The Knesset opposition members on Monday night succeeded in defeating a bill submitted by the government by a 29 to 28 vote – this despite the fact that out of the 76 MKs who were in the House at the time, 42 were members of the coalition, Globes reported.
MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) twitted at the end of the vote: “The opposition just now killed a coalition bill. They were busy watching [popular satirical show] Wonderful Country.”
The defeated bill was an amendment to the National Insurance law, dismantling the National Advisory Committee on Nursing. Due to its defeat, the bill may only be submitted again in six months, according to house rules.
The defeat, which resulted from sheer ineptness on the part of the new coalition chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud), who has had serious difficulties in rounding up coalition votes for several key legislations since his appointment, spells trouble for the Netanyahu government. Amsalem received the appointment after his predecessor and personal friend, MK David Bitan, resigned in order to be able to face police investigation on his alleged corruption and ties to an organized crime family.
The failed amendment was intended to shorten the waiting period of a recipient of nursing services by eliminating the need to run his request through the nursing committee, which normally adds about six months to the approval process.
Chairman of the Zionist Camp Knesset faction MK Yoel Hasson, whose aggressive parliamentary style has been a radical switch from the easy-going former chairman MK Isaac Herzog, twitted that “the opposition defeated an anti-social coalition bill,” a claim he may or may not have to defend eventually.
He added victoriously: “Again they are counting on us to pass laws for them. If they want to pass laws, they should show up at the plenum! We are an opposition, we do not work for them.”
Nor, apparently, do they work for patients in need of nursing services who will now have to pay out-of-pocket until a bureaucratic committee finally reviews their requests.