German health reforms blocked again:
This article was originally published in Clinica
Once again, there is a lack of agreement between the German government and the opposition SPD concerning the third stage of the healthcare reforms - in- and outpatient care. The Health Ministry and a body of healthcare experts will consider over the next few weeks how to get the bills through parliament without the approval of the SPD-dominated upper house (Bundesrat). However, the government's emergency cost-cutting proposals will be passed despite SPD opposition. These include the reduction of the healthcare insurance contribution rate by 0.4% from January 1st, 1997 (see Clinica No 713, p 6).