Reuters says that China plans to expand its medical insurance for major illnesses by the end of this year in its report today.
People even in some of the richest countries go bankrupt as their medical insurance fails to cover expensive drugs and operations. China is not rich but also has the problems. To take care of its people, China’s ruling party the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) expands China’s all-people medical insurance for major illnesses that previously are to expensive to cover.
It shows that CCP does implement its doctrine of “putting the people first”, which this blogger regards as China’s traditional Mencius democracy in his book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements.
Gifted American President Lincohn upholds the democracy of the government of the people, by the people and for the people. The US now indeed has a president by the people, but he has great difficulty to do something for the people. The Congress, though also by the people, has tried hard to put an end to the all-people medical insurance he has made great efforts to provide.
Former US president Jimmy Carter regards the US as an oligarchy instead of a democracy. This blogger would rather regard it as a democracy for vested interests instead of for the people.
Article by Chan Kai Yee as comments on Reuters’ and The Intercept’s reports “China to expand medical insurance for major illnesses” and “Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an ‘Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery’”:
The following are the full texts of the reports:
China to expand medical insurance for major illnesses
BEIJING Sat Aug 1, 2015 11:14pm EDT
China will expand medical insurance to cover all critical illnesses for all urban and rural residents by the end of the year, the cabinet said on Sunday, the latest step in a plan to fix a healthcare system that has sparked public discontent.
The State Council said 50 percent of the medical costs will be covered by insurance in a bid to “more effectively reduce the burden of medical expenses”, in a statement posted on the government’s website.
President Xi Jinping’s government has touted access to affordable healthcare as a key platform of his administration, underscoring the importance of meeting the needs of the nearly 1.4 billion people, many of whom have often complained of large out-of-pocket expenses due to low levels of insurance coverage.
Many people say the cost of serious illnesses such as cancer and diabetes can bankrupt households under the current system.
The aim of expanding health insurance was to “effectively alleviate poverty caused by illness” and to build a strong universal healthcare system, the State Council said.
Since 2009, China has spent 3 trillion yuan ($480 billion) on healthcare reform, but the system still struggles with a scarcity of doctors, attacks by patients on medical staff and a fragmented drug distribution and retail market.
Economists say it is crucial for China to improve the quality of its healthcare if it wishes to remake its economy and boost domestic consumption. They say a stronger safety net will encourage Chinese to spend more and save less.
China’s healthcare spending is set to hit $1 trillion by 2020, up from $357 billion in 2011, according to McKinsey & Co, attracting a rapid inflow of money from private insurers, hospital operators and other investors.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Kim Coghill)
The Intercept’s report:
Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery”
Jon Schwarz July 31 2015, 7:09 a.m.
Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”
Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United.
HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said, “unlimited money in politics.” It seems like a violation of principles of democracy. … Your thoughts on that?
CARTER: It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over. … The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger.
Video footage that can be viewed at https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/
I’ve added Carter’s statement to this list of politicians acknowledging that money controls politics. Please let me know if you have other good examples.
(Thanks to Sam Sacks for pointing this out.)
In 2011, China’s National Committee on Aging proposed an amendment in China’s Elderly People’s Interests Protection Law to impose on people the obligation to visit their elderly parents. It was a controversial amendment and seemed difficult to be included in the amended law. However according to SCMP’s report today, due to some recent incidents of parents being neglected, the amendment was adopted by China’s legislature last Friday.
The two incidents mentioned by SCMP are:
“An 81-year-old woman in Tianjin told China Central Television that she wanted to die before last year’s Chung Yeung festival – a day when Chinese traditionally pay their respects to their ancestors and the elderly – because her three daughters, who all live away from her, did not visit.
“Another story that sparked widespread outrage featured a nonagenarian grandmother in Jiangsu’s Guanyun county who had been left in a pigsty for two years by her five sons and three daughters. Hunan web portal voc.com.cn reported that story two weeks ago.”
The revised law says family members should care for the emotional well-being of elderly people and not neglect them.
It imposes the obligation that those not living in the same house as elderly parents should visit them often or send greetings.
The most serious problem in China’s rule of law is implementation and enforcement. Violation of Chinese constitution and law in persecuting dissidents and silencing opposition is everyday malpractice because the law that protects citizens’ rights is not implemented.
According to Chinese law, Liu Xiaopo perhaps has violated Chinese law and should be imprisoned, but the punishment at least has been imposed through proper legal procedures.
However, why should his wife be placed under house arrest? (See my post yesterday “Video of Dissidents beating security cordon to meet Liu Xiaobo’s wife”) What is the legal basis for that? No one has the right to place innocent people under house arrest according to Chinese law and constitution.
If the authorities think Liu’s wife has violated the law. They shall prosecute her and put her into jail through proper legal procedures. There is no legal ground in Chinese law to punish the wife of a “criminal” who is not involved in her husband’s “crime”, but the law can be openly ignored by the government.
Much emphasis has been attached to the rule of Law in China recently. However, if those in power can send at will thugs to place innocent people under house arrest, what is the use to place emphasis on the rule of law.
Xi Jinping, the new party boss, has recently advocated doing practical work and refraining from empty talks.
I wonder whether China has some misconcept about the rule of law? Placing people under house arrest at will means deprivation of people’s freedom against Chinese law and constitution, but the authorities do it openly and even before foreign reporters.
In the case of elder parents, what they need is their children’s love, which can never be imposed by law.
I believe that it may be more effective to give repeated play of the footage that teach people “love is accompanied with obligation” in the intervals between CCTV’s prime time programs. It reminds people not to forget taking care of their loved ones when they are too busy.
Normally, parents love and take care of their children while children love and take care of their parents. There is no need of law to interfere.
