Free GP care for the under 5’s – regardless of income.

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So once again the State will be paying benefits to the affluent and wealthy, in the form of free GP care for all children under 5, regardless of their means. What is it with the pattern in this country of not giving benefits to the needy and those who could not otherwise afford it, but giving them to everyone- and so adding to the drain on the State’s  coffers ?. It is the same with child benefits and with benefits for the elderly and the travel pass and, of course, medical cards for the over 70’s, before these were controversially clawed back.

What is wrong with means testing? Other countries have learned from experience and are pulling back from the concept of universality, but Ireland continues to be pushing ruinously in the other direction. It is not as if we are a super wealthy country which can afford this sort of benefits for all mentality and what does it say about our sense of priority and justice, that we would take medical care from the confirmed sick and elderly and gave it to the young and generally healthy – and to the wealthy? Strange.

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