Dutch Cabinet Continues Coalition Talks to Save Health-Care Bill

The Dutch government coalition of the Liberal VVD and Labor parties continued talks today in an effort to save a health-care bill and stave off a cabinet crisis.

A bill to give health insurers more power to pick health-care providers failed to get a majority late yesterday in the upper house of parliament after three Labor senators unexpectedly voted against it. The measure would save the government about 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion).

The health-care bill is part of a larger deal on health reached by the government with three opposition parties -- D66, the Christian Union and the SGP Reform Protestants. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s coalition needs support from opposition parties in the Senate as it lacks a majority in the upper house.

“It’s important that we live up to the agreements we make together in politics,” Rutte said early this morning. “On that point something went clearly wrong today.”

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