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Michèle Labbé’s column on the short law of isapres

This week the discussion of the short health law begins in the mixed commission where the future of the health system in our country will be discussed, and where some parliamentarians will vote with their heads focused on the next elections, or on ideological ideals that do not lead to deliver a better quality health service.

I can assure you that very few of those who will vote this week for the short health law understand that in Chile the health system was established and should function like health insurance, and that just like the car insurance that we all know, which is paid every month, but it takes care of itself if something happens to the car, or – in the case of health insurance – if we need to go to the doctor.

Just like car insurance, the more crashes or accidents, the more the price of the insurance goes up, just as the more medical licenses, the more the price of the health plan goes up.

That the system works since not everyone has the same risk of having an accident, therefore, with the income of those who do not use the insurance, the car repairs of those who did use it are paid for (mutualization).

And that among many others, the insurance prices were always set with the permission of the authority – the Superintendency of Health -, which dictated the collection system, authorized each price of each health plan, and monitored its compliance, and that today , faced with the rulings of the Supreme Court (whose judges never understood how the system worked either), they wash their hands like Pontius Pilate.

If the Supreme Court decided that car insurance prices cannot discriminate based on the policy owner’s crash history, and they ordered a refund to all those who were charged more for being more accident-prone, everyone would understand. that you are making a mistake. However, in the case of health, no one seems to understand it, and if they understand it, they do not accept it, because their ideology inhibits them.

Those who vote for the short health law this week must vote understanding the consequences of their vote, since what is being done through the bill can be understood as unfair competition on the part of the State (Fonasa), which seeks to bankrupt to its competition (the isapres) to keep all the customers.

They must vote understanding that the State – through the Health Superintendence -, is responsible for the prices of the plans that the isapres charged, and therefore, if there is a final person responsible for paying the non-existent debt of the isapres, it is the Statebefore whom companies can sue for having obeyed the authority and existing laws.

That the State must respond before the International Court, because there are foreigners in the ownership of health insurance companies whose income and clients are being nationalized.

And finally, the consequences of the decisions on our health system that the legislators will make this week, we will end up paying for all Chileans, because in the best of cases, we will pay again by financing the costs of the lawsuits against the State. , and at worst, some of the chronically ill will pay with their lives, who will not be able to access their treatments and doctors due to much longer waiting lists and/or the interruption of their treatments.

You who vote for the short health law, do not forget this.

*The author is an economist.

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