New medical bill requiring 1.5 trillion yen extra burden bulldozed through

Ignoring public criticism, the ruling Liberal Democratic, Komei and Conservative parties railroaded the bill for adversely revising the medical insurance system through the House of Councilors plenary session on July 26.

Criticizing the ruling parties for undermining parliamentary democracy, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo called on the public to pass a severe judgment on the ruling parties in the next general election.

The four opposition parties, including the JCP, were absent from the plenary session in protest against the undemocratic Diet steering.

Three medical-related organizations, including the Japan Medical Association, issued a statement expressing protest against the arbitrary passage of the bill. Saying that they are resolved to take serious steps, the statement hinted at stopping their support for the LDP in the next national election.

The number of signatures collected so far by various organizations, including the JCP, reached 27 million.

The new medical bill will require salaried workers, pensioners, and their families to pay 30 percent of their medical charges from next April instead of the present 20 percent. The rate of medical insurance premiums will also be raised. All these add up to an extra payment of 1.51 trillion yen a year.

At a JCP Dietmembers' meeting on the same day, Shii said that the new medical bill will drastically decrease medical checkups, worsen public health, and eventually increase government expenditures from the health insurance.

The ruling parties bulldozed the medical bill through both houses without holding a public hearing. They are attempting to impose more burdens on the public from next fiscal year, totaling 3.2 trillion yen a year by further deteriorating pension, nursing care, and employment insurance systems, Shii said.

The need is now for the people to fight against such government offenses by stopping the implementation of these policies, Shii emphasized. (end)