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Social Democrats Health Insurance Initiative Fails

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 24 February 2024

Swiss Center Rejects Health Premium Cap Proposal, Debates Cost and Solidarity in Healthcare

Social Democrats Health Insurance Initiative Fails
Keystone/SDA – PETER SCHNEIDER

The Center rejects the SP’s premium relief initiative.

On Saturday in Schwyz, delegates voted 166 to 27 with 22 abstentions to reject the proposal, which will be put to the vote on June 9, 2024.

The SP initiative wanted insured persons spending on healthcare capped to ten percent of their disposable income.

If this limit is exceeded, the federal government and cantons would have to step in with premium reductions.

SP National Councillor Jon Pult (GR) tried to convince the center of this solution.

The premium increases were the “most blatant tax increase” without the population being allowed to say anything about it.

According to Pult, the current system of premium reductions is not sufficiently developed to keep pace with cost growth. The financial relief provided by the initiative would restore purchasing power to some of the population, said the SP National Councillor.

In addition, the initiative would shift the pressure exerted by premium growth from the population to the cantons and thus to politicians.

Pult recommended that the centrist base approve not only their own cost brake initiative, but also the SP’s premium relief initiative. By combining the two popular initiatives, great progress could be made, both in terms of costs and financial burdens.

However, Lorenz Hess, a central member of the Bernese National Council, spoke out against the SP initiative and in favor of the indirect counter-proposal drawn up by the federal councils.

The SP initiative is too expensive, said Hess. A moderate adjustment to the premium reduction was the right thing to do, but the costs also needed to be discussed. Another advantage of the counter-proposal is that no powers would be transferred from the cantons to the federal government.

©Keystone/SDA

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