Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Health

Environment Media

Shorten’s plan to dismantle private health insurance

Monday, 5 February 2018

Labor took the axe to private health insurance when they were in government and now they want to dismantle it.

What Labor has announced today is nothing more than a smokescreen to distract from their plans which will actually see premiums skyrocket. They’re making policy up on the run.

This isn’t a plan for lower prices. It’s a plan for higher prices.

Bill Shorten was caught out this week at the Press Club by not supporting the private health insurance rebate. This is the rebate that helps millions of Australians to afford cover.

Labor slashed the rebate when they were in government and they’ll do it again. They have not ruled this out.

In addition, modelling by Deloitte shows that Labor’s other plan to scrap lower-cost policies would result in a 16 per cent increase in private health insurance premiums for millions of Australians.
 
That would make cover unaffordable for many individuals, families and pensioners.

The 16 per cent increase combined with a further cut to the private health insurance rebate would be disastrous for individuals and families. And for pensioners it could see premiums rise by as much as 50 per cent.

Bill Shorten should abandon and rule out making any changes to the rebate or any changes to lower-cost policies.

Until this happens, Labor is putting private health insurance at risk. Australians could miss out on the new healthcare and latest medical treatments being developed.

Furthermore, a collapse in the private health insurance sector would see public hospital waiting times blow out.

The Turnbull Government is committed to supporting the 13 million Australians that have taken out private health insurance – and that’s why we’re investing around $6.4 billion a year in the rebate.

Our package of real reforms have just delivered the lowest annual premium change in 17 years. At 3.95 per cent, it's far lower than every year under the Rudd and Gillard governments.

Our reforms include more than a billion dollars of savings which will be passed on in full to policyholders. We’re taking the pressure of health costs which are rising due to new treatments and medical breakthroughs being developed.

We’re committed to private health insurance. Bill Shorten just wants to dismantle it – and deprive Australians of the medical treatment they want and deserve.

(ENDS)

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