Rebel Senators refuse patients' rights cut; say it's "no surprise"
The three PvdA senators who voted against the healthcare law of Minister Edith Schippers (VVD, Public Health) last week, are demanding that the free choice of doctor remains for everyone. This is written in a letter from Adri Duivesteijn to the Cabinet. Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA) received Duivesteijn's letter, also written on behalf of the First Chamber members Marijke Linthorst and Guusje ter Horst, last week Thursday. That was the third day of the care crisis. The first sentence reads: "Dear Lodewijk, tonight my body reminded me exactly what it is all about and that is that we would like to keep the free choice of doctor for everyone, regardless of social economic status." Duivesteijn writes that the government exerted "pressure" on the three senators to "agree in advance" to the new legislative proposal. According to him, that is "an incorrect interpretation of the role of the Senate". He also writes that the Cabinet was aware of the three Senators' objections well in advance, and that their vote against the bill could have been "no surprise" for the coalition. The letter seems to indicate that the Cabinet can't have a lot of confidence that the three Senators will vote for he law when it is submitted to the Second and First Chamber in modified form. That is the compromise that the VVD and PvdA reached late on Thursday after three days of crisis talks.