Topics: Coalition’s commitment to public hospitals and private health insurance, Labor’s plan to scrap the private health insurance rebate.
I just want to respond to a story in the papers this morning about private health insurance and public hospitals.
The story does not reflect Government policy. It will not be Government policy. It will never be Government policy.
Our commitment to private health insurance is rock solid. By contrast, we’ve seen that only a few weeks ago Labor was reported as wanting to abolish the private health insurance rebate.
It’s clear and categorical. Not Government policy. Won’t be Government policy. Will never be Government policy.
If that’s the case, what was the purpose of this taskforce?
It long pre-dates me. I know that the issue was raised with me coming out of officials meetings with the States as a possible item for COAG and I struck it out. I rejected it.
I’ve rejected it once. If it ever comes forward, I’ll reject it again. I made that clear to the Department at the time that this is something that I understand was from the post-Federation White Paper discussions, and it’s been rejected along the way, and it will be rejected.
The message for Labor today is – will you commit to retaining the private health insurance rebate? Because we saw a report a few weeks ago that they want to abolish it.
Okay. Thank you.