Is the “Hartz IV health system” coming?

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DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach warns of an impending "Hartz IV system in health care"

Federal Health Minister Philipp Rösler (FDP) defends the restructuring of the health system despite repeated criticism. The planned head lump sum of the black and yellow federal government is a "Hartz IV system in health care", warned the DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach. The Barmer health insurance company GEK has again criticized the health minister's plans.

Buntenbach fears that the head lump sum is not affordable for a large part of the population. Especially pensioners and precarious workers could not pay the head lump sums. This would turn the insured into "dependent petitioners of the state". With the restructuring of the health system, a kind of Hartz IV system is being introduced that "puts the health care of millions of insured people at risk", criticized Buntenbauch. The result is that "in the end, services will be cut and privatized on a broad front."

The chairman of the health insurance company Barmer GEK, Birgit Fischer, is of the opinion that the planned flat rate per capita cannot solve the financial problems of the health system. About 60 percent of the insured would no longer be able to pay their health insurance contributions and would be dependent on subsidies from the state. Federal Minister of Health Rösler wants to set the course for health reform this year. The flat rate per capita is to be introduced from 2011. The trade unions and initiatives such as Campact are planning a major campaign this year for a de-solidarizing head lump sum in the health sector. (08/01/2010)

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