LITZMAN

YA’ACOV LITZMAN. (photo credit: (Ariel Jerozolimski)

Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman intends to push for the raising of health taxes by 0.5 percent to add geriatric nursing care to the basket of health services.

Speaking on Wednesday at a Tel Aviv health conference, Litzman said that for more than 20 years, coverage of geriatric nursing care has been on the agenda, but no money was found to carry it out.

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Kadima MK Dr. Rachel Adatto reacted by attacking Litzman, saying that he had “chosen the easy way out, when his aim justifies the means. His choice of raising taxes harms citizens who already pay higher health taxes than in most countries.”

Raising health taxes to advance reform is a “dangerous precedent that in the future will allow setting addition taxes to promote other reforms. Only this year, the amount of money allocated to expand the basket was cut significantly when the deputy minister decided to include subsidized dental care for children up to the age of eight,” said Adatto, a gynecologist and lawyer by training and a frequent critic of Litzman.

Other budget sources must be found to cover geriatric nursing care, she concluded, instead of raising health taxes and citizens shouldering the burden alone, she said. Health taxes already account for almost 6% of gross wages.

Asked to comment, the Health Ministry said it was “considering the possibility of giving MK Adatto health economics courses to make it clear to her that major changes and reforms are carried out, even if they involve raising taxes by a small amount,” as they reduce residents’ expenditures on their own geriatric nursing care.

“It is a progressive tax,” the ministry said.


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