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Ralph Recto: Universal Health Care bill ‘better’ after Senate amendments

Oct 8, 2018 @ 18:16

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on October 4 said the proposed Universal Health Care bill is now even better following amendments in the Senate.

The Batangas politiko said the Senate already finished meeting with various government agencies like the Department of Health (DOH), Philhealth, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

Among the amendments in the bill are:

• Universal PhilHealth coverage for all Filipinos, whether you are a paying or non-paying member;

• Additional benefits for paying members or direct contributors, while ensuring that current benefits of sponsored or non-paying contributors shall not be reduced;

• For every increase in contribution, there should be corresponding increase in benefits;

• PhilHealth ID shall not be required to avail of benefits;

• Identify new fund sources to further improve PhilHealth benefits, reduce patient’s out-of-pocket expenses and incentivize the LGUs to improve their health facilities and equipment. These fresh funds will come from:

– Incremental sin tax collections;
– 50% excise tax from sweetened beverages;
– 50% of National Government share from PAGCOR income;
– 50% of PCSO Charity Fund net of documentary stamp tax payments.

“After weeks of discussions, going through every chapter and section of the Universal Health Care bill, we are proud to say that we have come up with a better measure that will grant every Filipino immediate PhilHealth coverage, with better access to quality yet affordable health services, in both government and private hospitals,” Recto said.

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