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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 15 - 21  > Stop penalizing municipalities for providing children’s free medical care: JCP Koike
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2015 April 15 - 21 [WELFARE]

Stop penalizing municipalities for providing children’s free medical care: JCP Koike

April 15, 2015
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira at a House Health and Welfare Committee meeting on April 14 demanded that the national government stop penalizing municipal governments for their measures to provide free medical care for children.

Many municipalities make efforts to improve their child-support program by either waiving or reducing children’s medical payments at hospitals in response to childrearing families’ needs. To these municipalities, the central government reduces its share of contributions for their national health insurance funds.

Regarding cuts in state subsidies as a penalty, Koike criticized the state for claiming that a free medical program increases clinic and hospital visits and results in bloating government spending on medical care.

Koike conveyed the voice of municipal heads calling for an end to the penalty and quoted a governor as saying, “The penalty is working against local governments’ efforts to reverse the birthrate decline.”

The central government should expand its financial assistance for medical care for infants and children, not impose penalties.

Past related article:
> Government bullies municipalities for not charging for children’s medical costs [September 3, 2007]
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