While the persistent political logjam between the Delhi government and the center has received eye-popping media coverage, the two are set to lock horns on a new front: the implementation of the Narendra Modi government’s flagship Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM). Even as 20 states have already signed memorandums of understanding with the center for executing this to add more beneficiaries to the scheme. It wants the beneficiaries of its power subsidy in Delhi to be included on the list. However, the center has made the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) of 2011 the criteria for identifying beneficiaries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch the program on August 15. A senior health ministry official said the Delhi government wanted the benefit to be extended to the food security card holders that will take the number of beneficiaries in Delhi to nearly one crore, which is more than half the population of Delhi.
Further, the government is seeking the data of power subsidy beneficiaries from power companies. This will add more people to the list of NHPM beneficiaries. Sources said bringing these people in the health insurance scheme will give the ruling AAP an edge in the Lok Sabha elections slated for next year. The Modi government has flagged this project as the biggest public welfare scheme that will benefit nearly 50 crore people across the country. Dr Kirti Bhushan, Delhi’s Director General of Health Services (DGHS), told, “The Delhi government wants to expand the coverage of NHPM to maximum people of Delhi so that they can avail the healthcare benefits under the national health insurance scheme. As decided by the Center, the health ministry is considering SECC of 2011 according to which only 20 lakh people are covered by NHPM. This number is less if we look at the population of Delhi which is about 1.8 crore. For this purpose, the Delhi government wants to include families holding national food security card and the households that consume up to 200 units of power.”
Bhushan said currently there are nearly 16 to 17 lakh national food security card holders in Delhi. In 2011, SECC census data was maintained according to the socio-economic condition and job profile of the person. This SECC data is collected in every ten years. The CM’s media advisor Nagendar Sharma told, “Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain is in talks with union health minister JP Nadda over the issue and a decision will be taken soon.” Sources said the Center has excluded the taxpayers in NHPM but Delhi government also wants to include them in the list of beneficiaries. – India Today