Pressured by protests, Colombian lawmakers nix health reform

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BUCARAMANGA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s congress has voted against a health system overhaul bill, giving protesters another victory after 20 days of street demonstrations that have left dozens dead and forced the government to retreat on tax reform. Health Minister Fernando Ruiz defended the health change bill, saying it would give the health care system the tools needed to deal with emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. Critics of the bill said it could lead to health care monopolies by strengthening the role of private “health promotion companies” that administer resources and contract services, and by allowing in some cases mergers of private health providers with public hospitals. 

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