Government showered PKV with gifts

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Federal government showered private health insurance with gifts: Compulsory discounts for medicines should also apply to private health insurance as part of the health care reform.

(06.09.2010) According to the will of the federal government, private health insurance companies (PKV) will in future pay the same pharmaceutical prices as the statutory health insurance companies. The private health insurers had long been demanding that they also benefit from the compulsory discounts on medicines. The Federal Government shows once again that it is pushing ahead with the weakening of statutory health insurance funds.

Constantly new gifts to private health insurance companies, at least that's what you have to accept when new details about the planned health care reform are disclosed again. According to the "Financial Times Deutschland", the Federal Ministry of Health plans that private and statutory health insurance companies have to pay the same prices for new drugs. So far, the statutory health insurance companies have been favored when it comes to pricing, since they do not primarily act economically, but are a community based on the principle of solidarity. But that should now change more and is also a declared goal of the FDP.

The Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds is currently negotiating prices and conditions with pharmaceutical manufacturers. These prices then apply to health insurance patients, but not to private insurers. The PKV - since it is an economically operating company - has to pay higher prices for medication. But that is exactly what the federal government wants to change.

There is protests from all sides about these plans. The chief executive of the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Cornelia Yzer, criticizes such a change as "that government pricing works in favor of private health insurers". Yzer sees the right to exist for private health insurance companies in question. The path to uniform insurance is paving the way. "If, for overriding reasons, social law can and should be applied to private insurance in the future, politics would actually be on the way to unit insurance."

The CEO of the Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI), Dr. Bernd Wegener already criticized last week, "For years, private health insurance has been right to fight against being brought into line with statutory health insurance. Now it is ridiculing its own policy and demanding - wherever it serves its own profits - exactly that" - a statutory one Equal opportunities, said Dr. Wegener: "A compulsory discount for motor vehicles could just as well be introduced," said the head of the association.

But the introduction of a compulsory discount for medicinal products is not the only thing that the federal government is planning to do in favor of private health insurance. The statutory health insurance companies are supposed to “bleed out” in the future. Because optional tariffs such as treatment by a doctor or single bed occupancy in hospitals should also be reserved for private health insurers from January 1st. In addition, better earners should be able to switch to private health insurance more quickly and easily. This critically questions the social principle of health insurance companies. Because if more and more “high earners” turn their backs on the statutory health insurance companies, the financial situation of the insurance companies deteriorates continuously. Ultimately, the remaining health insurance patients have to pay the bill with ever higher contributions and additional contributions.

Furthermore, the federal government plans to enforce “closer cooperation” between statutory and private health insurers as part of the health reform. For example, both types of health insurance should be able to maintain joint offices and be able to buy services for health insureds under the same conditions.

It is therefore evident that a weakening of the statutory health insurance funds should be pushed ahead in order to privatize health care more and more. The state wants to withdraw more and more from the health care system based on solidarity. To summarize well, Dr. Wegener: "The FDP's clientele policy continues." (Sb)

Also read:
Medicines: drug prices rise
FDP wants to strengthen private health insurance
Chief physician treatment only possible at the PKV?

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