If I have learned anything in the public sector, it is that when a public policy is implemented with the exclusive aim of improving social welfare, very different results are obtained than when it is aimed at demonstrating individual principles. goes.
There is practicality in favor of the first method and arrogance against it, as Don Francisco de Quevedo put it: “He sets the foundation high and the tiles on the foundation”.
Health ministers are more determined to demonstrate that a health insurance system is useless for addressing widely agreed diagnoses, such as the quality of health services, regional inequalities, problems of a financial nature.
Today I want to dedicate this space to providing some numbers that relate to the dimension of the damage that an explosion of the health system in poverty would mean.
According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), a family is multidimensionally poor if it experiences an accumulation of simultaneously deprivations in the dimensions of education, childhood and youth, health, work and housing.
In 1997, 60 percent of the Colombian population was multidimensionally poor and in 2021 this percentage rose to 16 percent.
This decline is primarily driven by health insurance, educational achievement and early childhood care. Whereas in 1997 6 out of 10 households had at least one uninsured member, today it is 1 in 10.
The system has also removed access barriers, with 12.9 percent of households having problems accessing healthcare in 1997 and 2 percent in 2021.
What then will be the social cost of weakening the health system?
A simulation exercise with IPM gives us the following orders of magnitude:
First, for every 500,000 households left without health insurance, poverty will increase by one percentage point.
Second, assuming that insurance is maintained but the barriers to access to health of a subsidized system are increased, more than 2 million households could fall into multidimensional poverty, which would cost up to 11 percentage points more The figure will be national. will increase from 16 percent to 27 percent.
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