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Monday, March 19th 2007

"Single Payer" Gets Its Ass Kicked

A ballot initiative to implement a government run health insurer and a two-tiered system in Switzerland failed. Hard.

An overwhelming majority of voters have thrown out a proposal for a single health insurance company in Switzerland, with premiums based on income and wealth.

There are currently 87 private insurers providing mandatory basic health care coverage for Swiss residents under a 1996 law. But health premiums have soared over the past decade.

More than 100,000 people are no longer covered because they haven’t paid their premiums.

Opponents argued a single insurance system would lead to complacency and create a two-tier system, where only the wealthy could afford to take out additional private insurance coverage.

Final results showed 71 per cent of voters rejected the reform. Turnout was close to 46 per cent, slightly above average.

A similar proposal to change the funding system of the health insurance companies was rejected in 2003 by 73 per cent of voters.

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