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Disagreement on Delaying the Unified Health Insurance Budget

Disagreement on Delaying the Unified Health Insurance Budget

Posted December. 28, 2001 09:11,   


The Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and the Grand National Party (GNP) held a joint meeting of four party leaders including chairpersons of the policy making committees on 27th, and negotiated to delay the combined health insurance budget. But they failed to reach an agreement on the term of delay.

GNP plans to pass the two-year delay bill at the Legislation and Judiciary Committee (LJC) with the assistance of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) and to pass it in the plenary session before the end of the year, if GNP and MDP cannot reach an agreement even after the supplementary negotiation. But the related bills are not likely to pass in the plenary session within this year, because ULD is conservative to the call of LJC.

GNP suggested the two-year delay of the merger of company and regional insurance in order to set up the insurance premium levy system along with the assessment of the income of the self-employed people. However, MDP rejected it, saying, "To delay the merger of the finance for more than 1 year means not to merge the finance."

GNP planed to cooperate with ULD, which insisted the 1-3 year delay of the merger, but ULD was negative to call the LJC of National Assembly saying, "The adjustment between MDP and GNP should be proceeded. "

An official of the Ministry of Health and Welfare stated, "We will act on whether the division bill or 2 year delay bill whichever National Assembly passes by the end of this year. But unless it passes any bill, we have no choice but to implement the merger of insurance finance by the current law from January 1st, 2002."

After the negotiation was broken off, Lee Sang-Soo, floor leader of MDP said, "We discussed the delay of the merger of health insurance finance to pass the revised bill of public health improvement law, which levies the health improvement tax on cigarette by the end of this year, but it is hard to accept the delay over 1 year due to the protest of lawmakers who are insisting on the merger."

Lee Jae-Oh, floor leader of GNP criticized MDP, saying, "We allowed the government two years for preparation since we passed the merger of finance bill in 1999, but there was no improvement on the assessment of the income of self-employed people and insurance premium levy system. The 1-year delay is temporary measure to cheat people."

Meanwhile, National Assembly held the plenary session on 27th, and unanimously passed the revised corporation tax bill, which decrease the rate of corporation tax by 1 percent, and the budget bill for the coming year by 111 trillion and 976.7 billion won.

And the National Assembly passed 11 bills such as revised film promotion bill, which introduces `limited theater` system that can show both movies graded as `limited permission` and movies without grades on the screen. But the bill, which extends the term for the special committee of political reformation of National Assembly to February next year, failed to pass, because the lawmakers of ULD, who are excluded from the committee, protested in front of the Speaker.

Prior to the passing the bills, Lee Sang-Soo, floor leader of MDP, expressed regret for the delay of the passing of the budget bill caused by the oppositions to decrease the corporation tax. Rep. Chung Sye-Kyun, who said, "As a Chairman of the House Steering Committee, I feel sorry for not preventing the crippled operation even though the ruling and opposition parties got amicable agreement on the revised corporation tax bill on 21st."

Rep. Kim Hong-Shin of GNP, who is against the party`s platform for the separated health insurance finance and on strike in his office in the National Assembly Members Office Building, urged through personal speech for △ his restoration to the Health and Welfare Committee

△ introducing liberal vote system △ democratization of the party, saying, "my belief on the finance merge has no change at all."

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com