Fearing strain on the electoral campaign, President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) ordered the Ministers of Economy, Paulo Guedes, and Health, Marcelo Queiroga, to reverse the cuts made in the budget of the Popular Pharmacy program for next year.
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The two ministers had reduced the budget for the free distribution of medicines and products from the Popular Pharmacy by 60% in the 2023 Union Budget.
The cut, revealed by the newspaper “O Estado de S. Paulo”, reduces the budget for the program next year from BRL 2.04 billion in the 2022 budget to BRL 804 million in the 2023 budget bill, a decrease than 60%, which would affect the access of the low-income population to 13 different types of drugs used to treat diabetes, hypertension and asthma, in addition to restricting the distribution of geriatric diapers.
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The information was already being explored by deputy André Janones (Avante-MG), who is working on social networks for former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).
Janones was highlighting in his messages that the government cut the budget of the Popular Pharmacy to preserve funds for the “secret budget” next year, a budget that privileges deputies and senators from the governing base within the National Congress.
This Wednesday (14), Bolsonaro decided to intervene and order Paulo Guedes and Marcelo Queiroga to take the necessary measures to restore the budget of the Popular Pharmacy.
The Economy Minister informed the president that the cut was made to respect the spending ceiling, but the president’s aides assessed the cut as a “measure without sensitivity, especially in an election year”, since the value of other expenses, such as the “secret budget”, has been preserved.
The reelection committee alerted President Bolsonaro to the cut in the Popular Pharmacy program, evaluated as a negative measure and ammunition for the PT in this election year.
Notified by his campaign committee team, the president confirmed at the Ministry of Economy the cut made in the program and ordered that the funds for the social program be recomposed.