President János Áder issued a statement on Wednesday regarding legislation approved by parliament on December 11 affecting eligibility for social benefits. The issue has sparked a lively social debate due to its alleged potential social impact.
In a statement published on the website of the president’s office, Áder referred to several reports that projected 700,000 people vulnerable to disbarment from state health-care services.
Hungarian president Áder said that based on the new regulations, “all minors, all students, all pensioners and all insured employees” will continue to be eligible for full health-care services. Regulations also guarantee services to the socially deprived and the homeless, which is left unchanged by the new law, he added.
The amendment has no impact on emergency or rescue services, which will continue to be available universally, he said.
Underscoring the reasoning for the new law, Áder noted a significant increase in the number of people who fail to pay social security contributions. Many, he added, do so intentionally while continuing to make use of health-care services.
Áder noted the new law stipulates that anyone who intentionally neglects to pay their contributions may only make use of the services once they pay any outstanding arrears. Even people who neglect to pay are eligible for emergency services, he added.
“Some people said the new legislation was shameful,” Áder said. “After studying the law thoroughly, I can say that what’s shameful is not the law but behaviour that provokes unjustified fears in others, especially at the time of Advent,” he added.
“In consideration of the above, I have today ordered the declaration of the law,” the president said.