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Cost brake initiative: Center party launches campaign – News

  • The center party wants to combat rising health insurance premiums with its cost brake initiative.
  • The initiative calls for action if health care costs rise too much compared to wages.
  • The other parties reject the cost brake initiative.

The center party argues: The advantage of the cost brake initiative is that it does not address the symptoms, namely the high premiums, but rather the cause, namely the costs. The cost brake makes all actors responsible for taking savings measures.

Critics prefer counterproposals

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The Federal Council, the cantons, the other parties and most players in the healthcare system reject the initiative. They argue that the exclusive linking of the braking mechanism to economic and wage developments falls short and is too rigid. In addition, the cost brake does not take into account factors such as the aging of the population or medical and technical advances.

Instead, opponents of the initiative prefer the counter-proposal passed by Parliament, which will come into force if the initiative is voted down. This stipulates that the Federal Council, in consultation with those involved in the healthcare system, determines every four years the maximum amount that the costs of compulsory health insurance may increase.

Center party demands commitment

The counter-proposal is not sufficient, Geneva Center National Councilor Vincent Maitre told the media in Bern. The law is no guarantee that cost-cutting measures will actually be implemented. If the defined savings targets are not achieved, the counterproposal does not provide for any binding solutions.

According to the center party, this kind of commitment is needed to contain costs. The rising premiums are a reflection of the cost explosion. The health system with its numerous players is not in a position to reform itself. “We have lived in a world of laissez-faire for too long,” says Maitre.

If no limits are placed on the actors, containing healthcare costs will remain a pipe dream.

According to the current status, only the health insurance association Santésuisse supports the cost brake initiative. The other players have no interest in reducing costs and shift the responsibility to each other, says Maitre. And: “If no limits are set for the actors, containing health costs will remain a pious wish.”

The center party receives no support from the other parties for its cost-cutting initiative.


Party president Gerhard Pfister and his center party receive no support from the other parties for their cost-cutting initiative.

Keystone/Peter Schneider

The center party defends itself against the arguments of the opposition. It is wrong that the initiative would lead to two-class medicine, said Bern National Councilor Lorenz Hess. On the contrary: “Two-class medicine will come if we do nothing.” The center party is concerned with eliminating unnecessary costs and eliminating inefficiencies.

The vote on the popular initiative “For lower premiums – curbing costs in the healthcare system” will take place on June 9th.

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