Vaccination violations: Holetschek suggests penalties for health insurance

Status: December 25, 2021 5:20 p.m.

In the debate about a general compulsory vaccination, Bavaria’s Minister of Health Holetschek proposes extensive sanctions in the event of violations. In addition to fines, one should also consider financial disadvantages in health insurance.

The Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) has proposed not only to impose fines in the event of violations of the planned general vaccination requirement, but also to consider financial disadvantages in the case of health insurance. “We should also check whether malus regulations in the area of ​​statutory health insurance would be possible and sensible,” said the incumbent chairman of the conference of health ministers to the editorial network in Germany. “Because the risk for unvaccinated people to get seriously ill with Corona is significantly higher.”

Holetschek did not mention any preferences. According to him, higher health insurance contributions for unvaccinated people, participation in treatment costs or the cancellation of sickness benefits would come into question. The latter two options are therefore already regulated by law – for example for follow-up treatments due to complications in cosmetic surgery, tattoos or piercings. In these cases, the health insurance company has to “give the insured a reasonable share of the costs and refuse or reclaim the sickness benefit in whole or in part for the duration of this treatment,” says the Social Security Code. There is a similar regulation if insured persons have “intentionally contracted” an illness.

At the beginning of December, the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Berlin spoke out in favor of unvaccinated people sharing the costs of hospital services. According to an evaluation by the AOK’s Scientific Service, the treatment of a corona patient who has to be ventilated with an Ecmo machine costs an average of 92,000 euros and 34,200 euros for artificial ventilation without Ecmo. An average of around 5800 euros must therefore be spent on corona patients who do not have to be ventilated.

Demand for quick action

Holetschek also called on the Bundestag parties to legislate for mandatory vaccination in January. “We must start the general compulsory vaccination as soon as the facility-related compulsory vaccination takes effect,” he said with a view to the end of the transition period on March 15. Until then, all employees in health and care facilities must provide evidence of a complete vaccination.

Holetschek said that he knew from conversations that many employees in the health and care professions felt stigmatized by the mandatory vaccination that only applies to them. You would feel that you are solely responsible for the vaccine picking. “With a general vaccination requirement, we ensure equal treatment and also prevent more caregivers from leaving their jobs,” said the minister.

Söder: “Uniform duty welds together”

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder also expects a positive effect on society from compulsory vaccination. Today there is an extreme political instrumentalization of the topic, he told the “Welt am Sonntag”. “None of us saw it like that in the dimension.” He himself “overestimated the willingness to be vaccinated and underestimated the belief in conspiracy theories”.

Compulsory vaccination will “overcome the division in society rather than deepen it – I am convinced of that”, Söder continued. “On the one hand, prejudices would be overcome. Many people would find that it is not so bad to be vaccinated – on the contrary, it actually protects and gives freedom.” On the other hand, compulsory vaccination could help some “save face. A uniform duty that applies to everyone welds us together. The most important thing is that the issue is not talked to death now.”

Also politicians from other parties for compulsory vaccination

For days, the Union has been pushing for the planned mandatory vaccination to be implemented quickly in the new year. For the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst, “the way out of the pandemic” is via vaccination. “The low vaccination rate in some parts of Germany has thwarted our plans so far,” criticized the CDU minister. This is precisely why a general compulsory vaccination is important.

The compulsory vaccination is also finding more and more supporters from other parties. The Greens backed the proposal, and SPD Chancellor Olaf Scholz also advocated it. His party colleague, Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke, is not in that much of a hurry. In his opinion, a decision for or against the mandatory vaccination should not be made until the end of January or February.

In the FDP, the members are divided on the possible vaccination requirement. Party leader Christian Lindner is now in favor. More than 30 FDP politicians, however, have joined an application by Linder’s vice, Wolfgang Kubicki, in which a vaccination requirement is clearly rejected.

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