Labor Refuses to Rule Out Further Cuts to Private Health Insurance

Labor has today refused to rule out whether itwill rip the private health insurance rebate away from more Australian familiesand pensioners.

In March this year Labor was forced intoadmitting that they plan to rip the private health insurance rebate away fromover 65,000 hardworking Australian families.

This will increase the cost of their policy byover 16% according to modelling from Deloitte.

At the National Press Club Health Debate todayin Canberra, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Health confirmed Labor’s plan to forceup costs for Australian with private health insurance by 16%

“Now we’ve said we’ll not make any furtherchanges to the rebate beyond what we have announced.”

However when pushed on whether they will gofurther with their plans to cut the rebate, Catherine King refused to rule outextending the cuts beyond the 65,000 Australians who will be hardest hit.

“I’m not going to rule in or out what theProductivity Commission might recommend or might not recommend, not what ourresponse would actually be,” Ms King said.

Removing the rebate will have a significantimpact on all people with private health insurance but will hit pensioners andfamilies that hardest.

Over 13 million Australians rely on theirprivate health insurance to support them when they are sick.,

“The first thing to say is that privatehealth overall is in trouble,” MsKing said.

Labor cut the private health insurance rebatewhen they were in government after guaranteeing they wouldn’t touch it.

Labor’s has a track record of ripping supportaway from Australian with private health insurance.

Last time Labor was in Government they cut $4billion from the private health insurance rebate and the former HealthMinister, Tanya Plibersek gloated about these cuts when she said, “Every promiseI made I paid for. How did I pay for it? I paid for it by targeting privatehealth insurance” (4/4/16 Press Conference).

Late last year we saw the real world effectsof Labor’s proposed 2% health insurance premium cap with the Courier Mailreporting that private hospitals in Queensland “have secretly warned theywill close services and turn away patients, putting more pressure on publichospitals, because of Labor’s private health insurance cap.” (23/12/18, CourierMail).

Labor cannot be trusted to protect Australia’smixed public-private health system and their policies will lead to increasedpressure being placed on the public health system.

/Public Release. View in full here.