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Rösler and health insurance companies advise on cost-cutting measures
Today, Wednesday, Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) and representatives of the statutory health insurance companies meet in Berlin to examine the legal savings options in the health system. The reason for this is the recent increase in contributions by some health insurers.
The "Handelsblatt" reported that the health insurance companies are demanding billions in savings and new price rules for certain drugs. According to the spokesman for the Federal Insurance Office, Tobias Schmidt, eight statutory health insurance funds have applied for additional contributions to date. 50 health insurers stated that they want to do without additional contributions from their members in 2010. However, it is to be expected that there will be even more applications for additional contributions in the foreseeable future. Of the eight applications, four have been approved so far, which may claim the maximum amount of up to 37.50 per month. Those insured with other health insurance providers pay an additional eight euros per month.
Health Minister Rösler said in the "Weser-Kurier" that he would examine savings in new expensive drugs and would primarily pass the possible savings on to the members of the health insurance companies. According to Welt ONLINE, among other things, a reduction in the VAT rate for drugs from 19 to seven percent will be discussed. According to experts, this could bring savings of around three billion euros.
The opposition and observers condemned Rösler's plans as pure actionism. He is under criticism because of his proposals to introduce a head lump sum. Furthermore, they are
current announcements under the aspect of the election campaign to see the upcoming state election in North Rhine-Westphalia.
They stated that the health insurances' proposals had been around for a long time and that he would have to take action above all in the case of pharmacy surcharges and the rising drug prices. There must be more competition among pharmaceutical companies and better opportunities for the health insurance companies to negotiate discounts. According to Welt ONLINE, there are already proposals from the pharmaceutical industry to reduce costs. Representatives of the pharmaceutical companies and the Federal Minister of Health are to meet on February 18. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, 02/10/2010)