Emergency meeting held to protest against increased medical expenses for elderly people

On October 1, when medical expenses were increased for the elderly under the adversely revised medical insurance law, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and citizens' organizations held an emergency protest meeting at the Diet Building.

They also organized demonstrations, street campaigns, and signature collection drives in many parts of Japan.

At the emergency meeting in the Diet, Japanese Communist Party Acting Secretariat Head Fudesaka Hideyo explained to about 110 participants about the JCP's four-point proposal to protect people's living published on September 27.

Fudesaka said that the JCP proposal, which includes cancellation of the government plan to increase public burden in social security programs by three trillion yen can be the basis of a joint struggle by a broad range of people.

Zenroren issued a statement on the day protesting against the increased medical expenses for the elderly and increase in employment insurance premiums, and criticized the government for forcing all people including workers and the unemployed to bear the consequences of its maladministration.

The Japan Federation of Medical Workers' Unions (Nihon-iroren) also published a statement demanding that the law on adverse revision of the medical insurance system be withdrawn as 30 million people in signatures opposed it before it was forcibly adopted in the Diet.

Senior citizens who visited hospitals on the day were forced to pay more than they did the previous month. The payment of a 69-year-old man who regularly goes to hospital for treatment of diabetes and hyperlipemia was more than twice that he paid on the last visit.

"I'm shocked and worried. I live only on pension, nothing else. I can't work even if I want to; even young workers are being fired under corporate restructuring. Why does the government only help the major banks with the tax money?" he said angrily. (end)