BRAZILIAN UNIFIED HEALTH SYSTEM: IS IT EGALITARIAN TO BE GRATUIT?

The objective of this study is to verify from the legal and political levels and in the light of the principle of material equality, the possibility of establishing collection in the Brazilian Unified Health System–“SUS”. The conclusions are: (i) legally, collection is possible, since gratuity is not a principle nor a guideline of “SUS”, but rather comes from a purely political option. Furthermore, the Constitution authorize “other sources” of revenue to be used to finance the system; (ii) politically, the collection is convenient and timely, since, based on the reality of underfunding that the “SUS” is facing – which, however, does not stem from a real lack of resources, but from a legal unavailability of these, and it is not feasible to admit that people with financial conditions invest in the legal position of demanding from the Public Administration the provision of services by the “SUS” free of charge. However, a wide range of exemptions must be established.