Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Health care is one of the most intensely debated issues, and this for a reason. At the moment, we do not have one health insurance system, we have two parallel ones. One part of the population has "public" insurance while the other has "private" insurance. Roughly, the former are less well-to-do people than the latter (I, for instance, have a public health insurance). You can coose your health insurance, but the private one costs more. In the past, this health insurance-parallelism has evolved into some sort of two-class medicine. Privately insured people are much more likely to get expensive treatment than the publicly insured.

Health insurance policy has developed into a quite significant issue especially for the small parties (Greens and FDP). Greens want to integrate health insurance into a public "citizen insurance" which is supposed to cover everyone, with the same benefits for everyone but different monthly contributions according to income. FDP wants to get rid of public insurance as a whole and organise the whole system privately according to market mechanisms, with only a few ameliorations for the least well-offs.

Some conservative politicians from the CDU's neo-liberal/market economy wing (Kirchhof-disciples like Friedrich Merz) are also coqueting with a "flat insurance" with a standard monthly contribution regardless of income. But since Merkel's Kirchhof-crash, luckily, every politician who is only half-way sane keeps away from this project.

This is only a very schematic overwiew about the general health care/health insurance situation. It would certainly be an issue or a longer diary which I would want to write - but, due to time problems, not before next week, sorry.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Fri Oct 28th, 2005 at 06:06:11 AM EST
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