House debates

Monday, 29 May 2017

Questions without Notice


2:25 pm

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for Health) Share this | Hansard source

'Fears ALP to axe $6bn health insurance rebate'. Labor's plan to scrap $6 billion rebate would 'destroy' Medicare. That was on the front page of The Australian only a month ago. It further states:

The private health insurance­rebate could face further cuts under Labor after confidential discussions between insurance groups and the opposition sparked fears the $6 billion rebate could be abolished …

There we have the shadow Treasurer with his head down now. He knows we have caught him ratting around and briefing private health insurance groups that he wanted to do what the member for Sydney did, and that is rip the heart out of private health insurance. Last time, before Labor came into government, they said that they would not touch private health insurance. What did the member for Sydney say after they left government? 'How did I pay for it? I paid for it by targeting private health insurance.' That is what the member for Sydney did. She ripped the heart out of private health insurance, and that is what the shadow Treasurer has been doing. They have been caught going around the private health insurance groups, looking to strip private health insurance and then to abolish it. Let me be absolutely clear: this idea of a Commonwealth hospital benefit is rejected clearly, categorically and absolutely.


Tibor Majlath
Posted on 30 May 2017 9:45 pm

That article was by Simon Benson in the Australian. The article is peppered throughout with words such as 'it is understood'. That phrase appears several times even though Labor says there are no plans to touch the insurance rebate.

Benson writes that "The chief executive of Private Healthcare Australia, Rachel David, said she was not aware of plans to remove the rebate but such a move would devastate people on lower and middle incomes." So what is the beatup?

On the other hand Benson quotes that "industry sources say the prospect of changes to its current policy were not ruled out". Which sources? As Donald Trump tweeted: without listing sources this is just 'fake news'. I agree.