Swiss Support for Plan to Curb Health Costs Is Waning, Poll Says

Swiss Support for Plan to Curb Health Costs Is Waning, Poll Says

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(Bloomberg) — Swiss voters are growing skeptical toward proposed changes to the country’s health-care system, according to the last poll ahead of a June 9 ballot. 

A left-wing plan to cap insurance premia at 10% of a person’s income saw its approval drop to 50%, public broadcaster SRG SSR — which commissioned the survey — said on Wednesday. A rival proposal to limit-health care spending introduced by a centrist party also saw its support fall compared to a poll last month, and now looks likely to be rejected.

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Switzerland is one of the few European nations where citizens pay flat-rate fees for health insurance out of their own pocket, instead of having contributions adjusted for income. Driven by high prices, the country also has Europe’s highest per-capita spending for health.

In Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, citizens vote as often as four times a year on issues ranging from national taxation to how cows are reared. After a March victory on a ballot measure boosting state welfare, the first successful plebiscite on such a matter in more than a century, political analysts had speculated that the traditionally libertarian country might start supporting more social spending.

The health-care vote is creating an “increased polarization between left and right,” pollsters said.

“The lowest and lower income groups and people without job training view the proposal very positively,” they said in their report. “Only in the higher income and education brackets there are majorities against the initiative.”

On June 9, Swiss voters are also called to decide on a government plan to boost domestic renewable energy and a proposal that would forbid vaccinations from ever becoming mandatory. While the former can be expected to pass with almost three quarters of citizens in favor, the latter is seen being rejected by a similar margin. 

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