Spain looks to the wealthy for budget savings

A Spanish flag flies over a military building with a symbol of the Franco era in Barcelona Thursday Oct. 11, 2007. Statues, street names and other symbols honoring Gen. Franco and his 40-year rule would be eliminated under a bill, presented by ruling Socialist Party, that seeks to make amends to victims of the Spanish Civil War. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez) AP

(AP) MADRID - Spain's economy minister says the country should debate whether to make richer people pay for their universal health coverage.

The center-right government is desperate for ways to save money or increase revenue. It is struggling to achieve deficit-reduction goals and international investors are showing wariness of its ability to do so, shying from buying Spanish debt and pushing up Spain's borrowing costs.

Luis de Guindos said in a radio interview Monday the co-payment system, such as that which exists in the United States, is no panacea for Spain's financial problems.

But he said Spain should mull the idea of making people who earn more than 100,000 euro ($130,000) a year pay for state-administered health care financed with taxpayer money.

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