Pirates Propose Free Dental Care; Conservative Calls Idea "Populism" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Pirates Propose Free Dental Care; Conservative Calls Idea “Populism”

Published August 10, 2016

Photos by
Erik Christensen/Wikimedia Commons

Vísir reports that the Pirate Party has put forward the idea of dental care free of initial fees. While Icelandic Health Insurance estimates that such an implementation could cost the state some 11 billion ISK, the Pirates have proposed covering the cost by making changes to the fishing management system.

The proposal was put forward on the Pirate’s website, where registered members often make proposals, comment on existing ones, and vote for and against them. The free dental care proposal received overwhelming support, with 164 voting for it and two voting against.

Pirate Party captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir told reporters she believes the costs could be covered in numerous ways. One example she mentioned was that the Pirates have also proposed having Iceland’s fishing harvest put up for auction rather than being sold at a set price, which could conceivably bring in considerably more revenue for state coffers.

While the idea may seem in perfect harmony with a country that prides itself on its social welfare system, not everyone received the idea warmly. Stundin reports that Independence Party MP Brynjar Níelsson is one of these detractors.

Writing on Facebook, the parliamentarian ironically questioned whether or not the Pirates also support making visiting the foot doctor free of charge, adding, “Is there some kind of Olympic game for populism and being a pleb?”

While a great deal of Iceland’s health care system is subsidised by the state, a visit to the dentist can be expensive, depending on the nature of the care required.

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