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SPD Leader Says No Backtracking on Health Reforms

The newly-anointed Social Democrats (SPD) Chairman Franz Müntefering said the new quarterly doctors' fees, which have proved deeply unpopular among the German public, will not be changed. Speaking to Deutschlandfunk radio station, Müntefering said there would be no rethinking the new health reforms and added "the decision stays, the law stays." Earlier, Health Minister Ulla Schmidt told the Leipziger Volkszeitung that she would not wager on the fact that the new doctor's fees would exist in its current form five years down the lane. Since the beginning of the year, Germans covered under the statutory health insurance plan are required to pay € 10 ($12.70) per quarter for a doctor's visit.