The ElderShield Review Committee has recommended that ElderShield enrolment be made compulsory, and for people to start paying premiums at the age of 30 (Panel wants to expand ElderShield coverage; Jan 31).
As a young, soon-to-graduate university student about to enter the workforce, I believe I speak for many of my peers when I say we are deeply concerned.
The Government seems to have a distressing enthusiasm for policies that shift the financial burden to the young.
Through MediShield Life, the young Singaporean adult already pays relatively high premiums to subsidise healthcare for the elderly. And the intention behind these changes to ElderShield is to do more of the same. We also have no assurance that we will receive the same benefit in 50 to 60 years' time.
While the intent to take care of the elderly and disabled in Singapore is obviously a noble one, it is disheartening when one considers these changes in the context of the many challenges facing the young adult today: a high cost of living, ever-rising property prices, a difficult job market and rising taxes.
In 1990, a five-room Housing Board flat cost about $70,000. Today, a five-room flat costs more than $350,000 - a five-fold increase.
Instead of recognising these challenges, the country seems bent on alienating its youth with such policies.
It is disheartening when one considers these changes in the context of the many challenges facing the young adult today.
May I suggest that the solution is not to spend more, but to spend wisely? For example, the Pioneer Generation Package is estimated to cost about $9 billion, but its handouts do not discriminate between the 75-year-old business tycoon with multiple properties and the 75-year-old who is destitute and homeless. This makes no sense.
I believe that if Singapore can reallocate its resources more wisely, we will not have need for the kind of divisive policies currently being proposed.