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Ministries back raise in health taxes for better public support

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TLDR:

  • The Health and Finance Ministries, along with the Knesset Health Committee, are supporting an increase in health taxes in Israel to provide NIS 1 billion for mental health services.
  • The increase would raise the health insurance tax to 3.25% and 5.15%, generating more funding for psychiatric care.

The Health and Finance Ministries, along with the Knesset Health Committee, are backing a proposal to raise health taxes in Israel. The plan aims to increase the health insurance tax rates to 3.25% and 5.15%, with the goal of generating an additional NIS 1 billion for mental health services. This increase is seen as crucial, especially in the aftermath of the brutal Hamas attack on October 7 and the need to provide emotional support to victims, evacuees, and rescue forces.

The proposed tax hike has generated discussions on the impact it may have on different socioeconomic groups. Some experts argue that the tax increase could be regressive and affect lower-income individuals disproportionately. Others suggest considering alternative tax sources, such as income tax, to fund healthcare costs. However, proponents of the increase emphasize the urgent need for dedicated funding for mental health services during challenging times.

If approved, the higher health taxes would come into effect in 2025, with a focus on expanding the mental health system in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The debate surrounding the tax increase highlights the complex trade-offs between generating revenue for essential services and ensuring fair distribution of financial burdens among the population.

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