“Bill Shorten faces call for radical overhaul of private health”
Distinguished former public servant John Menadue said the ‘parasitic industry’ was undermining Medicare and criticised Labor’s role in creating a two-tiered system. ‘It’s a disgraceful program and I’d hope the Labor party would progressively reduce the subsidy and use the money for public health programs’, Mr Menadue said.
Bill Shorten faces calls to abolish a multi-billion dollar subsidy to the private health insurance industry, which critics describe as a ‘privatisation of Medicare’ by stealth.
Grattan Institute health economist Stephen Duckett said the $6 billion annual subsidy to insurers through premium rebates could be reinvested in the public system.
Shorten and King have already flagged a cap on increases to the private health subsidy.
Shorten’s private health premium cap: bad policy or ‘circuit breaker’?
August 2018, before ‘Super Saturday’
In a classic hip-pocket policy pitch, the Labor party has promised that it will introduce a two-year 2 per cent premium cap and launch a Productivity Commission inquiry into the industry.
King has subsequently announced a new bureaucracy, a ‘Health Reform Commission’, sidestepping and ignoring the Productivity Commission. The Productivity Commission independently recommended a focus on Technology, Preventive medicine and Holistic health care. King wants to hire more nurses (union members) – which will only increase health costs.
Shorten told the National Press Club on January 30 that the industry had raked in $1.8 billion in profit before tax last year and was holding about $6 billion in excess capital reserves.
So what? Private companies are supposed to make a profit otherwise no-one would invest in them. Shorten’s alternative would be to nationalise health care and socialise the losses – like the NBN and so-called ‘Renewables’.
NIB chief executive Mark Fitzgibbon believes that while Labor’s cap policy may initially be politically popular, it could result in bad outcomes for industry and consumers.
‘But it really is a policy that lacks logic and [Labor] has not in my mind thought through the consequences’.
Fitzgibbon is underestimating Shorten – Shorten’s intent is to destroy private health care and transition to a 100% socialist system.
Investors and Medical professionals need to wake up – do you want to work for the government?
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