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2008年5月13日 (火)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

(May. 13, 2008)

Health insurance for elderly need clarifying

後期高齢者医療 実態調査と総点検を急げ(5月13日付・読売社説)

The new medical insurance system for people aged 75 or older has been severely criticized.

新しく始まった後期高齢者医療制度への風当たりが強い。

In addition to the name of the new system--literally, "a health insurance system for the very elderly"--the system itself surely has other defects caused by a lack of consideration its implementation. Although it is a major systemic change for people aged 75 or older, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and local governments have failed to prepare for the new system and adequately explain the nature of it to the public.

後期高齢者」という呼称を含め、配慮に欠ける面が目立つことは確かだ。主に75歳以上を対象とする大きな制度変更なのに、厚生労働省自治体も、十分な準備と説明を怠っていた。

In addition, the ministry has presented only the vaguest estimates of how many people's medical insurance payments will increase or decrease compared with the previous system. Consequently, it is natural that the elderly people concerned are angry about the new system.

さらに厚労省は、従来の制度と比べて、どの程度の人が負担増あるいは負担減となるのかについても、あいまいな見通ししか示すことができない。これでは高齢者が憤るのは当然である。

It is necessary for the government and the ruling parties to adequately explain the goals of and reasons for the new system to the public and swiftly reexamine the system to find and solve any problems.

政府・与党は、新制度の趣旨を丁寧に説明するとともに、実態調査を急ぎ、問題を総点検する必要があろう。

So far, most people aged 75 or older, while taking out their own national health insurance policies managed by their local governments, also have been covered by the health insurance system for elderly people. When their medical costs have exceeded expectations, the increase has been covered by contributions of mainly corporate health insurance societies.

これまでも75歳以上の人は主に市町村の国保に加入しながら、老人保健制度の枠組みに入り、その医療費が膨らんだ分は企業の健保などが拠出金で支援していた。

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Old system lacked clarity

(判然としない旧システム)

However, under the previous system, it was not clear to what extent working generations should bear the burden of covering medical costs for the elderly. It also was unclear who was responsible for limiting medical costs for people aged 75 or older to necessities.

ただし、現役世代がどれだけ負担するかが明確ではなかった。後期高齢者の医療費が必要以上に膨らまぬよう、誰が責任を持って取り組むかも判然としなかった。(to necessities=必要とされる、イディオム?

In spinning off the accounting functions under the new system to prefectural level organizations, the government has clarified previous ambiguities about who is responsible for the medical costs of the elderly. By transferring managerial responsibility from the previous city, town and village level to the prefectural level, public finances for medical insurance are expected to be stabilized.

新制度は、あいまいなまま融通しあってきた高齢者医療費の会計を独立させ、都道府県単位の組織に運営責任を持たせた。従来の市町村単位より広域化したことで、保険財政は安定する。 (spin of=分離設立する) (managerial=経営上の)

The new system also includes a system that asks elderly people with higher incomes to pay their due share of medical insurance premiums and specifies how much of the health insurance premiums paid by working generations is assigned to medical costs for the elderly.

所得の多い高齢者には、応分の負担を求める仕組みも盛り込まれた。現役世代には、自分の保険料のうち、どれだけ高齢者医療にあてられたかも明示される。

As the rules on the distribution of the burden of medical costs for the elderly is made clear, the new system is likely to be seen by the public as a cold and callous way to treat the elderly.

負担のルールを明確にしたことが、高齢者に冷たい制度と受け取られているようだ。 callous=無神経な)

(As the rules on the..... 日本文よりも言いたいことがよく伝わる表現でとてもおもしろい-スラチャイ)

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Clearer picture

(更にわかりやすくするために)

But making clear the relationship between the burdens of insurance premiums and benefits also clarifies the respective limits of premiums elderly people and working generations are required to pay. That will lead to discussion as to how to secure financial resources to cover future medical and social service costs.

しかし、負担と給付の関係をはっきりさせることで初めて、高齢者と現役世代のそれぞれに求めうる保険料の限界も明確になる。そこから先の医療費、そして社会保障費全体の財源をどうするか、という議論につながる。

The general direction of the new system is in line with one intended for an aged society, but its details are problematic.

新制度の全体的な方向は、超高齢時代に沿っている。だが、細部では問題が多い。

The calculation formula for the insurance premiums under the new system is complicated and difficult to understand. As the central and local governments have failed to explain the new system to the public in a comprehensive and detailed way, people facing additional burdens are prompted to complain and lose trust in the system.

新制度の保険料算定式は複雑で理解するのは難しい。分かりやすく工夫した説明がないために、負担が増えた人は不満と不信を募らせている。

prompt=~させる、誘発させる、誘発する)

Some people are confused after local governments ended the practice of reducing or eliminating local taxes for low-income households and the disabled when they switched to the new system.

低所得者や障害者向けに、自治体が独自に実施していた減免措置が新制度移行を機に打ち切られ、困惑している人がいる。

(households=家庭、世帯、所帯) (for low-income households=低所得者層) (switch to = 移行する、切り替える)

There also is a deep-rooted misunderstanding that the deduction of health insurance premiums of the elderly people from their pension benefits is an additional burden on them.

年金からの保険料天引きを、これまでの負担に上乗せして徴収されているという誤解も根強い。

(a deep-rooted misunderstanding=根深くて本質的な誤解)

It is important for the central and local governments to adequately explain the new system and take necessary measures.

説明を尽くし、必要な救済策を講じることが大事だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 13, 2008)

20085130142  読売新聞)

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