The Social Security budget was definitively adopted Monday via the rejection of a final motion of censure in the National Assembly. The end of a journey marked by recourse to 49.3 by the government, to escape the crossfire of the oppositions.
Reply to the twentieth use by Elisabeth Borne of the criticized constitutional tool, which allows texts to be adopted without a vote, the motion co-signed by all left-wing groups received only 108 votes out of the 289 required to bring down the government.
“You know that these 49-3 wins, but you are pretending, you are acting indignant,” said the Prime Minister in an almost deserted hemicycle, blaming the truncated debates on oppositions refusing dialogue, according to her.
“Alarming mental health situation”
This Social Security financing bill (PLFSS) “is a text of social progress”, argued the tenant of Matignon, praising “a budget of 640 billion euros for our Social Security”. Without convincing the left, which had put its divisions on hold to denounce in a united motion a “forceful passage” on a text which “unravels Social Security and brutalizes our public hospital and its caregivers”.
“You have shamelessly bullied Parliament,” said socialist Arthur Delaporte. “You waved the red rag of the public deficit to better justify budget cuts, savings and investment failures” in health, added Insoumise Ségolène Amiot. Opposed to the text, the other opposition groups did not vote for the motion of censure.
For the National Rally, the text does not respond to “major public health issues in the territories”. But “your systematic approach to submitting motions of all kinds is tiring,” said RN deputy Christophe Bentz to the left.
The right, for its part, rules out censoring the government on a budgetary text. The deputy LR Yannick Neuder however castigated a PLFSS “far from the mark”, citing the “unfilled positions in public hospitals” or the “alarming mental health situation”.
10.5 billion euros deficit in 2024?
The Senate, dominated by the right, had for its part adopted a largely revised version of this budget, contesting a financial trajectory considered unrealistic. But the government rejected most of its additions.
The Social Security deficit, now estimated at 8.7 billion euros for 2023, would reach 10.5 billion across all branches in 2024, according to the latest estimates from the government, which contests any “austerity”.
What about medical deductibles after all?
The accounts are particularly weighed down by health insurance expenses. The government plans to contain their increase to 3.2%, thanks to savings measures on spending on medicines, analysis laboratories and even sick leave.
Some particularly raise objections, such as the possibility of suspending an insured person’s benefits when a doctor mandated by the employer judges his work stoppage to be unjustified.
The possible increase in medical deductibles and flat-rate contributions for policyholders, envisaged by the government without being formalized in this budget, has also crystallized the debates. “The decision has not been made,” assured the Minister of Health, Aurélien Rousseau.