TEL AVIV (May. 23)
Plans for a complete “cradle-to-grave” social insurance program to cover the entire population of Israel will be published here shortly for “public debate and comment.” The plan is now under discussion by the Israel Cabinet and will soon be presented to Parliament. The program will be introduced in the following three stages:
1. Free hospitalization for those needing it, free dental treatment for children, free medical care for all employed persons and for women over 60 and men over 65 living on pensions. Also, grants for new babies, grants for families on the death of the breadwinner, and insurance for agricultural workers.
2. The second stage–already completed–provides nationwide medical care covering the entire population, and provides disability insurance for all citizens as well as retraining for disabled persons.
3. Stage three calls for children’s allowances and full, free hospitalization for the entire country.
It is expected that the total cost of the plan will reach approximately $64,400,000. The larger part of this sum is already being spent by employers, workers and the government on various existing insurance plans.