Swiss voters reject state-run health insurance system

Swiss voters on Sunday shot down a plan to shift to a state-run health insurance system, opting to stick with their all-private setup.

Left-leaning parties said the current system is pushing the limits of people’s budgets – but their message was not enough to sway voters, according to the AFP. Referendum results showed that nearly 62 percent of voters rejected the reform plans.

"The Swiss population does not want a single, national scheme," the Swiss Insurance Association, a private insurance lobby, said after the vote. "Our health system is among the top performers in the world. Competition between health insurers and freedom of choice for clients play a major role in this."

Ophthalmologist Michel Matter, who studies eye care and leads the Geneva Physicians Association -- which called for the reform -- said “over the past 20 years in Switzerland, health costs have grown 80 percent and insurance premiums 125 percent.”

The referendum was established after reformers collected 100,000 signatures, which is enough to hold a popular vote in Switzerland, the AFP reports.

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