What do you think of forced charity?

One of the ways the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) proposes they increase their pool of financing is by raising deduction premiums of those earning KES. 100,000 and above by 1.7%. This increased NHIF for top earners is to support their newly developed program Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is supposed to provide the less fortunate Kenyan with health coverage.

Francis Atwoli, chair of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) said “It was meant to be through government budgets…”

The Universal Health Cover program (UHC) is intended to be maintained through domestic financing – its primary source being tax funding and health insurance contributions. The idea is basically for the employed to support the unemployed.

Is this practical? If the gap is at 2.9% out of 2.7million, who earn KES. 100,000 this means that 79,900 people are expected to help the rest of the 30 million plus Kenyans.

I’m no mathematician, but it isn’t a sustainable solution. Even in the case where we could cut out those earning below 100,000, it still would not be enough.

To top it off, they intend to also use tax funding, which in turn may mean an increase in tax in some areas for most Kenyans. This whole thing is upside down. Why not simply look into areas in the national budget, see where the unemployed can fit in, and create packages, that include both benefits to the holder and a small percentage that goes into support of the less fortunate, for fellow Kenyans who are earning, But even so, such a package should be voluntary and not forced. So that everyone gets a bargain. Reduce monthly costs for those earning very low income, and the allocated budget from treasury can cover for those without income.

It’s a heated discussion, but a necessary one, one that ALL Kenyans should be involved in. For once, let’s not leave this one for “the people up there”.


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