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Indonesia struggles to pay for huge universal health care program

Government annoys public with planned hike in premiums to reduce deficit

JAKARTA -- Indonesia is struggling to fill a massive hole in the finances of its compulsory national health insurance system.

BPJS Kesehatan, the government agency that oversees the program, has suffered deficits in five of the six years since the system was introduced to much fanfare in 2014. This year, the shortfall between spending and premium income is set to balloon to 28 trillion rupiah (nearly $2 billion), more than double the gap in 2018.

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