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5/02/2006

means testing is now not a PAP promise

Boon Wan has said that he is putting the means testing on hold. There are many practical reasons that have yet to be sorted out and if it is too cumbersome, he might not implement it. I hope he remembers that he has cautioned people from spending lavishly on healthcare, that prudence with their money is very important. People should be very careful to have enough for that rainy day, or days. Nobody knows how much is enough when such things are concerned. The other issue that Boon Wan might want to look into is the concept and policies on how to charge for medicare. Can medicare be priced the way a tv or a car be priced? Is the value of life of a young man different from an old man, a worker different from a millionaire? Should they be charged differently in a government/public hospital when everyone is assumed to be the same? Should people be given more choices on how to spread their little savings in their CPF to pay for medicare? Should the govt insist on how much people should pay and dictate the choices for them?

4 comments:

The Void Deck said...

While means testing is not all that evil in theory as it prevents the abuse of the system such that those in "genunine need" are not deprived, still, hopefully, the PAP can be more open and consultative about their means testing plan. An alternative voice is even more important in parliament now. Choice and options. The WP might have hit the right notes this GE.

redbean said...

in principle, means testing is useful to prevent abuses or freeloaders.

in practice it is very difficult to manage. a 3 roomer may be richer than a 5 roomer. an unemployed may be richer than the employed. a household income of $4000 may be worst of than a household of $2000.

in the case of medicare, no one will want to freeload. and a thrifty and prudent person who does not want to spend his money wantonly is not a freeloader. just like someone who does not mind eating plain porridge everyday is not taking advantage of anyone.

but we must not be distracted by the mission of hospitals and the role of govt to look after the sick. providing adequate medicare at the lowest possible cost and a range of higher and more luxurious medical services for people to make their own choices should be the issue.

why should people begrudge others who just want basic medicare? this is very silly.

and every citizen should be allowed to enjoy the lowest quality/cost of medical services irrespective of their income. the discrimination should be on those who choose to want better services and willing to pay.

redbean said...

should govt schools bar children from landed homes as the school fees are heavily subsidised? or should these children be made to pay higher school fees subject to means testing?

or rich children should pay higher tuition fees in tertiary institutions based on their affordability? when would this end?

kwayteowman said...

"a household income of $4000 may be worst of than a household of $2000"

The KTM doesn't buy this claim. The $4000 household can jolly well adjust their lifestyles to their changing circumstances. Nobody should be "guaranteed" a certain standard of living. People better learn to live within their means.

"or should these children be made to pay higher school fees subject to means testing?"

Happens all the time in the US colleges. It's called financial aid.