Poll: Half Oppose Scrap of Health Insurance Cards

Courtesy of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry
An image of a My Number card

A spate of problems involving My Number identification cards is believed to have cost the Cabinet the approval ratings boost that it earned from its performance during the Group of Seven summit in May, according to an analysis of The Yomiuri Shimbun’s recent opinion poll.

Looking at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet’s approval ratings over the past three surveys, sharp fluctuations can be seen among voters aged 40 and above.

In the previous May survey, the approval rating among respondents aged 40-59 rose nine points from the April survey to 55%, and climbed 14 points among those aged 60 or older to 64%.

The approval rating among respondents aged 18-39 remained almost unchanged at 43% in May, compared to 42% in April.

In the June survey, the approval rating among people aged 40-59 dropped a sharp 17 points to 38%, and the rating among respondents aged 60 and older also declined by 14 points to 50%. These were larger drops than among the 18-39 age group, which declined by 11 points to 32%.

Examining the correlation between the approval rating and opinions on the government’s handling of My Number-related problems, 64% of those who supported the government’s handling of the problems approved of the Cabinet — a group that accounted for 24% of all respondents.

However, among those who did not approve of the government’s response, only 32% approved of the Cabinet. This group accounted for 67% of all respondents.

Concerns about My Number-related issues were also greater among middle-aged and older respondents.

Among the 18-39 age group, 60% said the government did not handle the issues adequately, while 70% felt this way among the 40-59 age group and 68% among those aged 60 and older.

As for the planned abolition in autumn 2024 of the current health insurance card, which will be integrated into the My Number card, 44% of the 18-39 age group opposed this policy. This compares to 56% opposition among the 40-59 age group and 61% among those aged 60 and over.

Measures to combat the chronically low birthrate, which has been positioned as Kishida’s most important policy, were not evaluated highly. Nearly half of those who support the Cabinet, or 49%, opposed an increased burden on the public.