[EDITORIALS]Don't Mix Politics, Health InsuranceKim Sung-sun, a senior policymaker in charge of health and welfare decisions for the ruling Millennium Democratic Party, submitted a letter of resignation because he was dissatisfied with the recently established government measure to stabilize health insurance. He argued that his opinions as well as the party's view were not reflected.
Whether his arguments were right or wrong, we feel uneasy because the core policymaking line of the nation linking the government and the party became unstable. Furthermore, we raise serious concerns that the after-measures for the problematic medical reform and financial difficulty of the medical insurance were again proved to be half-done as they failed to persuade policymaker of the ruling party. The after-measures were to increase government funding on local health insurance chapters by 50 percent and also increase the people's burden in order to revive exhausted finance of the medical insurance while improving the insurance system. Although some parts of the method were positive, many criticized that it was nothing more than a stop-gap measure in order to prevent possible protests of the organizations involved in the medical reform. As Mr. Kim severely criticized that "The recent government measure is irresponsible way of resolving the problems by loading burdens on the shoulder of the people," the government will lose more public confidence regarding its policymaking. It is, of course, necessary to evaluate Mr. Kim's arguments, including retraction of the policy in which individual medical payment would be increased, if they are realistic alternatives. Yet, it is important to pay attention to his voice because he argued that the proposal prepared by the party was totally ignored and he had no chance to point out problems about the government after-measures. There were reportedly some counter-arguments raised when Kim Won-gil, the Minister of Health and Welfare, explained the after-measures to revive health insurance to the MDP members, but the party's leadership forcefully put down those attacking the government policy.
The medical reform was called the "policy lacking preparation," because the government failed to listen to the opinions of different sectors and to resolve already revealed problems appropriately and promptly. It is even more difficult to understand that the opinion of official party policy line was ignored in making the after-measures.