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JCP: More uninsured medical services will undermine Japan's medical services

Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira in the House of Councilors Audit Committee meeting on March 3 criticized the government bill to adversely revise the national medical insurance system.

In addition to increasing medical insurance premiums, the proposed bill will allow medical services with insurance coverage to be combined with those without insurance coverage, and uninsured medical costs will give insurance companies more market opportunities.

Koike said that excluding state-of-the-art technologies and medical services from insurance coverage means that the government has abandoned making efforts to ensure appropriate medical services are covered by the health insurance, that the public will be forced to shoulder uninsured burdens, and that medical services will be provided according to patients' ability to pay.

Referring to a U.S.-based insurance company canvassing for their insurance to prepare for increased medical costs not covered by the public health insurance, Koike pointed out that the "mixed" medical services plan is being promoted by U.S. and Japanese insurance companies.

Quoting Miyauchi Yoshihiko, chair of the Cabinet Office Council on Regulatory Reform and Opening to the Private Sector and Orix President as saying, "A mix of publicly-insured and privately-insured medical services can best meet the diverse needs," Koike asked, "Why should people shoulder heavier burdens to help insurance companies make profit?" Koike urged the government to retract the bill.
- Akahata, March 4, 2006

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