The Radical Left Party (PRG) said that unvaccinated people should no longer “be reimbursed for associated health care of their choice, and should pay the health costs of those they infect.”
Guillaume Lacroix, president of PRG-Le center-gauche, declared: “Society must bear the cost of vaccines, but not that of those who refuse to protect themselves and others.
The comments come as the French public seems reluctant to get vaccinated in large numbers; an Ipsos poll found that only 54% of people would have the vaccination if it became available.
Read more: France survey: 46% would refuse the Covid vaccination
This percentage is lower than the percentage needed for effective vaccination coverage – for example, for measles, which is highly contagious, 95% vaccination coverage is needed among the population to prevent the disease from spreading, especially among those who do not. cannot be vaccinated (if they are immunosuppressed, for example).
The PRG is not the only one to propose strict regulations around the Covid-19 vaccine; in early November, MEP Yannick Jadot, from the Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV) eco-party, declared that the vaccine should be compulsory.
Read more: The Covid-19 vaccine “should be compulsory for all” in France
France will not make vaccination compulsory
Yet President Emmanuel Macron and Minister of Health Olivier Veran have so far said this is unlikely to happen, as has the Haute Autorité de Santé.
In his televised speech on November 24, President Macron said: “I will not make vaccination compulsory. ”
An expert from the Regional Health Agency (ARS) declared: “Paradoxically, when vaccination is not compulsory, those who doubt it find themselves validated; they say the government is not forcing that on us, because the vaccine is not safe.
“When in fact [not making it mandatory] is on the other hand, does not aim to feed this challenge.
Is withdrawing reimbursement a good course of action?
Overall, French experts suggest not.
Withdrawing the reimbursement could be seen as a way of effectively making vaccination “compulsory”, without doing so.
Similar policies are already practiced in China to regulate behavior.
As shown in the documentary Coronation by activist Ai Weiwei, a 65-year-old woman says that although she has the right to leave her home in theory, because she is over 65, if she gets Covid as a result, her medical bills will not be not covered.
But in France, medical costs have never been correlated with patient behavior. A person who has lung cancer linked to excessive smoking, or cirrhosis of the liver linked to excessive alcohol consumption, will always be reimbursed for their medical expenses whether they stop smoking or drinking.
An ARS expert explained to Le Figaro: “The only time we ask ourselves the question is when ill-prepared skiers go off-piste skiing, then they call a helicopter to pick them up. There, the consensus is generally that they should share the cost. ”
Legally, the issue of withdrawal of medical reimbursement would be in the hands of the annual budget review, the social security financing bill, which is voted on each year in parliament.
But overall, in response to the proposal of the PRG, the immunologist and professor emeritus of the Collège de France, Professor Alain Fischer Told Le Figaro than in France, communication – rather than the threat of non-payment of medical bills – was a better idea.
He declared: “A very large information campaign, with a real effort of communication and education is necessary. It should not only come from the authorities, but also from the doctors, patient associations of people with chronic diseases, who can really help the messaging. You have to convince people, explain, inform. ”
He added: “The vaccination takes place in concentric circles, and the first people vaccinated will pass it on to the others, who will see that it has gone well, which will allow us to convince people in stages.
“There is an altruistic character in vaccination, which consists in protecting others and a whole part of the population which is particularly sensitive.”
Earlier this month, the chairman of the government’s advisory board the Scientific Council, Professor Delfraissy, he told me: “We must be very careful before making compulsory vaccination against Covid-19. It would be better if our citizens took control themselves.
“I would expect older and more frail people to get vaccines en masse. For the youngest, getting vaccinated in such a context is a civic act.
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