DP raps Yoon over health insurance, labor market reform plans

SEOUL– The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) lashed out at President Yoon Suk-yeol on Wednesday, branding his drive to reform the national health insurance system and labor market as a politically motivated attempt at “erasing traces” of the preceding Moon Jae-in administration.
On Tuesday, President Yoon called for a quick “normalization” of the health insurance system in what was seen as an indication of his intent to scrap the health insurance policy of the previous Moon administration, which centered on expanding coverage and lowering the burden of hospital bills on households.

He also promised to pursue labor market reforms based on a set of recommendations by experts earlier this week, which included increasing flexibility in the 52-hour workweek law that the previous administration introduced in 2018 to prevent overwork.

“There can be no political color in a good policy,” DP chief Lee Jae-myung said in the party’s Supreme Council meeting. “Even if it’s the opponent’s policy, it should be borrowed if it can make the people’s lives better and advance our society by even one step.”

“If it’s branded as a policy by the preceding government and unconditionally denied due to that notion, a successful running of state affairs would be impossible and the people would have to shoulder the ensuing pain,” Lee said, criticizing the envisioned reforms as retrogressive.

DP Rep. Youn Kun-young, who served as Moon’s senior presidential secretary, slammed Yoon’s initiative as an “insane” move thrusting medical expenses on the public.

“In a nutshell, what they are doing is insane,” Youn said in a KBS radio interview. “It’s gravely worrying. What the Yoon Suk-yeol government is attempting to do is throwing a medical expense bomb to people of average class.”

Youn raised allegations that reforming the health insurance system is part of broader “political revenge” targeting the preceding administration.

“The Yoon Suk-yeol government is bent on erasing all traces of the Moon Jae-in administration,” he said. “Rather than putting priority on taking care of the economy and livelihood matters and looking after state affairs, President Yoon is pouring everything into political revenge against the preceding government.”

DP spokesperson Lee Soo-jin said the party is determined to fight against the reform.

“The Yoon Suk-yeol government is regressing not only democracy but also labor circumstances to the past, when people worked to death,” Lee said in a press briefing. “The DP will block the Yoon Suk-yeol government’s regressive labor policy overhaul and protect the workers’ lives and rights.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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