THE HON BILL SHORTEN
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
THE HON CATHERINE KING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
CONSUMER GROUPS PRAISE LABOR’S PRIVATE HEALTH PLAN WHILE TURNBULL DEFENDS INSURERS
While consumer advocates are praising Labor’s decision to protect Australians from soaring private health insurance costs and cap premiums at 2%, Turnbull can’t stop defending the big end of town.
Turnbull had a choice between standing up for Australians or standing up for the big insurers – and he backed the profits of a multi-billion dollar industry rather than standing up for 13 million Australians with private health insurance.
All the Government can do is clutch at a desperate lie about junk policies – by using a report commissioned by the private health insurers which doesn’t reflect Labor policy, but the Liberals’ own policy at the last election.
On the other hand, consumer groups have welcomed Labor’s plan because they know something needs to be done to stop the private health insurance crisis and shift the balance back to consumers:
“Scare tactics by the Private Health Insurance industry … should not be surprising. However, they should be rejected out-of-hand. The focus of this industry is on profits and return to shareholders rather than the health of all Australians,”
[PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION AUSTRALIA]
“CHOICE welcomes any action to apply more scrutiny to this highly subsidised and highly profitable industry…While costs for private health insurance are increasing, the value that people receive from private health insurance has dropped.”
“A commitment by the Opposition to a wide-ranging Productivity Commission review of the private health system is a welcome step and a level of independent inquiry we have been recommending for some time.”
[CONSUMERS HEALTH FORUM, 4 FEBRUARY 2018]
“The ANMF is supporting practical policy reforms which enhance the affordability and value of private health insurance… Fees for private health insurance cover are out of control and now becoming unaffordable for most families,”
[AUSTRALIAN MIDWIFERY AND NURSING FEDERATION, 4 FEBRUARY 2018]
“A comprehensive review of private health insurance by the Productivity Commission, as put forward by the Opposition today, is the only sensible way forward out of the mess that private health insurance has become…”
[AUSTRALIAN HEALTHCARE AND HOSPITALS ASSOCIATION, 4 FEBRUARY 2018]
Private health plays an important role in Australia’s world-class health system, but under Turnbull, Australians are questioning the cost and value of private health more than ever. In 2017, private hospital coverage dropped to the lowest level since 2011.
The Turnbull Government is failing to address this crisis and help Australians with the affordability of private health insurance, and as a result, people are walking away from private health altogether.
Labor’s plan will save 1.7 million families an average of $340 on their private health premiums.
Only Labor is choosing to put Australian families first, instead of the interests of the multi-billion dollar private health industry.
MONDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2018