Health: The German trade union confederation DGB demands extensive relief for those with statutory health insurance
Before the parliamentary deliberations on health care reform are completed, the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) is calling for a five-point plan to reduce contributions for the insured and for sustained solidarity-based financing of the statutory health insurance (SHI). DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach said on Monday in Berlin:
"We call on the federal government not to further increase the burden on insured persons as of January 01, 2011, but to lower the contributions of the SHI members.
Relief for the insured is immediately feasible if the uniform contribution rate is completely equal and the special employee contribution of 0.9 percentage points is abolished. After the Federal Government planned to raise the contribution rate to 15.5 percentage points, employers and insured persons would then bear the same contribution rate of 7.75 percentage points each. As a result, the 70 million insured can be relieved by 0.15 percentage points - by 0.45 percentage points compared to previous government plans. The equal contribution structure has long been overdue, socially just and also economically sensible. It is imperative of social reason to finally compensate for the additional burdens that the insured have had to bear for 15 billion euros for years.
The uniform contribution rate can even be reduced to 15.2 percentage points. We propose that the federal government increases the tax-financed contributions for ALGII recipients from the current 126.05 euros to the average health insurance expenditure of 261 euros per insured person. As a result, the contributors can be relieved of EUR 3.7 billion and the contributions reduced by a further 0.3 percentage points. Instead of the premium increase planned by the coalition, the insured could be relieved by 0.3 percentage points without endangering the short-term stabilization of the SHI finances.
For long-term and sustainable solidarity financing, the DGB suggests increasing the mandatory insurance limit and abolishing it in the medium term, as well as broadening the assessment bases in order to include capital income. This enables the income base to be stabilized sustainably and in a socially just manner and long-term care for all citizens can be guaranteed.
A one-sided burden wave for the 70 million insured, as the coalition plans with the freeze of employer contributions and the introduction of the lump sum, is absolutely irresponsible. The decoupling of financing by employers is completely irrational, not least in view of the demographic challenges, and will mean that flat rates per head will hail in just a few years. We urge members of the CDU, CSU and FDP to defuse these time bombs and instead return to social reason. ”(Pm, Nov 8, 2010)