The long-awaited National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill was published last week and the majority of MPs cheered. It was reminiscent of Nero, fiddling while Rome burned.

The bill is a perfect example of state overreach, and also illustrates the strange phenomenon of legislation that is written and does not get close to addressing its express purpose. Phrases such as “aims to achieve sustainable and affordable universal access to quality health-care services” appear in the bill, without any reference to how an initiative that has failed to provide clarity on its potential cost for 10 years can somehow be considered affordable and sustainable.

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