Tony Abbott objecting to means-testing the private health rebate so that the public isn’t paying for rich people to have special access to healthcare.
“[Taxpayers paying for rich people to get better healthcare than many taxpayers do] is an article of faith for the Coalition. Private health insurance is in our DNA. Support for people who want to get ahead is our raison d’etre,” Tony Abbott told 2GB today.
“I mean that is why we exist as a political movement, to give more support and encouragement to people who want to get ahead, and whether it’s independent schools, whether it’s private superannuation, whether it’s private health insurance – we want to support policies that support them.
“So, look, private health insurance is an article of faith for us. We will restore the rebate in government as soon as we can.”
Just to be clear: Labor wasn’t abandoning private health insurance. The wealthy and privileged will still not have to use the public system, so it can continue to be underfunded without endangering the health of anyone they care about. Nor did Labor abandon the 30% rebate being paid by taxpayers to private health companies so that those stuck with the public system subsidise those who get priority treatment who have the money to put into private health insurance.
All Labor did was means test the rebate so that those earning significantly more than the average income who want priority access to healthcare have to pay for it themselves.
That’s what’s got Tony so upset. And why not? I mean, isn’t that the end of Australian achievement? Why would anyone aspire to receive a high income now? I mean for every extra $10,000 you might have to pay a couple of hundred more for your premium healthcare coverage, leaving you with only the vast, vast majority of your higher income at the end of it. Hardly seems worth it, does it? I expect we’ll see a huge increase in company directors resigning from their boards to go and live on the dole at $16 a day.
Meanwhile, please remember that this is, according to their leader, the Liberals’ big issue. It’s “in their DNA”. Extra taxpayer money for the rich to maintain their privileges over everyone else. That’s the Liberals’ priority.
Is it yours?
“I mean that is why we exist as a political movement, to give more support and encouragement to people who want to get ahead
Then why would they object to a policy that merely ends a subsidy for those who are already ahead?
Helping those at the back of the pack is a noble goal, but I hardly think subsidising the wealthy is a rational way to achieve that goal.
It was actually kind of pitiful watching the Liberal talking head on Q&A last night trying to justify why handing out money to the well-off was a “fundamental tenet of Liberalism”.
I nearly felt sorry for her. Nearly.
This is a much more complex issue than you make out Lefty, and far more complex than the likes of Abbot and co probably understand. Nevertheless, the private insurance system DOES NOT subsidise the public system for its most expensive costs (primary acute eg. emergency departments).
A primary issue with the taxation system enforcing private health cover is that is removes the choice to be insured or not. If you are healthy and have money put aside, you may consider that your own, self funded insurance. There is no requirement to have insurance to access the private system. The rebates and taxation ‘incentives’ being there at all prop up the insurance system at the expense of the health system and choice.