Health: Government relies on flat rate per capita

Is the federal government planning the head lump sum through the back door? The health economy is to be promoted, but the responsibility of the state is to be reduced.

The statutory health insurance companies were threatened with a deficit of nine to eleven billion in 2011. This could essentially only be avoided by increasing the contribution rate from 14.9 to 15.5 percent. The health system is running at its limit, even if some measures help relieve the situation in the short term.

"Health economy instead of state medicine" - the state abolishes itself On Tuesday, as part of a symposium of the CDU Economic Council, health politicians of the party met with the FDP health minister and leading health insurance representatives to discuss the future of the German health system. The direction of the discussion was already clear in advance for the title chosen for the event, “Health economy instead of state medicine”.

Flat rate per capita through the back door The representatives of the governing parties have so far been quite inventive when it comes to covering the deficit in the health system, but ideally neither doctors nor the pharmaceutical lobby should be affected by the negative consequences of possible changes. So what to do Oh yes, why not introduce the flat rate per capita through the back door and pass all financial burdens on to the insured. Because the additional contributions to be expected across the board from 2012 will, according to the assessment of the renowned expert Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wasem will probably rise to around 80 euros per capita by 2020. This means that "the flat rate per capita (...) practically comes through the back door," explained Dr. Wasem.

Accusation of clientele policy In addition, the Federal Minister of Health again acknowledged a balance between statutory and private insurers, which in reality means, however, that the position of private health insurers (PKV) is supported as much as possible compared to statutory insurances (GKV). For example, the federal government, which had previously been reserved for the GKV, has also banned additional insurance from the GKV, so that in the future these will only be reserved for private individuals and the switch to private health insurance will be simplified to accommodate more people To offer the possibility to be insured with the private health insurance. All measures that subvert the statutory insurance system in favor of private health insurance and thus do not make the accusation of clientele politics appear entirely unjustified.

Additional contributions can be levied regardless of the wage development The economist and chairman of the health experts' council, Eberhard Wille, sees the main weak point in the financing of the health system in the fact that the wage increase is less than that of the gross domestic product. Similar to a flat rate per capita, additional contributions have the advantage that they can be increased or fixed at a flat rate. "The flat rate is not showing such weak growth," stressed Wille. It remains to be seen whether this will burden the insured disproportionately. The social compensation, which is intended to avoid excessive burdens, is of little help in absorbing the additional costs. Especially since experts such as Norbert Klusen, CEO of Techniker Krankenkasse, doubt whether the planned social compensation will come from tax revenues at all.

Efficiency efforts through additional contributions? - The illusion of competition The State Secretary Annette Widmann-Mauz relies on the expansion or further development of the income-independent additional contributions regardless of the social compensation, because this would trigger "considerable efficiency efforts" in the health insurance companies, which are in the interests of the insured. The State Secretary is probably also aware that the efficiency efforts are more likely to be triggered by the financial bottlenecks expected from 2012 at the latest and are not a result of the additional contributions. And that the additional contributions or the introduction of a flat-rate per capita through the back door is not at all in the interests of the insured, Annette Widmann-Mauz should have noticed by now.

Criticism from the opposition So criticism from the ranks of the opposition does not stop. Birgitt Bender, the health policy spokeswoman for the Bundestag parliamentary group Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, massively criticized the "Päppelung" of private health insurance and, like the CEO of Techniker Krankenkasse, does not believe that taxes will be levied to finance future social compensation. In the event of future government participation, your party would "of course reverse" the additional contributions or lump sum and all related steps, stressed Bender. Leading politicians of the SPD have already expressed themselves in the same way, so that the reform that the black and yellow has now implemented against all criticism will probably not last for very long. (fp, 07.10.2010)

Also read:
Additional contributions due to an increase in medical fees?
Health insurance against advance payment at the doctor
Additional contributions also possible in 2011
Social association: Health needs solidarity

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