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  • ACRI

Raising the Public Health Tax to Cover the Costs of the War

In a memorandum of law approved by the government in January 2024, intended to cover the deficit created by the war, it was proposed, among other things, to raise the health tax by 0.15% from the beginning of 2025. Together with Physicians for Human Rights, we sent legal correspondence to the Ministry of Finance, vehemently opposing the proposal.


In the application, Attorney Debbie Gild-Hayo of ACRI and Adv. Nili Alexandrovich of PHRI wrote that the increase in health insurance premiums should be done only to include additional health services and not to cover war expenses or ongoing health system expenses. Moreover, it is inappropriate to disguise the collection to cover war expenses within the framework of a tax intended to finance health services,  while creating a false impression to the public that the tax is being used to expand and improve the health services it receives.


Over the years, Physicians for Human Rights and ACRI, along with other organizations, have proposed raising the health tax in order to finance services that are not included in health insurance plans, such as dental care and long-term care. As part of our proposals, which were repealed, the public would have been required to pay more tax, but at the same time would have spent less out of pocket on health services, thanks to the expansion we proposed. On the other hand,  in the current proposal, the public will pay more tax for those services, but out-of-pocket expenses will not decrease – quite the opposite: out-of-pocket expenses will increase because a high mental health deductible has been added. In other words, the bottom line is that the public is required to pay double, both in tax and in deductibles, for the same services that were already included in their health insurance package. There is no justification for this. Therefore, in our opinion, it is appropriate to cancel the increase in health insurance premiums,  and budget the deficit from other sources.

 

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