BPJS Tariff Hike Seems Regrettable
The government has increased the premiums for the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan). The decision is stipulated in the Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 64 of 2020. House Member of Commission IX ,Saleh Partaonan, Daulay, regrets the decision because the Supreme Court has revoked the Presidential Regulation No.75/2019 on the increase of BPJS premiums in March 2020.
“I deeply regret the issuance of Perpres Number 64/2020 on the Second Amendment to Perpres Number 82 of 2018 on Health Insurance. Under the new Perpres, the government has raised the BPJS premiums again. By doing so, the government does not seem to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision to revoke Perpres Number 75/2019 which raised BPJS premiums,” said Daulay in his press release, Wednesday (13/5/2020).
The public certainly hopes that the Supreme Court will uphold its decision and there will be no increase in premiums. “The government seems to be playing with regulations. The Supreme Court’s decision is challenged by the new regulation. Issuing a new Perpres is certainly much easier for the government, rather than implementing the Supreme Court’s decision.” Daulay said.
Daulay, also the Vice Chairperson of the House’s Ethics Council, went on saying that the government seemed to intentionally raise BPJS premiums as of 1 July 2020 to show that they had implemented the Supreme Court’s decision to return the premiums of the previous amount, namely first-class service: eighty thousand rupiah, second-class service: fifty-one thousand rupiah, and Third-class service: twenty-five thousand and five hundreds rupiah. The government obeyed the Supreme Court’s decision for only three months, namely April, May, and June. After that, it raised the premiums again.
Article 28 H paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitutions clearly states that every citizen has the right to health care services. The State must provide health care to the citizens. “I am worried that with this increase, many people will not be able to pay. As a result, they will not get access to health care services,” complained the legislator from North Sumatera
Daulay expressed his concern over the government’s ignorance to the citizens’ constitutional rights on health. The government’s plan to raise premium for third-class service in 2021 seemed odd. He added that by doing so, the government wanted to give an impression that it devoted its attention to the lower middle class.
“The government does not seem to have empathy for the people. This is not the right time to increase BPJS premiums. The people are still enduring hardship. Many will certainly be unable to pay the premiums. We understand that the State does not have a large budget. However, the health service should be a top priority program because it is needed by all layers of society,” he explained.
This new Perpres will encounter strong resistance from the wider public. The public still has the chance for a judicial review to the Supreme Court. Learning from the previous experience, the possibility to win the judicial review is high. The government should have considered this. “It sounds ridiculous. First, the government increases the premiums and then the decision is challenged. The public wins and the government issues another Perpres by increasing the premiums again. After that, the government runs into strong resistance again. The public probably wins one more time, and then the government issues another Perpres again.” the former Chair of the Central Leadership of Muhammadiyah Youth concluded.