Is it really any surprise that health insurance companies are beginning to be difficult about taking on people with a poor health record? After all, they are private sector companies and making money for their shareholders is the bottom line.
Stands to reason that they do not want to take on people who are likely to cost them a lot. Not good for the profit and loss accounts. So if they do sign them up, of course they make them pay more for their insurance.
Solidarity between sick and healthy went out the window when we put health insurance into the hands of the private sector. You cannot have open competition without hurting someone.
Sometimes it seems as if the Netherlands cannot get its head around this simple fact. We are very keen on involving private firms – but then we get cross when they start doing what they are supposed to – which is making money.
Yesterday, a government commission led by former finance minister Onno Ruding gave a resounding thumbs-up to getting the private sector involved in infrastructure projects. Private firms will save the country some 10% on the cost of building roads and bridges, the commission triumphed.
It is, perhaps, no coincidence that five of the seven-strong committee which drew up the report have very close ties to either banks or the construction sector.
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