MPs, Tuesday, approved changes to the NHIF Act which now makes it compulsory for every adult to contribute a minimum Sh6,000 annually.
In modest estimates, the more than 20 million Kenyans will see NHIF pocket at least Sh120 billion a year.
Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) urges President Uhuru Kenyatta not to assent to the amended NHIF law as the would-be law cannot stand basic legal challenge on many fronts.
While NHIF is demanding a mandatory minimum monetary payout from members and employers, it has lesser accountability. For an organisation whose other name is corruption, that is most worrying especially when the NHIF board is reduced to government composition.
The reality is that employers are unlikely to top up NHIF contributions as that amounts to salary increment. Majority will have to use the employee income to comply, if they must. It also raises contractual questions between the employer and the employee.
As for the unemployed, there is zero mechanism to enforce the contributions especially for majority Kenyans who genuinely cannot even afford money for their food, leave alone what seem to be luxury in hedging their hard-earned Sh6,000 in NHIF.
The basic structure of NHIF on its offerings as well as accountability needed to have been amended before asking for huge contributions before an election year.
Mandatory health contributions for NHIF has never worked. It will never work in Kenya. The forces behind the new form of taxation and levies must go slow and address the proposed service delivery before asking for more money
Cofek has already asked its’ lawyers to review the law with a view to challenging it in court should the offending bill be assented ‘as is’