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Health Care Issues in the United States and Japan$
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David A. Wise and Naohiro Yashiro

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226902920

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226903248.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Evaluating Japan's Health Care Reform of the 1990s and Its Efforts to Cope with Population Aging

Evaluating Japan's Health Care Reform of the 1990s and Its Efforts to Cope with Population Aging

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Evaluating Japan's Health Care Reform of the 1990s and Its Efforts to Cope with Population Aging
Source:
Health Care Issues in the United States and Japan
Author(s):

Naohiro Yashiro

Reiko Suzuki

Wataru Suzuki

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226903248.003.0002

This chapter explores the basic structure of the Japanese medical care system, primarily addressing recent policy issues. It is observed that various policy reforms introduced in the 1990s did not effectively solve Japan's fundamental health care system problems. The rate at which Japan's population was aging was accelerating in the 1990s, far exceeding that of the United States. The price elasticity of demand for medical care was very small, generally around -0.1. A variety of policies were implemented in order to control health expenditures by means of the efficient use of resources. Increasing the copayment rate and mechanisms for sharing revenue among health insurance providers, however, were not sufficient to attain a sustainable fiscal balance in the long run. The 2003 health insurance reform was a first step toward a more comprehensive reform of the health care services sector.

Keywords:   health insurance reform, Japanese medical care system, Japan, health insurance, copayment rate, sharing revenue, population aging

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