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Rösler's health reforms rebuffed by coalition colleagues

The Local · 4 Jun 2010, 09:02

Published: 04 Jun 2010 09:02 GMT+02:00

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The Bavarian conservatives, the Christian Social Union, have ruled out the plan, with Social Affairs Minister Markus Söder saying they would not negotiate on the plan, according to daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The deputy leader of the CSU’s parliamentary group, Johannes Singhammer, said he could “not recommend an acceptance of the model” being proposed by Rösler.

Under Rösler’s so-called Kopfpauschale model, the present system whereby workers’ health insurance premiums total about 14 percent of their salary – with the worker and the employer each paying half – would be supplemented by a flat fee of €30 for everyone.

However that flat €30 would mean the percentage of their salary paid by the worker could be dropped slightly. Low income earners' contribution could be dropped as low as 5 percent. The nation's employers, meanwhile, would be burdened with as much as €3 billion extra in health insurance contributions.

The leadership group of Chancellor Angela Merkel, CSU leader Horst Seehofer and coalition partner Free Democrats leader Guido Westerwelle discussed the issue on Thursday afternoon, Singhammer said, according to daily Die Welt.

He said they discussed how to avoid a looming deficit for Germany’s public health insurers of about €11 billion over the next year, and that new suggestions would have to be made before parliament breaks for its summer recess.

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The leadership group wanted to meet the core principles of making savings, locking in the employers’ contribution at the present level of about 7 percent and “further development” of an additional contribution – meaning Rösler’s proposals would need to be reworked.

After a meeting of coalition health policy makers, including Söder and Rösler, it was agreed that €4 billion should be saved over the next year. That meant freezing the rate of payments to doctors and hospitals.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:58 June 4, 2010 by majura
My partner voted in the FDP and now she's regretting it. She'd never imagined that they would do this.

It seems that they (or at least certain factions) are hell bent on plugging the debt/deficit issue by taking an extreme centre position. I know it sounds crazy, but it seems as if the FDP want to stay so much 'in the middle' that rather than propose a luxury item tax or higher tax for the extremely wealthy, their agenda is to simply tax everyone from your local Hartz IV 9am beer drinkers to those that don't blink an eye when buying a new car and the majority of people in between. I know the FDP wouldn't tax the rich and give to the poor, but to propose a 19% VAT(12% rise) on basic food instead of collecting revenue elsewhere just doesn't add up in my head.
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