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The French Social Security Financing Bill (PLFSS) : an unprecedented adoption procedure. RPP Paris help you find your way through it!

The Social Security Financing Bill 2023 (PLFSS) which was presented on 26 September 2022 is the first PLFSS of the new Government following the re-election of Emmanuel Macron. This PLFSS is built around two priorities: access to care both in hospitals and primary care and prevention.

Ensuring a better prevention, addressing the difficulties in accessing to care in medical deserts, tackle the “ageing at home” challenge: what key measures should we retain from the Social Security Financing Bill?

The French government tries to keep power while the Parliament composition is a challenge
During the debate, the Government used the 49.3 article of the Constitution 8 times, allowing the adoption of the law (or a part of it) without a vote. Yet, the government was aware of this procedure unpopularity in public opinion and has therefore wait until the right moment for using it. Indeed, the ongoing social movements (fuel strikes, left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s march on October 16) pushed the prime minister to wait and let debates last as long as possible.

PLFSS 2023: debates turn short with the fifth “49.3”.
Elisabeth Borne used 49.3 article a fifth time on the PLFSS after the adoption of the text by the Senate, in first reading, on Tuesday 15 November (193 votes in favour, 102 against). Then, as the joint committee composed of members of both chambers was unable to reconcile the Senate’s version of the text with the one of the Assembly, another use of 49.3 has been made to validate the spending part of this budget in a new reading. The exercise has become a formality for the Prime Minister, who used the need to respect constitutional deadlines to speed up the examination of the budget. The debates and the repetitive use of 49.3 article reflect the conflicting voices within the Assembly and the absence of a strong majority.

French National Assembly rejects new motion of censure and approves the Social Security budget
The French National Assembly rejected the last motion of censure presented by the left-wing coalition (NUPES), which obtained only 87 votes out of the 288 needed for it to succeed, leading to the final approval of the Social Security budget.
The Prime Minister criticized the different motions of censure have “considerably reduced the useful time for debate” for this budget. The text has been approved on the eve of the end of the 50-day review period granted by the Constitution.

The final publication of the Social Security Financing Bill is suspended pending the examination of the Constitutional Council
On Monday 5 December, MPs from the NUPES parliamentary group and the Républicains filed two appeals with the Constitutional Council to challenge the entire text. MPs from the opposition are particularly critical of the organisation of debates, with the regular use of Article 49-3. Generally, the Council only censures a few articles in the whole text.

While the Social Security Financing Bill debates were taking place, the French government also launched the National Council for Refoundation, which consist in various consultations in French regions. There even is a special National Council for Health Refoundation, which proposals and measures could strengthen or challenge some of the PLFSS measures and guide the Government actions during the five years to come.

You think that the next Social Security Financing Bill could be of importance to your projects? RPP Paris would be glad to help you understand this legislative process and find your way through the institutions in 2023!

Pauline Harymbat

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