Health: Should health premiums be capped at 10% of income? – Swiss



For: Pierre-Yves Maillard (PS)

Why is a 10% premium cap essential?

Because premiums have increased so much that many households pay more than 15% of their net income for health insurance. It can even go up to 18 or 20%. If you add rent and taxes, it eats the purchasing power of the middle class and families. It has to stop. A 10% cap is reasonable.

Reasonable? Your proposal could cost $ 4 billion a year. It’s enormous.

We are proposing a fairer way to finance premiums. The exact impact on public budgets will depend on the evolution of health care costs and the way in which net income and premiums are calculated. If we take the Vaud model, the impact will be quite bearable. The real question is this: will the profits of the Cantons and the Confederation be used to lower direct taxes, which favors the wealthy, or will we lower the premium health tax, which is socially most unjust, since it does not take into account people’s financial capacity. A modest household of four pays more than a single millionaire!

Your initiative is a gift from heaven for healthcare providers and pharmas. Health care costs go up and the taxpayer pays.

I think the opposite. Today, health actors are in a comfortable position. The sickness premium is the only tax that increases without the possibility of a referendum. The lobbies more or less water the elected officials to avoid controlling costs and the only ones who drink are the premium payers to whom the bill is presented as inevitable. If we put a ceiling at 10%, this has an upward impact on subsidies and will provoke a parliamentary debate. The right will be forced to ask the right questions on the issue of health costs.

Aside from hitting insurers, what is the Socialist Party doing to curb health costs?

We support the Berset package to control healthcare costs. This implies lowering the completely overrated prices of generics and drugs, and making health stakeholders accountable in order to control the volume of acts they generate. The right will oppose it. Some of its elected officials, not all, are in charge of pharmas and private clinics.

Against: Philippe Nantermod (PLR)

Why are you against the socialist initiative on health premiums?

Because once again, it is asking to solve a cantonal problem at the federal level. This does not take into account all the specific aid that a canton can already provide: health insurance subsidies, deduction for training costs, tax deductions for children, higher family allowances, etc. The initiative sets an arbitrary ceiling of 10% without having the big picture. The calculation will be different depending on whether you live in Geneva, Vaud or Valais.

Federalism is the classic argument of people who want to do nothing …

No, health grants and a ceiling already exist de facto at the cantonal level. This helps to determine who is and who is not eligible for assistance, depending on household income and size. I am not at all hostile to this 10% ceiling in the canton of Vaud. I object to it being uniformly generalized.

The initiators consider that a sickness premium is an unfair tax since a large, modest family pays much more than a single millionaire. Shouldn’t that be changed?

In health insurance, solidarity first plays out on another level. It takes place between the healthy and the sick, not between the rich and the poor. A patient can benefit from benefits worth tens of thousands of francs, unrelated to the premium he pays. Conversely, a healthy person, regardless of income, will pay much more compared to the benefits obtained. And then, let’s not forget that the tax, collected according to income, already finances more than half of the expenses in the health system. We are very far from a system of a per capita premium. If that were the case, we would be over 1000 francs per month per inhabitant!

What do you recommend to curb health costs?

If we want to prevent the explosion of costs, we must avoid accepting all requests from the trades who want to be included in the catalog of compulsory care. The National has just done this for nursing and the Federal Council now wants to integrate psychologists. It’s not very popular to say, but by including thousands of more providers in basic insurance, it doesn’t curb costs. And it’s not the right that pushes in this direction.

Created: 23.01.2020, 21h51

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