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 Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn

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PostSubject: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:20 am

The Minister said on Morning Ireland this morning that the upper one third of the over-70s would not be entitled to the medical card and that two-thirds would still be. A numbers game alright. More people will fall under the threshold for means-testing after this budget. This is the kind of the thing that could get very complicated for the Government now. What happens if they have to change the details of the Budget resolution covering this? Can other resolutions be overturned or re-tuned to 'work through the anomalies'?

Was this measure simply a means of spreading the pain or is it justified in any way? Is it justified to tax rich old folks or should it be the case that reaching that age you are entitled to certain benefits irregardless of your wealth? Is this the type of slide into trampling over the marginalised and peripheralised that we will see more and more as more and more emphasis might be thrown into belt-tightening? Age Action Ireland will be busy over the next while http://www.ageaction.ie/

Here is the report from the RTE website

Quote :
Confusion heightens over medical card
Thursday, 16 October 2008 07:22

As the Dáil prepares to resume the debate on the Budget later today, public confusion continues over the proposal to remove automatic entitlement to medical cards for the over-70s.

Age Action reported receiving a large number of calls yesterday from 'angry and confused' people affected by the move.

As the political fall-out from the Budget continues, the plan to means test medical cards for the over-70s is continuing to cause controversy, with Age Action reporting a large number of calls from people confused about the eligibility criteria, or just angry about the plan.

During last night's Dáil debate, Labour's Jan O'Sullivan claimed that the cut-off point for qualifying for a card was being halved under guidelines published by the HSE.

But this was denied by the Department of Health, which says the threshold to qualify for a card is €201 and 50% per person per week in net income in other words, after tax and costs like rent or mortgage payments and on-going medical expenses.

Out of the 140,000 people who currently hold non-means tested cards, about 15,000 people are expected to come in under this threshold and qualify for full medical cards; another 35,000 will get GP-only cards and 70,000 will get a new €400 a year Health Support Payment.

The Department says only 20,000 people who currently have a non-means test card will end up with nothing.


But, confusion persists, and the controversy shows no sign of dying down.
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1016/budget.html
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:33 am

Harney has to go. Nothing will be solved in Health as long as she is there and the economic philosophy she slavishly adheres to is discredited beyond repair. She has nothing to offer public life (a concept she never really believed in given her blind belief in the "private" solution to everything) and the country, and the health service in particular would benefit immensely from her immediate retirement. Lenihan seems to agree.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/harney-to-blame-for-card-fiasco-lenihan-1499587.html

Because he has dropped her in it big-time
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:50 am

from Slim's indo link above

Independent wrote:
In a new twist, it was claimed last night that stricter eligibility criteria are also being imposed on the 140,000 non-means-tested medical-card holders, who are now in danger of losing the benefit.

Labour Party spokeswoman on health Jan O'Sullivan said the threshold for a couple applying for a means-tested medical card in this group is €298.

This is only half the amount a couple who are over 70 are allowed to earn under normal medical-card eligibility criteria, she claimed.

The normal cut-off point is €596.50 for a husband and wife where one of them is applying for a full medical card.

Details are becoming clearer each day now from this budget and it'll be interesting to see what unfolds. It's likely that Harney is behind this one so and given the noises about backbenchers fuming, Fianna Fáil should try to quell it rapidly.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:05 pm

hang on, lenihan is the minister for finance, he is the one announcing this in the budget.

if he didn't want to do it (as he is implying that harney forced him) then he shouldnt have done it. the control was with him. if he is unable to stand up to another minister in a recession then he shouldn't be minister for finance.

talk about passing the buck!
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:10 pm

zakalwe wrote:
hang on, lenihan is the minister for finance, he is the one announcing this in the budget.

if he didn't want to do it (as he is implying that harney forced him) then he shouldnt have done it. the control was with him. if he is unable to stand up to another minister in a recession then he shouldn't be minister for finance.

talk about passing the buck!

I agree Tony. Lenihan was just on the radio confirming that this was a Government decision. He is Minister for Finance. The whole Government, including the Green Party, is responsible for the budget and for the priorities and choices in it. Fianna Fail and the PDs are largely responsible for it having to be so savage.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:12 pm

zakalwe wrote:
hang on, lenihan is the minister for finance, he is the one announcing this in the budget.

if he didn't want to do it (as he is implying that harney forced him) then he shouldnt have done it. the control was with him. if he is unable to stand up to another minister in a recession then he shouldn't be minister for finance.

talk about passing the buck!

It is not a budgetary measure. That is what he is saying. It is a Health matter, not a Finance one. He seems to know that this is politically toxic and is putting the blame where it belongs, on Harney. The FF backbench reaction to this will be extremely negative, given the amount of anger it has sparked already. In light of the fact that many over-70s who hold the medical card and gave up their insurance cannot get that insurance back, Lenihan moved quickly to stick the blame for this fiasco on its progenitor. It was classic Harney. Deny public entitlement and force them to pay. Abysmal performance from an abysmal Minister.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:27 pm

so lenihan had no control over this at all?

and had a gun at his head to announce it with the budget?

pull the other one. he saw the backlash from a rediculous measure and is trying to pin it on someone else.

