Ross Vasta Member for Bonner says the changes to the private health insurance rebate that commenced on 1 July will increase the costs of health insurance and increase hospital waiting lists.
“Like the carbon tax, the change to private health insurance is a broken promise by Julia Gillard that will worsen the burden on households”, said Ross Vasta.
“The carbon tax will hurt households and the economy and means testing the private health insurance rebate will hurt households and the health system.
“Residents throughout Bonner with private health insurance will be adversely impacted by the changes to the private health insurance rebate.
“Those who breach Labor’s income threshold will pay up to 43 per cent more. Everyone else will also pay more for their coverage as the health funds will have to increase premiums to cover the loss of members from the fund. It is estimated that the cost of premiums will increase by 10 per cent over and above what would be expected otherwise.
“It is estimated 1.6 million Australians will drop private hospital cover over the next five years and another 4.3 million Australians will downgrade their level of coverage because of these changes. This will have a dramatic impact on the costs of everyone who keeps their private health insurance.
Ross Vasta says the increased cost pressures on private health insurance will particularly hit families who are already doing it tough because of the carbon tax.
“Julia Gillard likes to play the class war card on private health insurance, but in doing so, it proves she doesn’t understand private health insurance. The fact is that across Australia, nearly half of all people with private health insurance earn less than $50,000 a year and over 3 million earn less than $35,000 a year.
Ross Vasta said that he was particularly concerned about the impact of the changes on the public hospital system.
“Waiting lists will grow – and this will impact everyone on a waiting list. They will grow because these changes will push an estimated 845,000 procedures onto public hospitals at a cost to government of $3.8 billion.
Ross Vasta said the Coalition’s support for the private health insurance rebate is part of the Coalition’s DNA.
“We will restore the private health insurance rebate as quickly as we can.”