Sunday, March 11, 2007

Switzerland head to the polls

Today, voters in Switzerland are heading to the polling stations in the nation’s first initiative referendum of the year. They will be deciding on a proposal to introduce a single health insurance company in Switzerland and premiums based on income and wealth. The plan, which is supported by the centre-left but opposed by the centre-right as well as the business community, parliament and the government, is the latest in a series of attempts to cut increasing costs, notably health premiums.

There are currently 87 private insurers providing mandatory coverage for basic health care for residents in Switzerland under a 1996 law. But health premiums have soared spectacularly over the past decade.

More than 100,000 people are no longer covered because they haven't paid their premiums.

Switzerland has the most expensive health system in Europe, according to an international comparison. It spent 11.6 per cent on health in 2005, ahead of Germany and France, but behind the United States.

This is what I like about Switzerland, citizens get to decide many things. It looks like the initiative will fail but it is still people power. I like the fact that power is divided between the government and the people. This is the way it should be.

Obviously I don’t live in Switzerland and I don’t know much about the argument but I would probably be in favour of this proposal as long as it was a government insurance scheme as a private monopoly would just take advantage and would probably lead to higher premiums but then again people still should have the option of a none government scheme.

No comments: