Fico targets health insurers again

PRIME Minister Robert Fico will again seek to ban private health insurance companies from retaining or distributing profits and has asked Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská to find a way to do this without violating the constitution.

PRIME Minister Robert Fico will again seek to ban private health insurance companies from retaining or distributing profits and has asked Health Minister Zuzana Zvolenská to find a way to do this without violating the constitution.

Fico’s attempt to ban private health insurers from distributing their profit in 2007 was ruled unconstitutional, the Sme daily reported.

“It will not be easy, but we still assume that it is immoral and unfair when somebody generates profit from public resources,” stated the prime minister, as quoted by Sme.

The restriction on private health insurers retaining or distributing profits might also be supported by opposition parties, as they presented similar proposals during the election campaign. But Viliam Novotný from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) said that if the new proposal is similar to the one from 2007 his party was prepared to turn to the Constitutional Court again.

“The first attempt was unsuccessful and we had to fix it,” added former health minister Ivan Uhliarik, from the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), as quoted by Sme.

A legal expert said that although it would be difficult to design such a ban, it would not be impossible.

Constitutional lawyer Peter Kresák said the situation was similar to regulation of mobile phone operators who must set their prices in accordance with EU rules.

“Certain regulation is possible, it depends on how it is done,” he said, as quoted by Sme.

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