Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday, 5 February, speaking to The Quint’s Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia said that insurance-based healthcare benefited companies, not the people. Union Minister Arun jaitley, presenting the BJP government’s final full Budget, proposed that the government would provide a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10 crore families in the country.
Chidambaram, however, accused the government of not putting a number to the National Health Protection Scheme at the time of proposing it.
Chidambaram also questioned how the government was planning to choose the 50 crore people, asserting that one cannot choose who falls sick. He pointed out that initially there was no intimation about states requiring to share the burden which was followed by the announcement that states will provide 40 percent of the “burden”. He called it another “jhumla”.
He also pointed out that states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu ran their own health insurance schemes and said that the government gave them no reason to join the Central scheme.
Read and watch the full interview here.