Barend van Lieshout: CDA healthcare plans excellent
Tuesday 12 June 2012
Barend van Lieshout gives the tumbs up to the CDA’s healthcare plans.
This is the third in a series of columns by Barend van Lieshout on the main political parties’ healthcare plans.
I have never voted CDA in my life but credit where credit’s due: the party’s healthcare plans are interesting.
It’s not all good news, of course. The Christian Democrats are promising the mother-of-all-prevention plans and we will have to see how that works out. It’s a little like the solution to the crisis which will be revealed the day after the elections. And transferring the parts of healthcare to the local councils may shift the problem but won’t make it go away. Many local councils are struggling to provide AWBZ services on a reduced budget.
But I’m willing to overlook this when I read that the party is proposing personal care budgets for the elderly. This is a great opportunity for innovation. In fact, many health care innovations have so far ended up hitting the brick wall of existing insurers contracts that keep the money going to the same players year after year. It does hoewever beg the question of how the CDA is going to finance their plans. The contracts have one advantage: they keep the budget under control. A possible solution could lie in lowering tariffs across the board. I think that all things considered citizens are better off with more consumer choice, no waiting lists and lower tariffs. After all, we are going to have to share what is becoming a scarce good and we might as well get used to it. And maybe the budget will stretch to more than we thought was possible.
Less chemo, more Frans Bauer
I was surprised by the CDA’s choice of quality over length of life. Christian Democrats like a good ethical issue (euthanasia, abortion) but here the party appears to have chosen wellbeing over a decrepit old age without much discussion. What does the bible say? Will the minister explain that the CDA has opted to replace the budget for chemo with more Frans Bauer performances? Don’t get me wrong: I think the CDA’s choice is the right one. It’s just that it’s very, very difficult to keep your political back straight when people are dying earlier because some treatments are no longer being paid for. A minister who scraps treatments from the healthcare package will be torn to shreds by the opposition.
The CDA manifesto would mean turning the healthcare sector on its head and that would involve a lot of work and money. Nevertheless, it deserves the voter’s attention because it also offers a start of a solution to the healthcare deficit. It remains to be seen if the party will win enough seats to carry it through.
Barend van Lieshout is a healthcare advisor at Rebel.