Of Colombia’s 102 senators, only 56 showed up at to vote on a health care reform bill that seeks to tackle ongoing crises in the country’s public health care sector.
Senator Armando Benedetti lamented the fact that nearly half the Senators were absent, barely reaching a quorum Wednesday during floor debate as a consequential health reform moves through the Senate body.
Of the 102 members in the Colombia Senate, barely half, 56, showed up Wednesday to vote on the formation of government health organization, Salud Mia, with a proposed fund of $15.9 million, aimed at cleaning up corruption and inefficiency in Colombia’s struggling health care system.
Despite the low turnout, Salud Mia ended up passing through the Senate body as there were only a handful Senators over the requirement present at time of voting to meet a quorum.
Benedetti pointed the finger at Colombia’s dominant political coalition, Unidad Nacional, falling under President Santos’ leadership, for failing to ensure more Senators were present at the vote.
“There is no reason that a project as important as health reform is passing so agonizingly…It is a true vulgarity for the Nacional Unidad, for the leadership of the president,” said Benedetti. “Where is the Unidad Nacional, where is the president, where is the responsibility of the Congress?”
The low turnout at the health reform vote comes after Congress delayed voting on the health reform bill earlier in the month as part of a so-called “Tortoise Plan,” forcing a pay increase for legislators in the governing body.