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Germany Cuts Health Spending, Ups Rates

From an unfazed Associated Press:

Germany cuts health care spending, raises premiums

By VERENA SCHMITT-ROSCHMANN (AP)

July 8, 2010

BERLIN — Faced with a ballooning deficit in Germany’s health care system, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government decided Tuesday to raise premiums and cut into the profits of doctors, dentists, hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Lest we forget, Germany was regularly touted by the proponents of ‘healthcare reform’ as a model for the US. ‘Why can’t we be more like Germany,’ the media asked?

Well, it turns out that we will be like them only too soon.

The decision comes after months of wrangling within Merkel’s coalition over a fundamental overhaul of the system and after a series of political blows to the chancellor and plummeting support in the polls.

It sounds like the citizens are unhappy with their version of Obama-care.

While government officials said Tuesday’s decision was an achievement reached harmoniously, the opposition immediately criticized the reform saying it basically consists of everybody paying more.

Gasp! Even ‘the poor’?

Germany’s once highly regarded mandatory health insurance covers about 72 million people, or 90 percent of the population.

The US population is more than four times that of Germany. So you can safely multiply all of the following figures by four to get a sense of how this would compare to American costs.

It has already gone through a series of reforms to stabilize its financial base. Costs are rising swiftly because of ever more sophisticated treatments and an aging population

And because all of the initial cost projections were simply lies.

To deal with a projected euro11 billion ($13.9 billion) hole in 2011, the government decided to increase premiums to 15.5 percent of workers’ gross pay, up from 14.9 percent with contributions split between employers and employees. The hikes are to bring in about euro6 billion ($7.6 billion).

In addition, Roesler announced cuts of about euro3.5 billion spread out among hospitals, physicians, dentists, insurers and pharmaceutical companies…

Somehow the AP forgot to translate these healthcare cuts into US dollars. They amount to $4.3 billion in cuts to German medical coverage.

Surely that was an inadvertent oversight.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, July 8th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Germany Cuts Health Spending, Ups Rates”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    If I was a Blue Cross/Blue Shield exec, or one from any of the major health insurance companies, I would hop on the plane and start laying the groundwork for a private health insurance company in Germany.

    It may be 10, 20 years away, but it’s coming to them. Once they see the handwriting on the wall, they will go for it. Make it widely known that the premiums will be a fraction of what they are paying for government care and also note the wide services they will receive, heck…maybe even throw in free transportation.

    World keeps on turnin’—-

  2. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    “Costs are rising swiftly because of ever more sophisticated treatments and an aging population… ”

    I thought it was because of the evil, profit-hungry insurance companies Mr. Obama is going to protect us from by bankrupting. That must only be here in America.

  3. proreason says:

    “Germany’s once highly regarded mandatory health insurance”

    Oops. The Associated Propagandists let the truth slip in there. “once highly regarded” Well, nobody can be 100% alert 100% of the time.

    Please refer to my prior post to Rusty about why the Moron is a moron. The reason is that he is blinded by his ideology and therefore has half his brain tied behind his back.

    This is proof of that. As the rest of the world (particularly Canada) begins to come to grips with the massive, disastrous, nation-crippling failure of universal health care….the MORON jumps on board.

    But lest we forget, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about health care. It’s all about power for the little emperor. That and punishment for his enemies, which pretty much includes everybody.

  4. Media_man says:

    Germany’s healthcare % of GDP is 11% versus 17% for the US. If we implemented a similar payroll tax in the US for a similar plan it would need to be @ 24% of Gross Pay. It should be pointed out that even with the 15.5% payroll tax in Germany, their government run healthcare system is still chronically underfunded and they resort to countless other taxes, corporate, cap gains, sales taxes, etc., in addition to chronic deficit spending, to fund it.

    A 24% payroll tax for the US would assume a flat tax on all income. However, given the Socialist nature of the Democrats, lower income folks would likely be exempt, so maybe the tax would be @ 40% of all income above a certain electorally beneficial amount.

    After a while, most people will throw in the towel & stay home. Why bother working? The moochers & the looters will take everything you have anyway.

  5. Chuckk says:

    I thought once the government got involved costs would only do down while quality improves.


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