Taiwan’s health insurance system stirs up political storm

TAIPEI: Taiwan's health insurance system may have earned international acknowledgement, but it's now stirring up a political storm after the health minister left in a surprise resignation.

And ironically, opinion polls have put Mr Yaung Chih-liang as one of the most popular members of President Ma Ying-jeou's administration.

Taiwan's premier has rejected the resignation not once, but twice.

But Taiwan's former health minister Yaung is equally determined to step down.

In a statement to the media, Yaung blamed the frequency of elections for a lot of problems in Taiwan.

He said politicians were only concerned about losing votes, and this has stop them from making necessary changes which may not be popular.

Yaung had proposed higher premiums for 41 percent of the population to help reduce the budget deficit at the health insurance bureau.

But Premier Wu Den-yih only wanted 25 percent of its people to pay more.

The contradiction has again raised questions about President Ma's weak and inconsistent leadership.

Analysts said it was inevitable that public policies are influenced by electoral consequences.

Hu Chong-Hsin, Senior Political Analyst, said: "You can't say the Ma administration is weak on this, as premium hikes are very likely to affect elections. The KMT lost one million votes last December, it can't afford another one million losses. In that case, the KMT and the DPP will compete on a 50-to-50 basis. It's critical and out of Yaung's consideration."

Read the full story here by Christina Lo

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  1. Joao Carapinha - 2010/03/10

    Taiwan's health insurance system stirs up political storm su.pr/2CsHCo

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