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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 7 - 13  > Let us force government to stop introducing medical care system that will impose heavier burdens on the elderly
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2007 November 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Let us force government to stop introducing medical care system that will impose heavier burdens on the elderly

November 7, 2007
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The government is prepared to introduce a medical care system for the elderly, the worst among policies of shifting heavier burdens onto the elderly implemented since the former Koizumi government that include increases in the tax on pension benefits, the abolition of the tax deduction for the elderly, increases in national health care and nursing-care insurance premiums, and increases in medical costs to be paid at hospitals.

Due to strong public indignation, the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties recently agreed to freeze the implementation of part of the increase in the burden caused by the introduction of the medical care system. However, this is only a stopgap measure.

The new system is extremely harsh on the elderly. It is to separate the elderly aged 75 or more from other generations, force them to bear burdens that will increase without restraint, and limit the medical services that they can receive.

It is estimated that the elderly aged 75 or older will have to pay premiums of more than 80,000 yen a year on average nationwide. This may even go up to 100,000 yen for residents in prefectures such as Hokkaido, Saitama, and Tokyo.

Under the new system, the premium level will be reviewed every two years. When the total amount of medical care benefits or the population of the elderly aged 75 or more is increased, the premiums will increase, a built-in system to automatically raise premiums.

The medical care and nursing care insurance premiums will be deducted in advance from the pension benefits that are 15,000 yen or more a month. This will threaten the right to live of the elderly.

Despite these obvious problems, the government and ruling parties are still attempting to justify the new system by claiming that it will balance the burdens of different generations and that this simply requires the elderly to bear their fair burden.

This is nothing but bullying the weak because the government and ruling parties are continuing the excessive tax breaks for large corporations that are making record-high profits.

Let us increase public opposition to the new medical care system until the government gives up on its introduction. - Akahata, November 7, 2007
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