Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and LDP lawmakers reached a compromise Thursday over medical expenses borne by salaried workers, removing the final obstacle to completing a health-care reform program.

Koizumi and the lawmakers, who had been at odds over whether to increase the portion of expenses borne by workers to 30 percent from 20 percent, agreed to implement the change in 2003, rather than next year as initially proposed by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, LDP lawmakers said.

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