Rotten Compromise16 Nov 2004
In describing the CDU/CSU health care "plan", I love how Reuters starts with the phrase "Germany's squabbling conservative opposition". The proposal has nothing to do with reforming the health care system, and everything to do with distributing party influence and power of Merkel and Stoiber.
Now, I'm all for a health financing system that does away with the payroll tax and distributes the costs to everyone, not just wage earners. But this plan keeps a 6.5% payroll tax, while individuals pay 109 per month (but no more than 7% of income). So we keep the old bureaucracy, add a new one, and the difference gets paid with taxes. Nothing about cost reduction or efficiency. Everyone loses, except for high wage earners. Is this client politics, or what?
Nico thinks income taxes are a bad way to finance health care; I disagree, but of course the tax system needs to fixed first, and needs to stop financing silly things like coal mining, wind energy, house buying, and commuting.
Finally, a last bit of not-so-subtlety from Reuters "The two parties (CDU and CSU) have historically worked together." That's like saying that the team management fully supports the coach. If you have to say it out loud, it means it might no longer be true.