1.7.05 – Reacting to the news that Mary Harney had refused to require health insurer BUPA to subsidise its competitor VHI, I said that the Seanad should debate the subject:
“I cannot understand how an issue of such controversy [as risk equalisation between the VHI and other health insurers] could be put on the back-burner and discussion stifled. It is an issue of great importance to anybody who has health insurance. It is also an issue that is incredibly confusing and which most people do not understand.
I do not understand what seems to be horror of an ideological debate on the part of some. Why can we not have an ideological debate on this issue? This is a great opportunity for such a debate. Everybody knows VHI and BUPA are at each other’s throats, not only for commercial reasons but because there is a clash of ideology between the semi-State and private sector. This topical issue presents an ideal opportunity for us to thrash it out in this House.