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Minister sounded alarm on sick pay rules

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Minister sounded alarm on sick pay rules
07:53 CEST+02:00
Former Social Security Minister Cristina Husmark Pehrsson foresaw problems with the new sick pay rules and her ministry raised the alarm, only to be knocked back in negotiations, according to a memo which emerged on Thursday.

The government knew of problems with the new health insurance system - even before the decision to reform the system was taken, according to a secret memorandum drawn up by the Ministry of Social Affairs in December 2009, according to a report in the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) daily.

In the memo, witnessed by the newspaper, Husmark Pehrsson warned of the consequences of the social insurance policies, including the problem of people being written out of the system.

The ministry raised the alarm over their fears, but was over-ruled in the ensuing negotiations.

Officials who took part in negotiations for health insurance reform, described them as chaotic.

"The worst and toughest negotiations I have experienced in my entire political life," one official told GP.

Officials of the Ministry of Social Affairs in December 2009 penned a secret memorandum to document what the various ministries and political parties said during the negotiations.

The government's stance on the issue has long been that the law had brought unintended consequences, a line which is now contradicted by the officials' documentation.

On Thursday, the parliamentary Social Security Committee is set to decide on the Red-Green proposals for changes to health insurance. This proposal will then be debated and decided in an extraordinary session of parliament on Friday.

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