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The Gillard Labor Government is on the path to wrecking private health insurance.

 Labor’s plans to slash the 30 per cent rebate for insurance cover will force premiums to go up and up and more and more people would drop their cover, the Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton said today.

Nicola Roxon has finally been forced to admit the real impact of Labor’s planned cuts to private health insurance rebates – millions of Australians will be slugged with higher premiums for their insurance cover.

“It shows just how deceitful this Minister and Government have been,” Mr Dutton said.

“Just earlier this week the Minister was at her tricky best, continuing to deceive Australians on this matter.”

Mr Dutton said the Minister had been asked directly at a news conference how many people would have to pay a higher premium because of the rebate changes.

Nicola Roxon’s answer: “….It’s in the order of hundreds of thousands who would have some adjustment because it’s a scaled proposal….”

But a report in The Australian today reveals the truth: That 2.4 million people will pay more to keep their insurance - and substantially more – around another $1000 a year.

That’s one in four of the 10 million Australians who have health insurance.

“The Minister should admit that for years she has been lying to Australians about the effect of her disastrous changes to private health insurance rebates and apologise for that deceit,” Mr Dutton said.

“This Minister and others have constantly claimed there would “negligible” or “minimal” impact from their plan to slash the 30 per cent rebate.”

Mr Dutton said with many Australian families already struggling to meet rapidly rising cost of living expenses, many would be unable to afford the extra costs that would be inflicted if Labor persisted with its proposed rebate cuts.

“The Coalition has been warning since the Rudd and Gillard Governments broke their promise not to change the rebates that if they proceeded the outcome to the health system would be extremely harmful.”

“As people drop their cover, premiums will rise and that will force more to drop out in a terrible spiral. This in turn will put increased pressure on the public hospitals as more people are relying on them for their healthcare.”

Mr Dutton said the Minister has indicated she would seek to re-introduce legislation to slash the health insurance rebates in the near future.

“The Coalition remains steadfast in its opposition to these harmful proposals. Independent Members of Parliament must give careful thought to their positions in relation to this legislation,” Mr Dutton said. 


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