Berlin - Chaired by the former Federal Minister of Health Ulla Schmidt (SPD), the Bundestag discussed the 2016 budget of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) today. Hermann Gröhe (CDU) should be allowed to spend 2.5 billion euros more in the coming year than in 2015, namely just under 14.6 billion euros, reported the Bundestag press office: "This is the largest increase in funding of all departments."
Federal subsidy for statutory health insurance increases again In the debate, the Federal Health Minister himself clarified what it really is about: The federal subsidy for statutory health insurance, which in 2012 already amounted to 14 billion euros, was in from 2013 to 2015 as contribution to budget consolidation and this year amounts to only 11.5 billion euros. Now keep your word, emphasized Gröhe: “In 2016 the federal grant will again amount to 14 billion euros.” The 2007 GKV Competition Strengthening Act provided for the same. This flat-rate compensation is intended to cover the expenses of the health insurance companies for social services as whole.
Gröhe took advantage of the debate, both to address the numerous challenges for the German health care system as well as its efficiency. He defended the many expansions of services that the new legislative proposals of the black-red coalition entail as sensible and necessary. As examples, he cited expenses to increase the vaccination rate, extensive improvements for people in need of care, especially people with dementia, but also improvements in the area of palliative care. In his speech, Gröhe defended the frozen employer's contribution to the statutory health insurance.
Three million euros for diabetes prevention In the BMG budget for 2016, almost 40 million euros are among other things for the promotion of voluntary private individuals Supplementary care insurance provided. Almost four million euros have been earmarked for studies and model testing of concepts that deal with the care of people in need of care. Almost 17 million euros are to be made available to the Federal Center for Health Education () in 2016. For the first time, three million euros are earmarked to promote the prevention and early detection of diabetes mellitus and to build up secure database on this disease.
Kordula Schulz-Asche, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, criticized the increase in positions at the BzgA Funds from the health insurance companies. For that tax money would have to be used, she demanded. , newly elected health policy spokeswoman for the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag and successor to Jens Spahn in this function, countered: Three of the new positions are tax-financed. She also demanded that the opposition recognize “what kind of packages we have sent”.
Harald Weinberg, Die Linke, only partially complied with this. Gröhe couldn't be accused of sitting out problems, he said: “Your ministry has delivered. They are working through the coalition agreement. ”However, the coalition is moving away from the orientation towards the common good and is rebuilding the health system to make it market-based.
Elisabeth Scharfenberg, Alliance 90 / The Greens, also used the budget debate to fundamentally criticize. "A lot helps lot" is not slogan that applies to the federal government's care policy, she found. So Gröhe praised the introduction of new concept of care, although the corresponding law has not yet been introduced. More qualified staff is necessary for the care, "and for this the working conditions of the carers have to change urgently".
Different opinions on the care of refugees The reception and care of refugees was also made discussed in the budget debate. Gröhe expressly thanked all full-time and voluntary helpers who are committed: what they have achieved deserves “highest recognition”. With view to the coalition resolutions at the weekend, the Federal Minister of Health emphasized that they were good basis for mastering the challenge of rapid initial examinations, for example. Among other things, the federal and state governments want to spend six billion euros more to care for the many refugees. Details should be determined by the end of September.
Schulz-Asche, however, accused Gröhe of acting too slowly. The health card for refugees could have been introduced across the board long ago. There is also considerable shortage of interpreters: “Where are your ideas?” Georg Nüßlein, CSU, emphasized that the health card for refugees still had to be discussed: it was unclear how one could ensure that refugees only receive the intended benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act.
Karl Lauterbach, SPD, demanded that the health card should be available to all refugees quickly. The resulting costs should not have to be borne by the health insurances, but by the taxpayers. With view to the health card for everyone, he demanded that politicians “should not block themselves to an unbureaucratic solution for ideological reasons”.