Armstrong Economics Blog/Germany
Re-Posted Jun 6, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
Healthcare costs have been exploding even in Germany. The revisions in healthcare of about two years ago did expand the coverage, but the expanded costs were completely unexpected. That means Germany is also looking to now raise taxes to cover the higher costs due to their legislative reforms. The reforms have brought in more people in need of care and relatives than expected.
Currently, the tax contribution rate for healthcare in Germany is 2.55% of the gross wage and those who are childless pay even more since they lack a family to burden part of the costs. Their rate stands at 2.8% of their gross wage. In the United States, the Medicare tax is a fixed percentage of your gross pay as well with the percentage rate of 1.45%. There is no income cap for Medicare tax, so all of your gross pay is subject to this tax. Your employer pays another 1.45%.
The statutory long-term care insurance deficit in Germany came in at about three billion euros, which was much higher than expected. In fact, it was about 300% higher than the government’s forecasts. The Central Association of Statutory Health Insurance (GKV) has come out and stated that the sharp rise in the deficit was triggered by the reforms of the past two years. The move is to raise taxes even further since once benefits are given, they cannot just take them back. But what is absent from the discussion is the deficit has risen not simply because of the reforms. This sharp increase is due to the refugees who must be taken care of even though they do not work or pay the tax