Some political vocation is so obvious that in the end nobody believes in it anymore.

That was true on Monday for the announcement by Olaf Scholz (SPD) that he would bring the doctor and member of the Bundestag Karl Lauterbach into the cabinet as health minister.

To look at the technical, not the political performance or the proportional representation is remarkable in itself.

Because although the health care system was one of the most important political fields even before the Corona due to its billions in sales, employment effects and social implications, the responsible ministry was often just the rest ramp for politicians who had to be cared for or rewarded.

Besides Philipp Rösler (FDP), who held the post from 2009 to 2011, not a single doctor has been Federal Minister of Health so far.

Does the competence get in the way?

So now comes Lauterbach, who is not only a medical doctor, but also has a Harvard degree in "Public Health" and experience as a professor of health economics.

He has researched epidemiology, published books and specialist articles, but also knows the downsides of health policy and self-administration - for example from his time in the Advisory Council on Health or in the "Rürup Commission" for financing social systems.

This multiple qualification enabled him to react quickly in the Corona period and to distinguish himself as shadow health minister alongside Jens Spahn (CDU), although he was no longer responsible for health policy in the SPD.

Of course, his competence can now also stand in his way, because especially in the pandemic time the minister has to delegate, i.e. be able to let go.

Lauterbach is not known for this.

In addition, the medium- and long-term departmental tasks consist of making the health and care system sustainable, i.e. affordable.

Immediately after his appointment, however, Lauterbach made it clear that he did not intend to cut any benefits.

To exclude this apodictically was, in view of the uncontrolled growth and the urgent need to reduce costs, unfortunately the first mistake of the designated Minister of Health.

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