Just a couple of years ago...the Bundestag stood up and admitted that the bucket of money that everyone paid into....to cover health care insurance....was just not enough.
So a fee was put into place. If you showed up at the doctor's office....you paid a ten-Euro fee for that quarter. You could visit your German doctor as much as you wanted in that quarter, and you'd never have to pay again the quarterly fee. But fresh into a new quarter, just one five-minute visit for a band-aide would trigger the fee again.
Germans had to do something to put a bit more cash into the pot. Trying to suggest the percentage go up....wasn't going to work.
For the typical German....if you didn't go to the doctor much, the fee didn't matter. For those of a senior age....this fee business was a source of various negative feelings. Most folks were expecting the fee to increase every year or two....because of the cost trend.
This past week....with almost all parties in the Bundestag in agreement....they agreed to remove the stupid quarterly fee business. Potential for it to return? It's hard to say.
For an American, you have to come to realize that nothing is really free....even German health care. You may have heard various comments via US media outlets that Germans enjoy free health care. But that's all bogus in nature. There's a price tied to everything.