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Former Labour leader sees limits to healthcare coverage

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - Former Finance Minister and Labour party leader Wouter Bos, who served in a Balkenende cabinet, agrees with Dutch sociologist Paul Schnabel who recently said that there is a way around the government’s problem of rising healthcare costs for the elderly by them saving for it or by using the equity in their homes to help pay for it. Bos calls increasing healthcare costs for the aged predictable and suggests people start saving for it when they are young. Bos suggested that the current Dutch Minister of Health Edit Schippers is thinking that way even though she has not gone public with the concept. Schippers strives to keep healthcare affordable by asking hospitals and healthcare insurers to control their costs, well, at all costs. The minister has suggested that people could raise the basic amount they co-insure or that the basic coverage be paired back. Paul Schnabel heads the country’s Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP), in Dutch Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau. Schnabel also lectures at Utrecht University.