After intensive debate, the Liberal Democratic Party and its two non-Cabinet allies agreed August 28 on a plan to rescue the nation’s health insurance systems from bankruptcy.

The health system plan — the most radical in years — will be implemented in fiscal 2000, increase medical bills for the aged, and install mechanisms that oblige doctors to choose less expensive methods of treatment and prescribe less expensive medicines. It will create a new health insurance system only for those aged 70 or older.

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