German health reforms to go ahead8th January 2007
In Germany, powerful regional politicians appear to have climbed down from a rebellion against plans to overhaul Germany's creaking healthcare system.
The reform plan is a cornerstone of Chancellor Angela Merckel's policies, and includes changes to the financial structure to boost transparency and efficiency, and the establishment of a central health fund.
The rebels, from Merkel's own Christian Democratic Union party, were from rich southern provinces unwilling to cross-subsidise poorer regions of the country under the proposed reforms.
But their arguments were undercut by a government-commissioned study into the regional impact of the reforms, which showed that the outflow of funds from Bavaria, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg was likely to be far less than the states themselves had estimated.
While some resistance has still been heard from Bavaria, the government says it expects the reforms to be voted through by parliament in time to take effect on April 1.
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Title: German health reforms to go ahead
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 1618
Date Added: 8th Jan 2007