House plenary session approves 39 articles of Universal Healthcare Act
LEGISLATION WATCH- The House of Representatives approved yesterday 39 articles of the Universal Healthcare Act during its first plenary debate of the law, Al Shorouk reports. Articles that passed included those setting up the three regulators which will monitor implementing the new healthcare system. Debate of the law had been contentious, particularly over how to classify those exempt from paying premiums into the new healthcare system and who gets to classify them. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy, who attended the session, said that the executive regulations of the law would determine who would be exempt — effectively leaving it in the hands of the government, Al Mal reports. The plenary session, however, voted to keep amendments to the law which state that a committee made up of Finance Ministry, the Social Solidarity Ministry, and the state statistics agency CAPMAS would draw up criteria for exemption. A number of MPs, including from the Free Egyptians party, had voiced opposition to only allowing the Finance Ministry to determine the criteria, while the House Health Committee had recommended tying the exemption with the person’s social security and welfare status, the newspaper says.
The House Health Committee had proposed that an independent committee be set up to monitor implementation the act on an ongoing basis, Al Mal reports. They also called for a re-assessment of how long it will take to roll the act out. It is scheduled to be in place in all governorates by 2032.
Voting on the act is expected to resume today. In other legislative news:
- The House debate in plenary session today amendments to the Companies Act that govern the establishment of sole proprietorships, committee member Amr Sedky tells Al Borsa. The House Economics Committee had approved the amendments last week. We have yet to hear details on amendments to corporate governance regulations, particularly those on whistleblowers, reported to have been part of the amendments.
- Sedky also said that the committee had set up three sub-committees to review penalties in the Consumer Protection Act after business associations lobbied against them. They appear to be leaning towards reducing penalties to a fine instead of prison time, in accordance with the recommendations of the business community.
- The House Manpower Committee has completed its review of the Labor Act on Sunday and will be passing the bill over to a plenary session of the House.
Which brings us to our regular PARLIAMENTARY NONSENSE WATCH- House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal referred a draft (also spelled daft in this case) law to boycott American products to a joint committee including members of the standing committees on the economy, defense and national security, foreign relations, and Arab affairs for review, Ahram Gate reports. The legislation was prepared by 61 MPs in response to the Trump administration’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.