THE Department of Health released its latest white paper on National Health Insurance (NHI) last month, introducing the scheme as one to "pool funds to provide quality, affordable … health services … irrespective of … socioeconomic status".It says the NHI is in line with the constitutional mandate of the government "to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve … the right to access to healthcare".It is unfortunate, then, that not only will this policy not achieve its stated goals, but it will lead to ruinous unintended consequences.Moreover, it is beyond belief that the government thinks it can fund this new monumental expense. The Davis tax committee acknowledged last August that to implement the NHI, "the tax to domestic product (GDP) ratio will need to rise quite significantly". In the report, the department acknowledges the government’s preference for a broad tax base and low tax rate, rather than a narrow tax base and high tax ra...

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