Assembly seizes Social Security budget, another 49.3 pending

Assembly seizes Social Security budget, another 49.3 pending

A 49.3 triggered, a second approach: The MPs continued the fight for the unfinished national budget on Thursday with the social security law, which was criticized by the opposition and health experts, and which should also lead to the use of constitutional weapons.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne promised her government on Wednesday that it would accept the first part of the state budget without a vote. The proceedings have paused ongoing debates on that text, but are not preventing the long-planned consideration of the 2023 Social Security Funding Bill (PLFSS) bill, which is due to start at 9am on Thursday.

But even there, the exchange could be quickly interrupted by a 49.3. “The opposition does not want to give us the opportunity to move forward with us or even let us move forward. Under these conditions, we will also assume our responsibility,” Finance Minister Gabriel Attal told the AFP news agency.

The Council of Ministers on Wednesday approved the use of 49.3, which could be activated on the revenue side of this budget before the weekend. Several majority leaders have pleaded in this direction in order to avoid the same disappointments seen in the Chamber over the last few days.

Even if no pension reform change is ultimately planned – an Elysian track that had aroused the ire of the opposition and the uneasiness of part of the majority – its scrutiny promises to be very difficult for the executive branch.

MEPs have tabled more than 3,000 amendments that have to be examined on paper by October 26.

Within this period, the motions of censure by the Nupes and the RN, which follow 49.3 on the state budget, must be put to the vote, which will take a few hours of additional sittings.

According to Health Minister François Braun, the PLFSS is “a text of investment and commitment”. He expects the deficit to fall sharply to 6.8 billion in 2023 (17.8 billion this year) based on a spectacular fall in the Covid bill.

She expects savings of 1.1 billion euros in the reimbursement of drugs and 250 million, especially in analysis laboratories.

The bill envisages improving prevention with appointments at key ages of life, tackling work stoppage “abuse” through regulation of teleconsultation, and reforming general practitioner training through a fourth year of “priority” internships in medical deserts.

In the absence of a “widespread” medical on-call service on evenings and weekends, the government wants to extend the “permanent care” to nurses, midwives and dentists.

– Everyone measures themselves –

Without an absolute majority and strained by its defeats in the state budget votes, the presidential camp will scrutinize the opposition’s stance on opening up to know what kind of fight to expect.

“Current conditions mean that there will certainly be a 49.3”, acknowledges rapporteur Stéphanie Rist (Renaissance).

The examination of the text in committee was nevertheless fairly calm, but not without errors. Several measures were voted against his opinion, such as allowing companies to meet gender equality commitments in order to benefit from contribution reductions.

Article 49.3 of the Constitution (AFP – Cyril THEOPHILOS)

The left insists on the imposed budgetary framework: for the socialist Arthur Delaporte “there is a painful lack of ambition”, for Hadrien Clouet (LFI) “investments for our health system and our hospitals”.

RN MPs regret the lack of ‘major action’ to ‘restore our healthcare system’.

This text also does not resonate with the elected LRs, who emphasize the lack of “efficiency” in health spending.

In the fight against medical deserts, a non-partisan working group, initiated by socialist Guillaume Garot, is pushing for more coercive measures in the settlement of doctors.

Another pitfall for the government: several measures are strongly criticized by the professionals concerned.

Reassembled against the demanded savings, biologists and analytical laboratories are threatening to go on strike. Furious, the pharmaceutical sector has already received backlash from the government.

In an already burning social context, there is a threat of a revolt by interns: They are fighting back against the fourth year and the planned temporary ban in the hospital for newly qualified nurses.


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