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Object tax not ruled out:Health-welfare minister

Posted March. 28, 2001 17:54,   


Health and Welfare Minister Kim Won-Gil said Wednesday that an object tax to cover the shortfall in medical insurance funds is not to be ruled out although it was his personal opinion and has yet to go through public debate. He made the remarks to the press upon paying a courtesy call on Millennium Democratic Party chairman Kim Joong-Kwon.

Asked if the people would not vigorously oppose the introduction of the object tax, he said they would more fiercely resist a collapse of socialized medicine due to financial difficulties. The general public should agree to earnest countermeasures prepared by the government as long as they are aimed at averting termination of the system, Kim said.

The new top health administrator denied the possibility of a total bankruptcy of the medical insurance system, promising to finance the program by any means necessary -- even by borrowing from the state coffers or other sources.

Im Chae-Chung cclim@donga.com