Karl Lauterbach

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Karl Lauterbach
MJK 67604 Karl Lauterbach (Bundestag 2020).jpg
Lauterbach in 2020
Deputy Chair of the SPD Group in the Bundestag
In office
22 October 2013 – 24 September 2019
LeaderFrank-Walter Steinmeier
Thomas Oppermann
Andrea Nahles
Rolf Mützenich
Preceded byFlorian Pronold
Succeeded byBärbel Bas
SPD Bundestag Spokesperson for Health
In office
27 October 2009 – 22 October 2013
Preceded byCarola Reimann
Succeeded byHilde Mattheis
Member of the Bundestag
for Leverkusen – Cologne IV
Assumed office
18 September 2005
Preceded byErnst Küchler
Personal details
Born (1963-02-21) 21 February 1963 (age 58)
Düren, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Political partyChristian Democratic Union of Germany (before 2001)
Social Democratic Party of Germany (2001–present)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Düsseldorf
Harvard University
ProfessionMedical doctor

Karl Lauterbach (born 21 February 1963) is a German scientist and politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He is professor of health economics and epidemiology at the University of Cologne. Since the 2005 federal elections, he has been a Member of the Bundestag.

Education and career[edit]

Lauterbach studied human medicine at the RWTH Aachen University, University of Texas at San Antonio and University of Düsseldorf, where he graduated. From 1989 to 1992, he studied health policy and management as well as epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, graduating with a Doctor of Science in 1992. From 1992 to 1993, he held a fellowship at the Harvard Medical School.

From 1998 until 2005, Lauterbach served as the director of the Institute of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology (IGKE) at the University of Cologne. He was appointed adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2008. He was a member of the Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Entwicklung im Gesundheitswesen (the council of experts advising the federal government on developments in the German healthcare system) from 1999 until he was elected to the Bundestag in September 2005.[2] He was a member of the Rürup Commission, a government-appointed committee of experts that was established to review the financing of the social insurance systems.[3]

Political career[edit]

He made his entry to the Bundestag with a direct mandate by winning in his electoral district Leverkusen – Cologne IV at the 2005 federal elections. Between 2005 and 2013, he served on the Health Committee.

Ahead of the 2013 federal elections, Peer Steinbrück included Lauterbach in his shadow cabinet for the SPD's campaign to unseat incumbent Angela Merkel as Chancellor. During the campaign, he served as shadow minister of health. In the negotiations to form a government following the elections, he led the SPD delegation in the health working group and his co-chair from the CDU/CSU was Jens Spahn. From 2013 until 2019, he served as deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group under the leadership of successive chairpersons Thomas Oppermann (2013–2017) and Andrea Nahles (2017–2019).

Appointed by Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe, Lauterbach served as member of an expert commission on the reform of Germany's hospital care from 2015 until 2017.[4] From 2018 until 2019, he chaired an expert commission advising Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller on strategies for the city's health sector.[5][6]

In the 2019 SPD leadership election, Lauterbach announced his intention to run for the position as the party's co-chair, together with Nina Scheer.[7][8] He has since been serving on the German Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection and its Subcommittee on European Law.

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

  • German Foundation for Consumer Protection, member of the Board of Trustees (since 2019)[9]
  • Muhanna-Stiftung, member of the Board of Trustees
  • German United Services Trade Union (ver.di), member

Political positions[edit]

Lauterbach is a strong advocate of the so-called Bürgerversicherung, mainly favoured by the Social Democrats. The idea includes the reorganization of the German health system and the incorporation of all people and all income groups into the financing of the health care system.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lauterbach attracted significant attention on social media for his views, which were considered relatively rigid, often cautioning against the negative effects of premature relaxation of restrictions.[10]


  1. ^ "Karl Lauterbach: "Ich kann in Berlin viel bewegen". RP. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  2. ^ Prof. Dr. Dr. Karl Lauterbach, MdB – Politischer Werdegang. SPD NRW (in German)
  3. ^ Rieser, Sabine (May 2003). "AG Krankenversicherung der Rürup-Kommission: Zahlmodell für die Bürger, Wahlmodell für die Politiker". Deutsches Ärzteblatt (in German). Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  4. ^ Expertenkommission "Pflegepersonal im Krankenhaus" Federal Ministry of Health, press release of October 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Ergebnisbericht der Zukunftskommission „Gesundheitsstadt Berlin 2030“ vorgestellt Senate of Berlin, press release of March 25, 2019.
  6. ^ Hannes Heine (July 5, 2019), Der Regierende als Wissenschaftssenator: Wie Michael Müller aus Berlin eine Forschungsmetropole macht Der Tagesspiegel.
  7. ^ Nahles-Nachfolge: Schwan und Stegner bewerben sich für SPD-Vorsitz Der Spiegel, August 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Tobias Buck (October 2, 2019), SPD looks to leadership roadshow to put party back on track Financial Times.
  9. ^ Board of Trustees German Foundation for Consumer Protection.
  10. ^ Schulte, Ulrich (25 April 2020). "Karl Lauterbach über Covid-19: "Die Pandemie ist schrecklich"". taz.de (in German). Retrieved 30 May 2020.

External links[edit]