THE HON. CATHERINE KING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
MALCOLM TURNBULL’S PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE FAILURE
Malcolm Turnbull’s private health insurance “reforms” have been exposed as a complete sham, with his own department confirming they are unlikely to deliver any significant benefits for consumers.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office of Best Practice has raised serious doubts about the changes designed by Greg Hunt – hand-in-hand with the big insurers – which resulted in a 4 per cent price rise this year.
The Office of Best Practice thinks the impact of the changes have been overstated, that the Government did not properly model its own measures, and failed to properly consider other reform options.
Department of Health documents have also revealed that the Government’s changes are only intended to keep premium price rises at 4 per cent a year – double what Labor’s policies will deliver.
So even if the Government’s package works just as intended it will still result in price rises that will drive more people away from private health insurance.
Is Malcolm Turnbull really so arrogant and out-of-touch that he thinks annual double inflation price rises are acceptable? Australians are struggling with the rising cost of health insurance just as they are with the rising cost of electricity and childcare.
Under the Liberals, premiums have increased by 27 per cent since 2014 – costing families an average $1,000 more.
Labor will cap premium price increases at 2 per cent for two years, delivering families an average saving of $340 and shifting the balance back in the favour of consumers rather than private health insurance company executives.
We will also task the Productivity Commission with a sweeping review to identify long-term sustainable ways to bring down costs and improve quality.
WEDNESDAY, 4 JULY 2018