In April 2012 the Cabinet fell. Shortly afterwards I was asked by Jan Anthonie Bruin if I would join the electionprogramme committee for the coming general elections. I was responsible for the parts Youth, Sport and Health Care. I thought the group was diverse and fun. Genuinely writing down possible solutions for the problems in health care, I thoroughly enjoyed. All the conversations with external parties inspired me. Aware of the economical crisis and sensibly handling the taxpayers money, we came up with ways to lower costs of care by structural measures and not by reducing the package. It turned out people were much more aware of healthcare costs if they are liable for consecutive care consumption. By bearing a max of 50% of the healthcare cost in stead of fully use the compulsory excess of the health insurance by one visit at the hospital, there was much more awareness of the cost of healthcare.
This awareness, the behavioural effect amounted to one billion. My diligence in search for effective measures paid off! Because of lack of time in the summer of 2012 at the CPB there was no time to overthink all the measures handed in earlier, and select some, so all the measures were taking into the calculations of the macro effects of the election programme. It turned out the measures in care were responsible for 8,5 billion euro in cutbacks.
In the period I worked on the election programme I was asked if I had the ambition to become an MP. I believed it was an opportunity I should not miss….. and went for it!
With support of Amsterdam and the Health care committee of the party I stood as candidate. In the period May-September 2012 I can’t recall having a single weekend off. Work as a political advisor during the week, campaigning on Saturdays and meetings with the election programme committee on Sundays. But it was worth it: My place was 40 and on September 12th 2012 the VVD had the best election result ever: 41 out of 150 seats and I was straight in!