Chinese cities are so broke, they’re cutting medical benefits for seniors


New member
Apr 1, 2023
China’s government, strapped for cash after years of enforcing a costly zero-Covid policy, is cutting medical benefits and planning to raise the retirement age, in deeply unpopular moves that are fueling widespread public anger.

Thousands of elderly people have been taking to the streets since January to protest big cuts to monthly medical benefit payments. They’ve gathered in four major cities across the country, demanding local officials reverse the decisions.

The changes are part of a national overhaul mainly intended to cover deficits in public medical insurance funds, according to analysts, which have been drained after paying for mass testing, mandatory quarantine and other pandemic controls over the past three years.

The demonstrations, dubbed by Chinese media as a “gray hair movement,” are another rare rebuke for authorities after widespread protests gripped the country in November against Covid lockdowns.

The anger could further undermine trust in the Communist Party already damaged by Covid lockdowns, banking scandals and a real estate crisis.