GreenLeft joins calls to abolish healthcare charge


GreenLeft has become the latest party to call for the standard excess charge in health insurance to be abolished as it launched its election manifesto on Monday.

‘Being ill is not a personal risk,’ party leader Jesse Klaver told ‘The effect is that people avoid having treatment.’

Patients are currently required to pay the first €385 of their medical treatment each year out of their own pocket on the compulsory basic insurance plan. Abolishing the charge would cost an estimated €3.7bn, which GreenLeft would recover through raising taxes on savings and penalties for tax evasion.

The excess charge, which is set in the annual budget, rose sharply during the economic crisis as the government implemented austerity measures to cut or offset public spending. In 2011 the maximum personal contribution was €170, increasing to €220 in 2012 and €350 in 2013.

As well as GreenLeft, Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party (PVV) and the Socialists have also vowed to scrap the charge if they join the government after next March’s election. The 50Plus group has said it will reduce the maximum payment down to €200.

The centrist-liberal D66 party has also published its manifesto, but made no commitment on personal excess charges. It says a ruling should be made to provide emergency care for people who are unable to arrange health insurance.

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