Green MP Golriz Ghahraman explains why 'tax = love'

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is praising nurses and doctors for the treatment she received during a short stay in hospital and says that's why "tax = love". 

Ghahraman, a former human rights lawyer who came to New Zealand from Iran as a refugee, said in a Twitter post that healthcare is a "human right" because "equality of access is what love looks like in public". 

The Green Party spokesperson for human rights declined a request from Newshub about why she was in hospital, but on Twitter said she's "all good" and that it was for a "pre-existing thing". 

She said, "Excited to have options and care when we need it, as sucky as being sick is."

The Green MP took the time to reply to a number of her more than 20,000 followers who commented on the Twitter post - even the negative ones. 

"The Greens will tax you right into the poor house," one commented, to which Ghahraman replied: "Right into effective compassionate healthcare, schools, [and] housing - for every one of us in this nation who needs it."

She added: "Not just for the wealthy, because that's the Kiwi way and the Green way."

Ghahraman's tweet linked to a post by Amnesty International which said "Health care is a human right" nine times with the hashtag #DemDebate, referring to Democrats in the US competing to become the next presidential candidate. 

Healthcare is a major policy discussion point in the United States, where instead of having a uniform health system, most of the country's healthcare is funded privately. 

Former US President Barack Obama tried to transform the superpower's healthcare system by introducing the Affordable Care Act in 2010, also known as 'Obamacare'. 

Its goal was to get coverage for Americans who could not afford health insurance and also encouraged states to expand their healthcare subsidies to low-income people. 

US President Donald Trump has promised to "repeal" Obamacare. 

New Zealand's healthcare system is a mix of public and private, following reforms in the 1980s that took the country away from its former system that was essentially fully public. 

Ghahraman said she would like to see "better" funding of "all health services" in New Zealand, despite New Zealanders often not having to "worry about the cost of healthcare". 

The 39-year-old MP said she wants people to use the words 'public services', 'public healthcare', 'state housing' and 'public education' more. 

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman.
Green MP Golriz Ghahraman. Photo credit: Facebook

"They're based on such beautiful, strong values. Who wants to live where basic human dignity gets sold on the free market?"

Despite a flood of positive comments to Ghahraman offering her a "speedy recovery" and praising her "beautiful message", some questioned her views. 

"Love can't be demanded as a right," one commented. "Public health is not a right. It's a privilege that our society chooses to bestow. That it's not inherent is what makes it approximate love."

New Zealand's health and disability system was described by a review last year as "complicated and very fragmented", with "leadership lacking at all levels". 

Māori have "not been served well by the system", the review found, while rural communities are facing "particular challenges and need solutions designed specifically for them". 

The Opposition's latest health discussion document proposed re-establishing health targets, and having a common points system for District Health Boards to avoid the so-called "postcode lottery".