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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Universal Healthcare likely not to go to House before June

Is the Universal Healthcare Act coming in 2H2017? The House of Representatives will not be seeing the Universal Healthcare Act that Health Minister Ahmed Rady had promised to deliver early in 2017 before June, sources close to the matter tell Al Borsa. Policymakers are delaying the bill because they worry about the cost of implementing the program after the wave of inflation that has gripped the country since the act was first mooted. Government officials are estimating that implementing the act would cost state coffers some EGP 130-140 bn, up from an earlier estimate of EGP 90 bn. The cost would be paid in part through a new tax: Employers would be required to pay the equivalent of 3% of each employee’s salary into a healthcare funds and deduct a further 1% of each staff member’s pay cheque. Instead of raising those rates, the government is reportedly looking at raising taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and automobiles.

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