The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday questioned the constitutionality of the National Health Insurance Bill and vowed to use all legal options to fight what it deems a bad draft law designed to turn the health system into “another state-owned enterprise”…

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that the bill published last week was part of a policy trend of nationalisation that included land and the South African Reserve Bank.

“I believe the discussion of NHI is long overdue and it is a necessary one. But we don’t believe formulating another state-owned enterprise is the way to go. One, South Africa is not in a fiscal position to do that and two, it will not address this injustice of some citizens being able to get health care and others not being able to do so,” he told a media briefing at Parliament.

“Liberation movements generally tend to run out of ideas and ultimately seek to create expensive mechanisms that don’t achieve the objective of providing those services to citizens.”

He said that he had written to Speaker Thandi Modise to ask whether the bill had been certified by the state law advisor as constitutional, as this needed to happen before the portfolio committee on health began mulling over it.

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Maimane said that the bill would not pass constitutional muster because it undermined the role of provinces in providing health care.

“It undermines the power of provinces and what provinces are able to do when it comes to the provision of health care. It is on that basis that I and the party, as far the DA is concerned, will be taking every measure possible to oppose this bill. We believe that this bill may very well be unconstitutional.”

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