If the children are spoiled and unwilling to take care of their parents, it is a problem of education and life style. There is also no need for the law to interfere.
As for elder people’s loneliness, it’s an issue to be resolved by the community and charity organization. We have elder people’s homes in Hong Kong where they can make friends with others and have quite a few activities including singing, dancing, performance of plays and Chinese operas, travel, etc.
We Chinese people follow Confucius’ teachings that regard filialness as a virtue, but such teachings were later distorted by feudal rulers to impose feudal loyalty to Chinese emperors. As a result, only filialness was stressed while the father’s obligation to love and be kind to his children was neglected. Later, it went to the extreme that people should be loyal to an emperor even if he was a tyrant.
There was then the doctrine: “When the emperor wants a courtier die, he has to die and when the father wants the son to perish, the son has to perish.”
Due to that history, I am uneasy when filial duty is written into law.
The restoration of Confucianism may make China very strong, as strong as the China during the Reign of Zhenguan when there was Mencius democracy of putting the people first.
In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, I give quite detailed description of Mencious democracy and the implementation of Mencius democracy during the Reign of Zhenguan. It is too long a topic to be elaborated here.
In short, Mencius advocated “putting the people first”. I said in my book that American democracy is based on Lincoln’s idea of “the government of the people, by the people, for the people”, China’s Mencius democracy grew out of feudal society is certainly not so good. There is only one part of the three: for the people.
Now, the Scientific Outlook on Development with putting the people first as it major content has been written into the party’s constitution. If fully implemented, there is hope that China may become a democracy and the greatest superpower in the world and Chinese people will be very happy, perhaps happier than American people as American democracy is only perfect in the second party “by the people” but has great problem in the third part “for the people”.
For two years before the recent presidential election, the Republicans in US Congress focused their efforts only on one thing: preventing Obama from being reelected. As a result, nothing much could be achieved in the Congress to overcome US financial difficulties. Did they work for the people? No, they worked for their own party only.
Certainly, we Chinese people want the best democracy in the world. However, we shall first have Mencius democracy, on the basis of which, people may strive for human rights and political freedom including freedom of speech and freedom of press. Finally, we will fight for universal suffrage.
The whole process may take 50 to 100 years. In fact, it took the same long period for the US and the UK and other European countries to establish and improve their democracies.
As for the amended law, there are problems in imposing its provisions. In US, UK and even Hong Kong laws, there are often detailed definitions to help interpret the law, but there is no such definition in Chinese law and as there is no case law in China’s continental legal system, the lack of definitions of “often” and “neglect” make the law technically not imposable.
SCMP says, “Professor Wu Changzhen, a family law specialist at the ChineseUniversity of Political Science and Law, said the clause encouraging visits to parents was only meant to remind children, caught up in their jobs and their own family’s concerns, not to forget about their parents.”
That is really bizarre. Law is not formulated merely to remind people of their duty so that they can ignore it without being punished. Law must be observed or there will be legal punishment for violation of the law.
However, in China, that is not the case. Officials are just reminded that they should not violate the law in depriving people’s freedom without a court’s verdict. They can ignore it without being punished.
Therefore, in China, the amended law is toothless. There is certainly no problem for Chinese people if they fail to perform the obligation of visiting parents.
If such obligation is strictly imposed by law, there will be lots of problems. Relations in a family can be very complicated. In an extreme case, there is the skeleton in cupboard that splits a family.
Shall a daughter be punished by law for refusing to visit her father who raped her when she was very young?
Shall the son of an alcoholic father be punished by law for refusing to visit the father who often beat him up when the father was drunk?
My nephew went to study in the US when he was 16. His parents often complain that he is not obedient. He is more than 40 years old now, but his parents still regard him as a young child. In China, children seem never grow up in their parents’ eyes. Quite a few people often meddle with their children’s affairs, especially their children’s love affairs or ways of educating their grandchildren. That may give rise to tension between the two generations and make children unwilling to visit their parents. Those are family problems to be resolved by the family concerned and shall not be resolved by law.
The government can educate people about the proper way to treat their parents, but it shall not formulate law to interfere with people’s family life.
What China needs is to establish China’s own satisfactory life style including love between parents and their children through school education, literature, art, etc.
I was impressed when I watched Japanese most popular TV series “Under the Same Roof”. The Japanese major television station made the series to teach Japanese youngsters family values when it found that there was the trend of people paying less attention to their families.
I believe that is a better approach.
Sources: SCMP, Associated Press, xinhuanet.com, Jinling Evening News
DOING JUSTICE TO TIANANMEN
While Amercia has had justice done by killing Osama bin Laden, justice has not yet been done to Tiananmen incident in China.
In order to do justice to that great event in Chinese history, the author wrote this book to reveal Tiananmen’s great achivements.
The Coup D’Etat in China to Substitute Intellectuals’ for Uneducated Workers’ Dominance in China
When intellectuals were despised and almost all intellectual activities forbidden, a new generation of talented scholars with moral integrity emerged. They secretly made preparations to seize political power in order to save the nation and get the human right and freedom to pursue their intellectual activities. I have quite a few friends of that generation and attended a secret meeting of them in Shanghai. I learned at the meeting that one of their ways was to join the Party, rise to the top and transform the Party. They studied hard Chinese classics and history to learn the strategy, tactics, tricks and intrigues of political struggle and all other kinds of knowledge and skill and called themselves Eclectics. The intellectuals I lived among who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution also wanted to fight back when the Cultural Revolution was over. Even those intellectuals like Fang Lizhi who were originally engaged in science and technology and traditionally wanted to have nothing to do with politics, became political enthusiasts and spent most of their time in disseminating the idea of democracy among college students. There were campaigns for democracy one after another with Tiananmen as the climax.