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direct democracy Signatures handed in for national vote on health costs

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Health and the cost of health insurance is a recurring concern of the Swiss.

(© Keystone / Gaetan Bally)

The centrist Christian Democratic Party has handed in signatures to force a national vote on their plan to reduce the cost of health insurance payments in Switzerland.

“Our initiative concretely tackles the biggest concern of the Swiss population,” the party wrote in a press release on Tuesday, as it submitted the 119,000 signatures in Bern.

The initiative demands that federal and cantonal authorities implement measures whenever health insurance premiums rise faster than the equivalent of 1/5th of the rise in salaries.

Such measures could include encouraging more use of generic drugs, taking steps to lower the costs of these generic drugs (they are currently much more expensive in Switzerland than elsewhere) as well as reducing “wastage” and “over-consumption”, the party reckonsexternal link.

The initiative comes just a few weeks after the left-wing Social Democrats handed in signatures for their proposal to tackle high health insurance costs – which they want to legally cap at 10% of household income; down from the 14% they claim is currently the average.

A third, cross-party initiative on the same issue was also launched last year.

Over the past two decades, health and health insurance have consistently been among the top three concerns of the Swiss people, according to the annual Credit Suisse Worry Barometer.


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