Health insurance premiums should rise less sharply. With this goal in mind, the National Council approved an indirect counter-proposal to Mitte’s “cost-cutting initiative”. In particular, the Federal Council should set cost and quality targets. The measure also agreed to a counter-proposal. The CEO of the Center, Gerhard Pfister, tells in an interview what this means for the initiative.
President of CVP
Open the people box. Close the people box
Pfister has been the chairman of the Swiss Christian People’s Party since 2016. After the 2019 elections, he initiated reforms to his party, changing its name and joining the BDP. From January 2021, the party is called Die Mitte Schweiz, of which he remains the president. Since 2003, he has been a member of the National Council of the Canton of Zug.
SRF News: If the counterproposal remains the same, will you withdraw your initiative?
Gerhard Pfister: We’ll see when the counter-proposal goes through the Council of States. The lobbyists worked very hard today, but they failed. We’ll wait and see how successful they are in the Council of States.
You criticized in Parliament that lobbyists use a self-service “Healthcare” store. But the members of your parliamentary group themselves are diligently involved in this: many of them have paid seats, for example from health insurance companies.
Yes, and I expect members of my group to vote for this party here. That they put the interests of the people before the interests of their mandate – and that is what they have done today.
Of the eight members of the median group in health committees, seven have mandates in the health sector – some of them very important. Can they really decide for themselves?
Today they have it. And I also expect state councils to decide for the benefit of the population, not for their mandate.
We have a problem in the healthcare system heavily influenced by lobbyists with mandates.
It is also in their own interest to lower healthcare costs.
You say you would do it today – what about?
We have a problem in the healthcare system heavily influenced by lobbyists with mandates. Therefore, this initiative is urgently needed, as it somewhat breaks the stalemate in mutual interests.
Your initiative doesn’t dictate anything. It only says that something must be done if the costs increase too much. But not what.
What you need to do has been known for a long time. Only nobody does it. There is a Diener report that lists forty measures that can be taken to reduce costs.
Everyone says you need to save, not with us, but with others. Nothing is happening like this.
Almost none of them have been implemented. And our initiative just wants you to implement what you already know.
So why didn’t you launch a popular initiative? – with this content?
Because then the lobbyists and their opposing interests would balance themselves again. This is one of the biggest problems in the health sector: everyone says you need to save, not with us, but with others. Nothing is happening like this.
Why should your initiative be any different? The Federal Council would have to make proposals. The same mechanisms then play a role in Parliament.
Thanks to this initiative, we have already stabbed a wasp’s nest.
Yes, but the counter-proposal already contains a specific proposal. Namely cost targets. Everyone fought. Therefore, it is right that it was written.
Your own initiative was probably also about addressing dissatisfaction with rising health insurance premiums ahead of the election without rummaging through a hornet’s nest with specific actions?
Thanks to this initiative, we have already stabbed a wasp’s nest. Everyone fought. Everyone said there was even no need for a counter-proposal. We still got to him. We are not afraid of this discussion. You know exactly what needs to be done. What matters is that perhaps today we are one step closer to it.
The interview was conducted by Nathalie Christen.