2-M.-Yen Income Threshold Agreed for Elderly Medical Cost Hike

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, agreed Wednesday to double out-of-pocket medical expenses to 20 pct for people aged 75 or over with annual income of 2 million yen or more.

Policy chiefs of the two parties will discuss details, with the aim of making a cabinet decision on the matter on Tuesday. The government plans to raise out-of-pocket medical costs to 20 pct from 10 pct for people in the age group of 75 or over in fiscal 2022.

Specifically, the increase is expected to be implemented in or after October 2022, after a triennial election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament, in summer that year, as sought by Komeito, informed sources said.

LDP-Komeito talks on the issue had been deadlocked. Suga had insisted that the annual income threshold be set at 1.7 million yen. On the other hand, Komeito had called for the line to be drawn at 2.4 million yen, claiming that Suga’s proposal would raise the burden for too many people.

Suga and Yamaguchi saw the need to end the row early because the two parties are also at odds in coordination work over whom to field in the No. 3 constituency in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, in the next general election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, after Katsuyuki Kawai, who is now the Lower House member elected from the single-seat electoral district, left the LDP in June over his alleged violation of the public offices election law. Kawai is standing trial for suspected vote-buying for his wife, Anri, for the Upper House election in July 2019.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press