Over 70 medical card crisis
The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament deplores the decision by the Government and the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, TD and the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, TD, to abolish the entitlement to a Medical Card for Older People over 70.
Older People applauded the introduction of the scheme and the reasons which were valid then are still valid today. There are 350,084 people over 70 who have Medical Cards and they represent just 8.07% of the total population. There is general agreement that the card has been responsible for improving the health of Older People and reducing the percentage of the population in Long-Term Care.
The idea that all Older People will now be means tested to retain the card they already have is a retrograde step and we question whether it will cost more than it is going to save. Our understanding is that up to 90% of Older People will still qualify for a Medical Card so what will this ‘elaborate clerical exercise’ achieve?
This step has broken faith with promises made to Older People.
The extra costs associated with the delivery of the medical services to those aged over 70 were not the fault of Older People and should not be used as a reason to deprive them of the Medical Card. Such matters should have been dealt with before now!
Older People are being treated unfairly and this measure will cause further hardship and uncertainty to already sick and frail Older People.
We demand that this measure be reconsidered now.
What do the political parties have to say?
RTE Liveline podcasts (mp3 sound files: left-click to listen, right-click to download)
- Liveline Podcast – Medical Card ProtestOffers of help for people planning to attend the protest rally on Wednesday.
Cut-back controversy for the over-seventies rages on.
Listeners voice their objection to the means testing of medical cards for over seventies.
Callers concerned that the medical card for over seventies will be means tested.
The medical card crisis in the news
- Irish Times: ISCP Dáil protest to go ahead
- Irish Independent: Pensioners still planning protest marches despite the climbdown
- BreakingNews.ie: Thousands to make Budget protest
- Irish Times: Dáil to vote on medical cards after climbdown
- BreakingNews.ie: Cowen announces roll-back on over-70s medical cards
- RTE News: Major changes to medical card plan
- Irish Times: Government backs down in medical card controversy
- Irish Independent: Independents on brink of abandoning Cowen
- Irish Examiner: Government’s medical card plan suffers double blow
- RTE Q&A: How can cutting back the medical card be justified? VIDEO
- Irish Examiner: Cowen insists on retaining means test
- Irish Times: Cowen buys time with FF rebels in medical card crisis
- Irish Independent: Angry local councillors demand a reversal of decision
- BreakingNews.ie: Harney denies threatening to quit
- Sunday Business Post: Government medical card crisis deepens
- Sunday Tribune: Medical card crisis: Cowen set to delay trip to China
- Sunday Independent: Taoiseach prepared to change medical card scheme if savings can be found
- RTE: Ex Health Minister urges card rethink – Video news
- BreakingNews.ie: Govt under fire over medical cards
- RTE: Lenihan regrets medical card distress – Video news
- Irish Times: Harney rules out any u-turn on medical cards
- Irish Times: Thousands protest in Cork at cut in over 70s medical cards
- Irish Times: Cowen offers compromise on medical cards
- Irish Independent: Minister admits government will have to listen to public on medical cards issue
- RTE: Behan resigns in protest at Budget – Video news
- Irish Times: Frightening older people
- Irish Times: Groups campaign to reverse decision
- Herald: Cards ‘reduced strokes and heart attacks’
- Irish Independent: Uproar over a ‘stupid, callous own-goal’
- Lá Nua: Imní, buairt agus fearg
- Herald: Rage grows over 70s cut
- RTE: Income eligibility on medical cards
- Irish Times: Abolition of automatic medical-card entitlement for over-70s criticised