The Liberal Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake on Aug. 19 refused a government-proposed plan to impose a much greater share of medical bills on the public. The plan would require the health insurance system’s policyholders to shoulder 30 percent of their medical bills, up from the current 10 percent, starting in fiscal 1999.

Yuya Niwa, an LDP lawmaker and the head of the tripartite ruling bloc’s panel on health insurance reform, said that the increase — proposed earlier this month by the Health and Welfare Ministry — is far from acceptable.

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