1. he wants to be taoiseach at some stage and the medical card fiasco has ended that.
2. he genuinely didn't want this measure but was forced into it by harney.
a weak finance minister may have washed with ahern but shouldn't wash now. if he cannot stand his ground then he belongs in a peripheral ministry.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:33 pm

zakalwe wrote:
so lenihan had no control over this at all?

and had a gun at his head to announce it with the budget?

pull the other one. he saw the backlash from a rediculous measure and is trying to pin it on someone else.

1. he wants to be taoiseach at some stage and the medical card fiasco has ended that.
2. he genuinely didn't want this measure but was forced into it by harney.
a weak finance minister may have washed with ahern but shouldn't wash now. if he cannot stand his ground then he belongs in a peripheral ministry.

I agree. He should stand his ground, blame it on her, get rid of the measure and move for Harney's removal from Cabinet. The Budget was a disaster in general but the medical card element is political suicide. Harney and her party are washed up anyway. He has nothing to lose
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:51 pm

Is this issue of people having stopped paying insurance because they got the medical card genuine? I can't imagine that I would stop paying at that age, subjecting myself to waiting lists if something went wrong. I think the numbers are likely very small and that it is for the most part a red herring.

However, if it is the case that some people did give up their insurance and can't get it back then they should be helped. Specifically, the insurance companies should all be obliged to take them on as if they had continuous cover to date provided the individuals can prove they had insurance for the relevant period prior to the announcement of the new medical card.

The insurer who had them previously should have to treat them as if there was no break in continuity. An insurer who didn't have them should have to treat them as they would treat somebody switching from a company where they had continuity. It will end up as an indirect tax spread among us all (in the guise of an increased premium) but I think that is more fair than screwing the people who relied on the state and gave up their insurance. Also, if there are as few people in this situation as I suspect, it should cost very little.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:33 pm

There has been some kind of U-turn (on the cut off point for eligibility I think).

What a farrago of mad nonsense. If Government wants to tax the rich, they can increase tax on higher incomes.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:39 pm

Yeah they rose the automatic eligibility to people who earn up to 240 a week which is more than a state pension ? and couples double that. So private paid pension receivers won't now be penalised.. ?

More U-turns ahoy - the next one the over 70s who are left.

Any truth in this fiasco being a smokescreen for the builders bailout do you think? Maybe they're just one-track minded obsessives on the Pin is all.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:01 pm

I think there is a march to LH planned for Wednesday
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:49 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I think there is a march to LH planned for Wednesday

LH ?
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:53 pm

Leinster House presumably.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:52 pm

johnfás wrote:
Leinster House presumably.

As Elvis would say - AhhhhHaw
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:59 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
johnfás wrote:
Leinster House presumably.

As Elvis would say - AhhhhHaw

Thanks Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:03 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Any truth in this fiasco being a smokescreen for the builders bailout do you think? Maybe they're just one-track minded obsessives on the Pin is all.
Maybe I read the Pin too much, but I think it is a possibility.
The savings are so small in comparison to the 1.6bn for the "bail-out".
And it is the kind of thing that can be rowed back easily.

I don't buy into this idea that Harney is solely to blame. All the ministers have to take responsibility on this one, I feel.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:19 pm

Deputy Joe Behan (Wicklow) has left Fianna Fáil over this issue, according to Newstalk.

I wonder how long before he returns?
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:21 pm

Noel O'Flynn will also vote against.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:24 pm

eoinmn wrote:


I don't buy into this idea that Harney is solely to blame. All the ministers have to take responsibility on this one, I feel.

Of course all ministers have to take responsibility for decisions made at the Cabinet level. The principle of collective responsibility does apply to this decision. They are all equally culpable.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:13 pm

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhidcwgbgboj/

A Green T.D. has proposed that the Horse and Greyhound fund of 70 million should be passed over to fund the medical cards. At last a bit of sense. I have been ranting for the last three years about the obscene spending on Greyhound Stadia that have cost tens of millions of euro. These "industries" get more than enough in tax breaks without this Fund. Its time we got our priorities right.

This is one of the more modest efforts, the new stadium at Lifford. Below it is the new A and E unit at my local hospital.







Last edited by cactus flower on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:17 pm

cactus flower wrote:
http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhidcwgbgboj/

A Green T.D. has proposed that the Horse and Greyhound fund of 70 million should be passed over to fund the medical cards. At last a bit of sense. I have been ranting for the last three years about the obscene spending on Greyhound Stadia that have cost tens of millions of euro. These "industries" get more than enough in tax breaks without this Fund. Its time we got our priorities right.
What's a horse and greyhound fund spent on ? Do we know half of what's allocated to what in this country ?
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:19 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhidcwgbgboj/

A Green T.D. has proposed that the Horse and Greyhound fund of 70 million should be passed over to fund the medical cards. At last a bit of sense. I have been ranting for the last three years about the obscene spending on Greyhound Stadia that have cost tens of millions of euro. These "industries" get more than enough in tax breaks without this Fund. Its time we got our priorities right.
What's a horse and greyhound fund spent on ? Do we know half of what's allocated to what in this country ?

Just check my previous post - edited.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:20 pm

Generally, I don't like these "lets take money out of the tea budget and put it into the cancer budget" ideas. It tends to go with "won't someone think of the children" slogans.

But as Audi says, What the hell is a 70m fund for horses and greyhounds being spent on? It sounds like Celtic Tiger madness.
Surely these enterprises can stand on their own two (four?) feet?
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:28 pm

Justine McCarthy nails it fairly good IMO

I suspect there is huge involvement of the state in areas they should not really be involved in. I must look into that some more.
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