Karl Lauterbach

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Karl Lauterbach
MJK 67604 Karl Lauterbach (Bundestag 2020).jpg
Karl Lauterbach, 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 57)
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 1989–1992, 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 1992–1993, he held a fellowship at the Harvard Medical School.

Since 1998, Lauterbach has been director of the institute of health economy and clinical epidemiology at the University of Cologne and 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. He was a member of the Rürup Commission, a committee of experts that was established to review the financing of the social insurance systems.

Political career[edit]

Lauterbach left the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) to joined the SPD in 2001. 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.[2]

In the 2019 SPD leadership election, he announced his intention to run for the position as the party's co-chair, together with Nina Scheer.[3][4]

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Lauterbach is a strong advocate of the so-called Bürgerversicherung, mainly favoured by the Social Democrats. These 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.

Personal life[edit]

Lauterbach was married to Angela Spelsberg, who is the medical director of a tumour centre in Aachen, until their divorce in 2010. They have four children.


  1. ^ "Karl Lauterbach: "Ich kann in Berlin viel bewegen". RP. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  2. ^ Expertenkommission "Pflegepersonal im Krankenhaus" Federal Ministry of Health, press release of October 1, 2015.
  3. ^ Nahles-Nachfolge: Schwan und Stegner bewerben sich für SPD-Vorsitz Der Spiegel, August 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Tobias Buck (October 2, 2019), SPD looks to leadership roadshow to put party back on track Financial Times.

External links[edit]