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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 November 26 - December 2  > Aso’s elderly bashing denies publicly-funded health insurance system: Shii
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2008 November 26 - December 2 [POLITICS]

Aso’s elderly bashing denies publicly-funded health insurance system: Shii

November 28, 2008
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on November 27 severely criticized Prime Minister Aso Taro for “denying the publicly funded health insurance system by making elderly-bashing remarks, which is intolerable for the national leader”.

He was referring to a gaffe Aso made at a government Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) meeting on November 20. At the meeting, Aso, commenting on the rising medical costs, said, “Why should I pay medical costs for other elderly people who aimlessly eat, drink, and make no efforts to keep their good health?”

Asked by reporters to comment on the Aso remark, Shii said, “What Mr. Aso said is tantamount to saying that those who have health problems should deal with them on their own.”

Shii went on to say, “He lives in a world far from the ‘world of common sense,’ where ordinary people live. The continuing series of Aso gaffes raises the question whether he is qualified to be a prime minister.”

According to the CEFP minutes disclosed on November 26, Aso said, “Attending my school reunion, I saw some of my college mates at the age of 68 or 69 being so worn-out that they really seem to need to see a doctor. They were in good shape at school, but now I need far less for medical costs than they do although I pay more in taxes. This is because I do something for my health such as taking walks every morning. It’s not fair that I have to shoulder medical costs for people who make no efforts to keep their health.”
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