Brazilian President Calls New Health Amendment a Present of Greek

Line at SUS Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff called it a “Greek’s present,” a Portuguese expression Brazilians use to recall the unwelcome Trojan Horse left by the Greek in Troy and said she did not want it. She and the country are about to get it anyway.

Congress has set a date, September 28, to vote for appropriate legislation of a constitutional amendment (Amendment 29), which will set a mandatory percentage of revenue that the federal government, states and municipalities will have to spend on health.

It will mean an increase in spending on health care provided by the state in Brazil.

In a radio interview, president Rousseff declared that more money for health had to have specific funding sources. “I do not want to be given a Greek present. I would really like to guarantee quality health services for our people, but I must know where all the money to pay for it will come from. This is not a good time, in the middle of an international financial crisis, to approve more spending without saying exactly how it will be paid for.”

According to the leader of the PT in the Chamber of Deputies, Paulo Teixeira, the idea is to approve a basic text and deal with the details of funding later in negotiations with political parties and society. “We must find a just source of funding that does not overload society,” said Teixeira.

One idea is to tax exactly those activities that overload the health system: smoking, drinking and driving.

“Cigarettes and alcohol aggravate health problems. Cars are responsible for accidents,” Paulo Teixeira pointed out. He also raised the possibility of a tax on the rich. “There is a school of thought around the world that people with more money should pay more taxes,” he said.

Another source of new revenue to pay for higher health costs that has been aired is gambling. However, high-ranking members of the administration have voiced opposition to that idea.

“The government is not happy with legalizing gambling. We just do not think it is a healthy idea to tax gambling in order to pay for health care,” declared Gilberto Carvalho, the president’s top administrative aide.

As for the creation of a new tax similar to the old “CPMF,” a tax on financial transactions, Carvalho said the administration was treating the matter of funding with great care, but did not have a set position on the matter at this time.

President Dilma has repeatedly said that better health care for the population was one of her campaign promises and that she intends to make good on the promise.

But, she points out, Amendment 29 is not going to be a panacea for the sector. “Quality in health care calls for big investments, you have to invest in hospitals and doctors, for example,” she said.

GDP Growth

Brazil’s GDP reached 1.02 trillion reais in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 0.8%, compared to the first quarter. Compared to the second quarter of 2010, the increase was 3.1%.

First half GDP growth in Brazil was 3.6%, compared to the first half of 2010. Cumulative GDP growth over the last 12 months was up 4.7%, compared to the prior 12-month period.

ABr

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Alice’s House, the Intricate Family Web of a Brazilian First-Time Director

Brazilian movie Alice's House, Chico Teixeira's multi-award winning first feature, is about contemporary life ...

Despite Brazil’s 1.5% Shrinking, South America Will Have Positive Year

The South American economic group Mercosur will end 2009 with positive rates of economic ...

Boeing B777-300ER from Brazilian TAM

Brazil’s TAM Doubles Its Boeing Fleet to 8 B777-300ERs

Brazilian airline TAM announced the acquisition of four additional new Boeing 777-300ERs. With this ...

Brazilian Congress Rapporteur Calls for Expulsion of Ex-Chief of Staff

In 62 pages, federal deputy Júlio Delgado, from the PSB (Brazilian Socialist Party) of ...

Brazil Looks at Netherlands for Its Own Drug Decriminalization

Places where illegal drugs can be safely consumed still exist in the Netherlands. The ...

Brazil Rises from 21th to 11th Among World’s Favorite Places for Events

Business tourism is growing in Brazil. According to a study disclosed yesterday, July 27, ...

Brazil’s Fundo de Quintal: Scene and Variation

Fundo de Quintal brought a new public to the samba and inspired a generation ...

A Brazilian Ant With a Christian Message for the Whole World

Smilingüido is an ant that lives with his friends in the anthill of the ...

Same Old Team

As expected the PFL (Partido da Frente Liberal—Liberal Front Party) got the lion’s share ...