The increase in plans reported by 7 isapres in the midst of the crisis by the coronavirus pandemic, and which will be effective as of July this year, continues to generate a crack in the political world. While from the government they insisted that they have no powers to reverse the rise, and revealed that they called for a «gesture» from the insurers, from the Socialist Party they insist that the Executive can do more on the issue.
This day, during the delivery of the daily report on the progress of Covid 19 in the country, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich reported that «the President of the Republic has instructed me to talk to the insurers, which I have already done, to ask them for a gesture of collaboration with the current health crisis that means that these price hikes do not actually materialize, they can decide unilaterally and we are waiting.» In this regard, Mañalich maintained that the Government, and of course we have analysed it thoroughly over the past few weeks, has no powers to decree a pricing. The state of emergency and health alert allows for a few things, but it doesn’t allow everyone who can think of a person, that would be clearly illegal and if someone took him to court they would win,» he said.
Mañalich’s phrase directly pointed to the senators of the Socialist Party who yesterday urged the President of the Republic to take matters into their own hands. «Given the extraordinary powers of the Constitutional State of Emergency that he himself decreed, freeze with immediate effect these unilateral price hikes in the plans announced by the isapres in the same way as it did by setting the maximum price of the examination for coronavirus,» they said.
The placement of Senators Juan Pablo Letelier, Isabel Allende, Rabindranath Quinteros, Carlos Montes, Alvaro Elizalde, José Miguel Insulza and Alfonso De Urresti argues that «emergency measures must be taken to prevent this increase from taking effect» and point out that this action by the isapres «reflects once again the shortcomings of a system that has failed, and that favors private profit over the well-being of people»
In addition, they added that «the unilateral rise of plans in the current context of the pandemic, shows that the isapres system has no concern for the health and well-being of Chileans and they seek to take an economic advantage even at the time of greatest need of the country.»
This day, and after learning of the statements of Minister Mañalich, Senator Rabindranath Quinteros said that if the government does not want to use its powers that give it the state of emergency to stop hikes of the Isapres, it must support a bill to freeze this price increase.
«Today the Minister of Health assured that the Government does not have the power to freeze the Isapres’s rises and that is not because the Constitution gives him that power. But if you don’t want to then the way you have is to support a bill to suspend the faculty of insurers,» the Senate vice president said.
«In a crisis of this magnitude, the Government cannot appeal to private sector gestures to prevent abuse, it must take concrete action, and this increase in health plans cannot be allowed today. It’s immoral and abusive,» he said.
The senator and member of the Senate Health Committee reported that a bill will be in place today that suspends the isapres’s ability to modify the base price of the health plan.
«The text proposes to suspend this isapres attribution between July 2020 and June 2021. Considering the serious health and economic situation facing the country due to Covid-19, it is urgent to take measures to avoid further expenditure to the Chilean family (…) That is why I ask the President to sponsor this bill so that next week we can pass it in both chambers.»