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China announces subsidies for healthcare

New York Times, January 22, 2009

China has announced that it intends to spend $123 billion by 2011 to establish universal healthcare for the country's 1.3 billion people. The state news agency said the authorities would "take measures within three years to provide basic medical security to all Chinese citizens in urban and rural areas, improve the quality of medical services, and make medical services more accessible and affordable for ordinary people." Providing universal healthcare is seen by some economists as a way to stimulate domestic spending during the current economic downturn.