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The China Law Center Co-Hosts Workshop on Social Insurance Legislation

The China Law Center co-hosted a Workshop on Social Insurance Legislation with China’s State Council Office of Legislative Affairs on July 16 and 17, 2007 in Beijing.

The drafting of a national social insurance law is one of the top legislative priorities for the State Council and the National People’s Congress.  It is anticipated that the upcoming national legislation will establish a basic framework for the existing structure of administrative regulation that provides social insurance in the critical areas of retirement security and health care, as well as in unemployment and workers’ compensation.

The workshop brought together over thirty leading Chinese experts and officials representing key government ministries.  The delegation of foreign experts included Alex Azar, the former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services; Robert Pozen, a member of the Presidential Commission to Strengthen Social Security; and China Law Center Director Paul Gewirtz. 

The first session focused on issues of health insurance, addressing key questions involving the scope of persons to be covered by government-provided health insurance, the range of services and treatments to be provided, and the mechanisms for addressing health care costs.  During the second session on retirement security, participants discussed possible funding mechanisms, the relationship between individual accounts and social pooling, and standards for providing sufficient benefits.  The final session considered methods for administering and overseeing social programs, including auditing and independent investigation and evaluation. 


The workshop panels discussed models adopted around the world and lessons learned from comparative experiences.  In addition, Chinese and American participants exchanged ideas on best practices for designing and implementing social insurance systems.