Media Release Monday 22 October 2012 Over $1 billion cut today from private health insurance has confirmed another lie by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to rival the carbon tax.
$700 million will be cut by not paying the rebate on premium increases above CPI. $390 million will be cut by completely removing rebates from Lifetime Health Cover loading.
Julia Gillard gave an ‘iron clad guarantee’ that she would never touch the private health insurance rebate. Labor has told a succession of lies on this issue (See page 2).
Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton, is concerned about the impact of these changes on family budgets.
“This is not just a $1 billion broken promise, this is another Labor lie to rival the carbon tax. They keep saying they support private health insurance but they keep cutting it. They keep increasing pressure on family budgets,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton believes Labor is already engaged in deception for the next round of cuts.
“Treasurer Swan says the Health Minister will be looking at premium reform, I think we should be suspicious about what that will mean. He talks ‘sustainable’ but what he means is Labor will sustain their opposition and ongoing cuts to private health insurance,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton doubts Labor will get their latest cash grab right.
“Minister Plibersek couldn’t even get Labor’s last private health insurance cash grab right. After all the rhetoric about millionaires, the finalised 2011/12 budget revealed a $549 million blow out on health programs with prepayments of private health insurance a major component,” Mr Dutton said.
CONTINUED PAGE 2 - Direct quotes of Labor lies on private health insurance
Nicola Roxon, The Age, 24 February 2009 Page 2
“The Government is firmly committed to retaining the existing private health insurance rebates”.
Kevin Rudd, Press Conference, 25 February 2008
“The Private Health Insurance Rebate policy remains unchanged and will remain unchanged.”
Kevin Rudd, letter to the AHIA, 20 November 2007
“Both my Shadow Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, and I have made clear on many occasions this year that Federal Labor is committed to retaining the existing private health insurance rebates, including the 30 per cent general rebate and the 35 and 40 per cent rebates for older Australians.”
Nicola Roxon, Media Release, 26 September 2007
“On many occasions for many months, Federal Labor has made it crystal clear that we are committed to retaining all of the existing Private Health Insurance rebates, including the 30 per cent general rebate and the 35 and 40 per cent rebates for older Australians.”
Nicola Roxon, Meet the Press, Network 10, Sunday 23 September 2007
“STEVE LEWIS: Let's move to another integral part of the health system, the private health rebate, the 30% rebate. Labor has said, "Yes, we will keep it," but you have not said whether you will keep it in total. Can you say now that Labor, if elected, will maintain all of the ancillary measures that encompass the private health rebate?
NICOLA ROXON: Yes, I can. We've committed to it. We've committed to the 30%. We've committed to the 35% and 40% for older Australians. It's similar to the safety net. We know that many people rely heavily on the assistance that is now provided and would not be able to have private health insurance if that rebate wasn't paid. And lifetime health cover and others that go with it, we are committed to those. We understand that Australia now has a mixed health system, both private and public, and we need them both to be strong in order for the community to be able to get the services.
STEVE LEWIS: So you will not wind back that 30% private health rebate, despite the fact that Labor has been ideologically opposed to it in the past?
NICOLA ROXON: No, we won't.”
Julia Gillard, Letter to the Editor, Weekend Australian, 15 October 2005
“On Thursday, October 13, the Minister for Health , Tony Abbott, asserted in parliament that prior to the last election, I had a secret plan to scrap the private health insurance rebate and he cited Mark Latham’s diaries as proof of this proposition. Yesterday, Matt Price reported this claim by the minister as if it were a fact (The Sketch, 14/10). The claim by the minister is completely untrue and should not have been reported as if it were true. The truth is that I never had a secret plan to scrap the private health insurance rebate, and contrary to Mr Latham‘s diaries, do not support such a claim … For all Australians who wanted to have private health insurance, the private health insurance rebate would have remained under a Labor government. I gave an iron-clad guarantee of that during the election. The difference between Tony “rock solid, iron-clad” Abbott and me is that when I make an “iron-clad commitment”, I actually intend on keeping it.”
Julia Gillard, Letter to the Editor, Courier Mail, 23 September 2004
“Your correspondent Russell McGregor (Letters, Sept 15) should have no concern that Labor will "erode" or abolish the 30 per cent government rebate for private health insurance . Labor is committed to the maintenance of this rebate and I have given an iron- clad guarantee of that on a number of occasions.- Julia Gillard , Opposition health spokeswoman, Canberra.”
Julia Gillard, Shadow Minister for Health, Letter to the Editor, Hobart Mercury, 2 September 2004
“I grow tired of saying this - Labor is committed to the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate.”