Final Word from Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Making the case for a cap on social-security tax is easy. As wages rise, the CR is pricing itself out of the labor market and needs the cap to remain competitive. The same argument can be applied to the health-insurance cap, but an effort is being made to single it out. If the healthcare cap is put in place, the argument goes, health insurers and doctors will feel the loss in revenue immediately. It should come as no surprise that VZP health insurer and the Medical Chamber, run by people close to ex-Health Minister David Rath, are the main ones making the noise about the health cap. Rath opposed the caps in Parliament in Jan. as a measure that would only benefit the rich. ODS's rejection of ČSSD's outstretched hand on caps might now come back to haunt it. If ODS waits until this fall to propose a go-it-alone bill, it might find that Rath and his people have had enough time to turn the health cap into a political hot potato that no one wants to touch.[Czech Republic Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna Milan Kubek Pavel Horák]


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