June 17, 2024

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Singularly remarkable health

German government funds its war spending by increasing health insurance contributions


Germany’s Minister of Wellness, Karl Lauterbach (Social Democratic Occasion, SPD), plans to recoup a health insurance deficit of at the very least €17 billion future calendar year by increasing contributions from normal insurers and plundering health insurance reserves. In announcing his plans the minister explicitly referred to the Ukraine war.

Two months in the past, the WSWS described the federal spending plan as a “declaration of war on the people” soon after the authorities made a decision to triple over-all navy shelling out and award the German army (Bundeswehr) a “special fund” of €100 billion. We wrote: “The cost of the rearmament will be borne by the operating course in every single respect.”

This examination has now been verified. Lauterbach is no longer ready to fill the health insurance deficit via condition subsidies as has been performed in the previous. Alternatively, he is demanding amplified contributions from the huge greater part of the inhabitants who are not able to pay for personal insurance plan. In performing so, the wellbeing minister immediately affirmed the intent of the ruling “traffic light” (SPD, Greens, Free Democratic Occasion) coalition to comply with the credit card debt brake mechanism (i.e., no new financial loans) in the 2023 federal finances.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) in the course of a push conference on 14 January 2022 (AP Picture/Michael Sohn)

When Lauterbach appeared before the press on Tuesday, June 28, he consistently thanked Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) for “the great cooperation and consensual end result.” He described that the finance minister had taken care “we do not end up with proposals that violate the debt brake, that would necessitate tax raises or would call for a supplementary budget … I expressly share all 3 goals of the Federal Finance Minister.’

The anticipated €17 billion health insurance deficit for 2023 is likely an undervalue. Other forecasts suppose a sum of €25 billion. The BILD newspaper published this determine from the Institute for Health Economics (IfG) in Munich collectively with its clarification that the estimate of €17 billion “does not however involve the war in Ukraine and its repercussions.” Added deficits amounting to billions of euros are also envisioned for unemployment insurance and care for the aged insurance policies.

In buy to plug the monetary hole in the health insurance money, contribution increases from blue- and white-collar staff are expected to elevate €5 billion. In addition, coverage reserves will also be plundered. Lauterbach defined that the different health insurance corporations and their joint health and fitness fund have a combined €6.4 billion in reserve that could be utilised to assistance go over the deficit. “We are in the center of the Ukraine war,” the minister pressured. “All the reserves in the resources must be identified as upon.”

Up until finally now the deficit has been absorbed by federal subsidies, which amounted most lately to €14 billion—but “this would not utilize up coming 12 months!” the minister stated. According to Lauterbach, there will be a tax subsidy of just €2 billion and a federal personal loan of €1 billion. The minister plans to increase one more €3 billion from “efficiency enhancements,” without having giving any even further information.


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