It is time for the government to expand its coverage of Jamkesmas to also cover laborers, civil servants and soldiers. The health minister has estimated that Rp 17 trillion is needed to make medical care free for all Indonesians, including these three groups. Trying to provide universal health coverage for all citizens, in line with the 1945 Constitution, cannot be done through an insurance system but rather through a Jamkesmas-style system that is organized directly by the state.
Arief Puyuono, head of Federasi Serikat Pekerja BUMN (State-Owned Enterprise Union), makes the case for expanded health care coverage for workers in a recent op-ed in The Jakarta Globe. He proposed an expansion of Jamkesmas, a state-run health insurance program for low income citizens, which would cover workers, civil servants, and soldiers, while allowing for a private sector insurance companies to continue to offer coverage to those who can afford it.