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Ministers silent after crisis talks to solve health premium row

Friday 09 November 2012

Samsom%20.jpg Labour leader Diederik Samsom after the crisis talks. Photo: Novum

The new Dutch coalition is to amend its controversial plan to make health insurance premiums income-related after an unprecedented backlash from supporters and party elders.

Prime minister Mark Rutte, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher, health minister Edith Schippers and the two parliamentary leaders Diederik Samsom and Halbe Zijlstra held crisis talks on Thursday night as the row over the plans showed no sign of abating.

Although no-one would comment on leaving the talks, Nos television say its sources have indicated changes are on the way. There were ‘far-reaching’ talks about the ‘political reality,’ Asscher said.

Income tax

According to the Telegraaf, the talks are set to continue today. It says the shift to an income-related health premium could be scrapped, but that plans to cut income tax will also then be ditched.

It became clear early on Thursday evening that the two ruling parties – the right-wing VVD and Labour party PvdA – wanted to find a solution to the dispute and that several options were on the table, Nos says.

The plans to increase health insurance premiums in line with income would have led to around one in six households seeing their disposable income cut by over 5%. In particular the VVD was overwhelmed with protests and support for the party slumped in recent polls.

Opposition leaders also made it clear they would not vote in favour of the plan in the senate. The coalition does not have majority support in the upper house of parliament.

The lower house is due to debate the new government’s plans with ministers on Tuesday.

Your thoughts? Use the comment box below

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

The current system is acceptable except the 'own risk' should be scrapped. In replacement, the insurance companies will reimburse a certain percentage (80% or whatever) for each GP visit. This will help improve a lot of inefficiencies and administrative efforts in the current system.

By ufo | 9 November 2012 9:01 AM

NL has the most inefficient health system in Europe, the highest costs as procent GDP or cost per capita and the service is well below the other majors.
it costs EU 5,000 for every man woman and child.
The Eu 100/month to the insurance company is a myth.
A family of man wife and 3 children costs the system Eu15,000 per year.
This family should pay Eu1300 per month today they pay around Eu200.
Who funds the difference? not the insurance company

The hundreds of insurance companies only add to the costs - it is not in their interest to save money for their customers, only to make profits for themselves.
The system needs to be totally changed

By nd | 9 November 2012 9:50 AM

What if I voted for them based on agreement with the policies they are now backtracking on? I can't believe they lied to me.

By Dr Ponzi | 9 November 2012 10:04 AM

The only way to reduce system costs is to decrease utilization and/or reduce overhead costs. More coverage is not the answer. More personal resposibility is. Prvate insurance companies should not recieve any support from the state. They cannot sponsor football clubs anymore.

By stomaarts | 9 November 2012 11:40 AM

For "over-elderies" (above 75 yrs of age), the "own risk" should be fully scrapped and instead, if appropriate, if yearly medicine costs exceed Euro 220,00 for the additional only 80% should be reimbursed by Insurance companies.

By Anicha | 9 November 2012 11:45 AM

Income tax with different tax rates should be the only way for reducing the income gap. Differentiating prices of other goods and subsidies will make the whole tax system and home budgeting unnecessarily complicated.

By Konio | 9 November 2012 11:49 AM

Citizens above 75 yrs of age should be exempt from 'own risk' and if appropriate, cost of medicines if exceeds Euro 220 per year, only 50% should be reimbursed.

By Anicha | 9 November 2012 11:50 AM

i think it should be income related but it should scale on a percentage of income and shouldn't increase at certain salary thresholds.

By G | 9 November 2012 12:16 PM

I am sorry, but for such a crap service I do not want to pay more.
Recent example:I visited my huisarts with a small, but really disturbing problem. (something on my face, that should not be there). He did not see it. I insisted on sent to a specialist, so he sent me to a consult to the hospital in Veldhoven. The doctor there also did not see anything strange on my skin. I was really disappointed. Half of the world saw it, they did not. I went to a private clinic and they identified the problem in 3 minutes. Today they likely fixed it - control in 4 weeks...

By Susanna | 9 November 2012 12:47 PM

Have it like we do in Australia, fixed percentage. So everyone pays around 3%. This gets you basic coverage. If you are not rich, you still get everything covered, it just takes a while for certain things. Got the cash? Great, go and buy extra insurance. Done. Simple.

By Kris | 9 November 2012 3:22 PM

I can assure you my family of 5 costs system 20 EUR/year. In TOTAL. And check insurance companies profits from earlier years - hardly can call them altruistic servers to community.

By Mojo | 9 November 2012 3:22 PM

If the own risk is to be scrapped, it should apply for all ages. We should not be discriminated by age, race, income or whatever. Moreover, it is costly to maintain two systems.

By ufo | 9 November 2012 3:22 PM

One can only pray that they stay silent for the rest of their term. That would be the best outcome for Holland.

By Roger Icarus | 9 November 2012 5:12 PM

If there were private hospitals here I could understand people paying more to an insurance company for a higher standard of care.
Paying more for the same service simply because you earn more doesn't make any sence to me!

By Donaugh | 10 November 2012 1:27 PM

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