King flip-flops on Productivity Commission

[After] allegations of aggressive tactics being adopted by hospitals to pressure patients to use private health insurance to help fund their operations and in turn boost a struggling public system have moved both sides of politics to promise action.

Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King also announced a federal Labor government would take action if elected.

“We’d much rather our public hospitals were funded properly so the states didn’t have to seek revenge this way. That’s why we expect the Productivity Commission will examine the issue as part of our root-and-branch inquiry into the private health system”.

Source: The Age

A Labor Government will order a root-and-branch Productivity Commission review of the private health system…

If we win the next election we will impose a 2 per cent cap on private health insurance price rises for two years, saving an average family $340 …

The cap will deliver immediate relief to families struggling with relentless price rises. But it’s important we also develop long-term reforms to ensure the private health sector has a sustainable future.

Comment: By imposing a cap, it will pressure private Health Funds to offer fewer services or impose greater restrictions, which will create more pressures to drive people back to the public system.

She is taking actions in advance of any Productivity Commission recommendations, which raises the question: Will she take any PC recommendations seriously?
Last month, King ignored the Productivity Commission recommendations and announced that she would establish a new bureaucracy called the Health Reform Commission. Why isn’t that body looking at private health funds?

Also, by imposing caps, King will tamper with the system that she is tasking the PC to analyse.

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